Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened the Incident Response Group with ministers and senior officials to discuss wildfires and extreme weather across the country.
Building on previous meetings, the Group discussed the latest updates in the unfolding wildfire crisis in British Columbia and in the Northwest Territories, which has forced tens of thousands to be evacuated from their homes as firefighters continue to battle the devastating wildfires. They emphasized that those in impacted areas must continue to follow emergency orders and that all Canadians should avoid non-essential travel to affected regions so that accommodations remain available for critical-response personnel and evacuees.
The Prime Minister, ministers, and senior officials emphasized the importance of ensuring the continued safety of people impacted by wildfires. Ministers and senior officials also discussed the ongoing feedback they are receiving from impacted First Nations communities and the actions the Government of Canada is taking, in coordination with all orders of government, to keep communities safe. The Group discussed updates on the federal supports, including those led by the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to protect communities and help evacuees. They also discussed the importance of continuing to work with partners in the telecommunication sector to ensure that essential services are available for Canadians impacted.
The Group highlighted the important services and benefits available to Canadians impacted by wildfires, including extended Service Canada hours, outreach to evacuees, and support to access services such as Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), and Old Age Security (OAS). The Prime Minister directed ministers and senior officials to continue working closely with partners to help people return to their communities once it is safe to do so, and to support recovery and rebuilding efforts.
The Group expressed their gratitude to first responders, including those deployed by our friends in the international community, for their courage and service in supporting impacted Canadians. They also thanked everyone who has generously opened up their communities, homes, and hearts to those in need in these extremely difficult times.
Information for affected Canadians
- Clients affected by wildfires can submit an eServiceCanada request online.
- Workers affected by the wildfires can apply for EI benefits online.
- Workers are encouraged to create a My Service Canada Account where they can view, verify, and update information for EI and other benefits delivered by Service Canada.
- As the delivery of physical cheques by mail may be impacted by wildfires, EI, CPP, and OAS recipients are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit by sending an eServiceCanada request or by contacting 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) for further information.