The Ice Storm: message from Hon. Lucienne Robillard

Written by  //  January 16, 1998  //  Natural Disasters, Peter Trent, Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

 

COMING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY IN A TIME OF CRISIS

 

 Hon Lucienne Robillard

 

In the last couple of weeks, we were all united in the face of the ice storm. I would like to acknowledge and thank all the residents and volunteers who, in the name of solidarity, gave their time to help those in need. Whether it was by providing a warm meal and a place to stay, or by helping out a neighbour in need and making certain that they were not left alone, or whether you were one of the numerous volunteers in the various shelters, such as Victoria Hall, local churches and synagogues, and the local YMCA, Westmounters came together in the face of a natural disaster. The sense of community was probably never stronger than during those days, where prejudices were put aside and the basic sense of humanity led us all to pull through as well as we did.
I would like to congratulate the mayor [Peter F. Trent] and his team of city councillors, the city authorities and the municipal workers of the City of Westmount, who put in long shifts, ensuring that the situation in the city was under control, and that all residents were kept up-to-date on the latest information, such as answering queries by telephone, and by going door-to-door to warn about the water situation. Let us not forget the crews from Westmount Light and Power who, with their colleagues from Hydro-Québec, as well as Bell employees, and Westmount’s clean-up crews, worked enormous hours to ensure the safety of all the citizens was restored in the smallest delay possible.
Under these circumstances, the priority of the Federal Government has been supporting the efforts of provincial and municipal authorities in areas affected by the storm. As you are aware, the Government of Canada has organized “Operation Recuperation”, the largest-ever mobilization of soldiers for disaster relief in Canadian history.
More than 15,000 Canadian Forces soldiers have been deployed to ensure the protection and security of every Canadian. Some have been helping Hydro-Québec crews to reconnect power lines, others have been helping by clearing branches and other debris.
Soldiers and RCMP officers have also been helping the Sureté du Québec to patrol abandoned neighbourhoods and encourage people to leave their homes when their lives are believed to be in danger. Various federal departments collaborated together to provide much-needed resources to help alleviate the crisis. The departments involved include National Defence, Health Canada, Human Resources Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Fisheries and Oceans, just to name a few. As you can see, all the resources available to the Canadian Government were used in order to ensure that life for those affected by the storm can return to normal as soon as possible.
Although the immediate situation is over in Westmount, many Quebecers who reside in the South Shore and the Montérégie region, as well as those living in Eastern Ontario, are still struggling to survive, and they should not be forgotten in our thoughts.
Westmounters came together as a family, and this feeling was felt throughout the country. Canadians from every region of Quebec and from coast to coast across Canada, have donated money, time, and various items to those affected by the storm. I hope that this feeling of family, community and solidarity will remain long after the ice has melted.

 

by Hon Lucienne Robillard

 

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