News Release – Fort McMurray Wildfire Debit Card Relief

AB Govt

Starting at 2 pm today, the Government of Alberta will issue debit cards to people who have been evacuated from Fort McMurray and other northern Alberta communities due to wildfire.

The debit cards, a one-time emergency payment of $1250 for eligible adults and $500 for children under the age of 18, will help evacuees meet immediate, short-term needs, such as temporary housing and day-to-day essential expenses.

Who will get a card:
You can get a card if you:

  • were forced to leave Fort McMurray and area, and
  • were unable to return to home for a minimum of seven days as a result of
    • an evacuation order;
    • an imminent health and safety threat; or
    • a lack of reasonable transportation options to return home.

How the cards work:
The debit cards work like regular credit cards. One card will be set up for each household and pre-loaded with the total amount that all members of the household are eligible to receive. You can withdraw cash at an ATM, or make purchases at any business that takes debit or credit card, including online.

Where to get the cards:
Distribution centers will be open between May 11 and 20 as follows:

Debit Card Location Hours of Operation
Edmonton Butterdome

114 Street and 87 Avenue

May 11: 2 pm – 8 pm

May 12 – 19: 8 am – 8 pm

May 20: 8 am – 12 pm

McMahon Stadium

Red & White Club

1833 Crowchild Trail NW

May 11: 2 pm – 8 pm

May 12 – 19: 8 am – 8 pm

May 20: 8 am – 12 pm

BMO Centre

Calgary Stampede Park

20 Roundup Way SW

May 11: 2 pm – 8 pm

May 12 – 19: 8 am – 8 pm

May 20: 8 am – 12 pm

Lac La Biche 
Penalty Box upstairs in the Bold Centre

8702-91 Avenue

May 11: 2 pm – 8 pm

May 12 – 13: 8 am – 8 pm

More debit card locations will be added in the coming days. After May 20, emergency financial assistance will move to Alberta Works offices. More information will come in the following days.

One family member can pick up debit cards for the entire family, if they have documentation:

  • Red Cross registration number
  • photo identification
  • identification for partner/spouse and/or dependents, if claiming relief for them
  • proof of residence or presence in the community.

If you need to replace your identification to apply for the debit card, please visit an Alberta Registry Office. They are issuing new identification cards free of charge to wildfire evacuees.

Seniors, individuals with mobility issues, those with special needs, and others who are in Alberta but unable to apply in person at a debit card location can contact 310-4455 to make arrangements to receive emergency financial support from the Government of Alberta.

Albertans with questions can call 310-4455 toll-free within Alberta or 1-844-406-3276 toll-free outside Alberta for details.

The government is also working with the Canadian Red Cross to provide emergency financial assistance from the Government of Alberta, in addition to the funding provided by the Red Cross, for evacuees who have left Alberta. Details will be provided in the coming days.

Details about emergency financial assistance provided by the Red Cross can be found on its website:



310-4455 (within Alberta)
1-844-406-3276 (outside of Alberta)