Fort Mac Jamaicans evacuate safely


Janice Miller
Janice Miller

The Jamaican community is offering assistance to their brothers and sisters in Fort McMurray.

“The Jamaicans in Fort McMurray are a tight-knit group. They are all in accommodation, whether with relatives, private accommodation, or shelters,” said Janice Miller, high commissioner for Jamaica to Canada.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, through the Jamaican High Commission in Ottawa, has been monitoring the tragic and devastating fires in the Fort McMurray area of Alberta where we are aware that a number of Jamaicans work and reside,” she said.

About 80,000 Canadian citizens were evacuated and displaced from their homes and work environs.

The ministry commended the 300-plus Jamaicans in Fort McMurray for their quick and united action which resulted in all known Jamaicans being accounted for, evacuated and in safe areas.

The Jamaican high commissioner  in Ottawa, the Jamaican Association of Northern Alberta (JANA), the Association of Jamaicans in Fort McMurray, along with the honourary consul for Jamaica in Edmonton, have over the past week been in constant communication as they sought to ensure that all known Jamaicans were accounted for and in suitable accommodations.

Jamaicans in Fort McMurray are employed in the hospitality sector and also as high-skilled tradesmen, electricians and auto mechanics. Additionally, there are a number of Jamaicans enrolled as foreign students.

Alberta released an advisory encouraging all evacuees to register with the Canadian Red Cross at 1-888-350-6070 or online. To support the Alberta Fires Appeal, donate at “redcross” to 45678 or call 1-800-418-1111 or visit redcross.ca to make a donation. All donations are matched by the government of Canada.

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