Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is mobbed upon his arrival in Revelstoke on Saturday. Photo by Alex Cooper, Revelstoke Review

Justin Trudeau visits Revelstoke to encourage donations to Red Cross

Prime minister urges others to help those affected by the B.C. wildfires

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canadian government would match all donations to the Red Cross to support those affected by B.C. wildfires at a stop Saturday in Revelstoke.

“We’ll be providing financial support to help with the recovery effort,” he told the crowd of more than a thousand. “British Columbia has provided funding so the Canadian Red Cross can help evacuess and we’re following their lead by making a contribution that matches the amount the Canadian Red Cross is spending on direct support to those evacuated from their homes here in B.C.”

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Trudeau arrived in Revelstoke to much fanfare. It was the first visit to the community by a sitting Prime Minister since his father Pierre Trudeau made a brief stop here on Aug. 8, 1982, not long after he gave the middle finger to protesters in Salmon Arm.

Justin Trudeau, who was with his father at the time, made reference to that event.

“There’s a long tradition of this family coming out together to enjoy these mountains,” he said. “Bringing my daughter here and teaching her how to wave with her whole hand, unlike my father, is a nice opportunity to share.”

Tom Jackson

The main purpose of his visit was to encourage Canadians to donate to the Red Cross to support those impacted by the wildfires raging in B.C. He asked people to text BCFires to 20222 to make an automatic $10 donation to the organization.

“The most important thing we can do is make a donation to the Red Cross.”

Revelstoke Mayor Mark McKee, Rural Revelstoke director Loni Parker, Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok and regional First Nations leaders also spoke at the event. Metis singer Tom Jackson, a Red Cross ambassador, performed while the crowd waited for the prime minister to show up. Trudeau was delayed shortly due to an accident on the Trans-Canada Highway.

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At the peak, more than 40,000 people were forced from their homes by the fires. Many have been allowed to return home, but more than 5,000 still haven’t been allowed back.

There are still 129 wildfires larger than 0.01 hectares in size burning in B.C., including 25 of note.

Trudeau said he will be visiting the affected areas in a few days and he gave thanks to the responders on the front lines.

“They all deserve a round of applause. Let’s ensure they can hear us over a couple of mountain ranges,” he said.

Trudeau was scheduled to leave Revelstoke on the CP Rail Canada 150 train and take it to Calgary.

Check out photos from his visit below.

Revelstoke Times Review

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