Breaking News from National Council

Reposted from SSVP National website on July 17 2013 
*A message to all conferences & councils from Society of St Vincent de Paul National Council *

"Emergency Relief: Southern Alberta and Lac-Mégantic (Québec), Appeal for Financial Assistance.

For immediate circulation to all conferences and councils under jurisdiction

The Alberta Flooding
In the last few weeks two separate catastrophes occurred in Canada. The first one was heavy rains in mid-June in the Calgary region, which caused rivers to overflow and flood parts of the city and several communities in Southern Alberta and West of Calgary. This disaster resulted in the loss of life, thousands of people displaced and major material and job losses. It will take several years before this large and populated area is rehabilitated.
The Calgary Central Council and area conferences are already at work to assist the victims with the clean- up program, food and necessities of life, comforting and helping those affected by the tragedy for a return to a normal life. The local Bishop is involved with the SSVP-Calgary in these relief efforts. Western Regional Council, Bro. President Peter Ouellette, is coordinating the overall relief assistance with the Calgary Central Council. Bro. Peter will be touring the affected areas during week July 22-26.

Vincentians in Canada and at the international level have already demonstrated their solidarity and compassion for the victims of this large natural disaster. The President General of the International Council General, Bro. Michael Thio, host of the National Council at its AGA held in Ottawa in June, committed 5,000 euros (circa $6,700) to the relief program. Canadian councils and conferences have also come forward with financial assistance. The National Council is contributing $10,000.00, taken from its reserve in the National Emergency Relief Fund.

Train Derailment and Explosions, Lac-Mégantic, Québec, July 6, 2013.
A convoy of 73 train cars carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in downtown Lac-Mégantic, Québec (pop. 6,000) around 1AM on July 6, 2013. It left a reported 50 persons dead or still missing, dozens injured and more than 1,000 had to be evacuated.  Destruction of property is important and the clean-up and recovery will take time.

The Society does not have a presence in the area, however, the President of the Quebec Regional Council, Bro. Pierre Morissette, has advised the National President that a Relief & Assistance Fund Account is being opened to collect funds in support of relief activities planned by Vincentians in the Quebec region.

Procedure – Financial Assistance.
Conferences and councils wishing to provide financial assistance for either or the two catastrophes described above can do so, by sending a cheque, payable to the National Council of Canada, to their reporting Regional Council, which will forward to the National Council in Ottawa. Please specify clearly the purpose of the funds.

Vincentians have shown their solidarity, compassion and commitment to help when disasters strike in Canada. I am appealing to you for a financial contribution, for those conferences and councils than can do so, to support the Vincentians volunteering at disasters sites to help the victims and their family in this moment of great distress. Prayers are also requested as moral support is so important.

Faith is revealed and is an instrument of evangelisation each time we help others.

Jean Noel Cormier, President
National Council of Canada – SSVP"