The Canadian Department of National Defence, in support of Public Safety Canada, has been providing assistance to Canadians affected by the flooding in Alberta.
“The Province of Alberta has asked the Government of Canada for help, and our specialized skills, equipment, and expertise will assist provincial authorities in their efforts,” said Defence Minister Peter MacKay on June 21. “The men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces have proven time and time again that they are always ready and able to help ensure the safety and security of Canada and Canadians.”
Canadian Armed Forces personnel and aircraft deployed to facilities in Southern Alberta. Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft and crews have deployed to airfields throughout the province and have assisted civilian authorities in search and rescue and evacuation efforts, including the rescuing of 31 people during the initial evacuation.
“The Canadian Armed Forces are in full support of the Province of Alberta and its partners in responding to this emergency situation. Our primary focus right now is to help protect those living in the regions affected by this flooding,” said General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff. “We will also work with other first responders and levels of government to help ensure our people and platforms can be appropriately brought to bear where they are needed most, whether that be in the delivery of humanitarian assistance, or helping to provide added search and rescue coverage.”
The primary role of the Canadian Armed Forces is to defend and protect Canadians at home and abroad. Canadian soldiers have a proud record of assisting Canadians with flooding, most recently in 2011, when Canadian Armed Forces members assisted civilian authorities during floods in Quebec and Manitoba.