Welcome home, Fort McMurray

By Brian Jean and Tany Yao
Members of Legislative Assembly for Fort McMurray & surrounding areas

Brian and Tany

To all those who didn’t know if they would ever see our city again – welcome home.

Fort McMurray lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest and most resilient communities in the entire world – whether it was the round-the-clock support from volunteers, or the tireless efforts from first responders who saved 90 per cent of our homes.

In the past month, we have seen extraordinary acts of heroism from people from every corner of the world who donated their time and resources to help those of us affected by the most devastating wildfire our province has ever seen.

That extraordinary heroism continues to this day, as our brave firefighters, and the international volunteers who now stand with them, are still battling the flames.

We will never forget the way they answered the call of duty and worked day and night to save our community.
Now that we’ve begun to return, we must cross another bridge, and take stock of what’s been lost – and of what’s been saved.

What’s most important, however, is the safety and security of our people. While it breaks our hearts to lose photographs and priceless heirlooms, there is no replacement for the people we love.

We understand the pain of losing those things that we cherish. But as we rebuild, we will make new memories and new friends.

It is time to pick up our shovels and start setting things right.

Cleaning up and rebuilding will not be easy. It will take courage and strength – and it will take all of us working together to make our city even better than it was before.

But we know the people of Fort McMurray are up to the task. We know the people of this community are some of the most resourceful, handy and hardworking people on the planet, and we have the utmost faith in them.

This emergency helped show the world a different side of Fort McMurray. We are compassionate, caring and committed to safety. We are a community with an unbreakable spirit.

Even when the spotlight dims, and the time for extraordinary heroism has passed, the people of Fort McMurray will be as brave and resilient as ever, ready to do the hard work that needs to be done.

We look forward to working with those in our community who find themselves in need of a pair of helping hands. This rebuild will in many ways define our future, as we once again establish ourselves as Canada’s economic engine.

So as you begin to make your way back to our beloved city, remember to be safe. Take hope in the fact that your neighbours are with you. And know that we will rebuild stronger than ever.

Brian Jean is the Leader for the Official Opposition Party and Member of Legislative for Fort McMurray-Conklin.

Jean can be reached by email at fortmcmurray.conklin@assembly.ab.ca or by phone at 780-588-7979. Tany Yao is the Member of Legislative for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo. Yao can be reached by email at fortmcmurray.woodbuffalo@assembly.ab.ca or by phone at 780-790-6014. Reprinted by permission.

-Connect Weekly-