Statement By The Minister Of National Defence On Flood Relief Efforts In Quebec

News and Press Release
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NR - 11.045 - May 20, 2011

OTTAWA - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today:

"I am proud of the professionalism and dedication demonstrated by the members of the Canadian Forces, who had personnel and equipment in Montérégie within eight hours of receiving a request from the Province of Québec to assist with rising flood waters. Within 24 hours of the provincial request, we had approximately 500 personnel providing flood mitigation support to local authorities. At the height of this relief effort, the Canadian Forces had over 840 personnel involved in this relief effort.

As part of their effort, Canadian Forces members distributed over 193,000 sandbags, contributed to the protection of 800 private residences, assisted local authorities with the voluntary evacuation of hundreds of residents, repaired the Baie-des-Anglais and the Sainte-Anne-de-Sabrevois dikes which protected 2,500 hectares of farmland and participated in over 520 hours of patrols to assist Quebecers in the affected area. Throughout, our government and the Canadian Forces worked hand-in-hand with the Quebec government and Quebec authorities and I am proud of the collaboration and mutual support exhibited by all parties to get the job done.

On 17 May, the Commander of Canada Command, Lieutenant-General Semianiw, announced that the Canadian Forces would be bringing the number of personnel down to a level required to continue to accomplish its mission. I want to assure the people of Quebec that although these numbers are being reduced, the Canadian Forces continues its mandate to assist civil authorities in responding to this emergency until its personnel and unique capabilities are no longer required.

The Canadian Forces remains fully engaged in this relief operation. The men and women that serve our country so proudly continue to monitor the situation and in consultation with provincial authorities, will make adjustments as required so that unique capabilities of the Canadian Forces corresponds to the emergency needs of the region."

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