During the council meeting on Tuesday January 7, City Council discussed where First Nation evacuees would go if they were to be evacuated from their communities this year.

Back in April of 2019, evacuees from Kashechewan were sent to Timmins due to massive flooding in their community. Then in July Keewaywin First Nation was evacuated to Timmins as well and it was due to forest fire activity in their region.

“The agreement that we do have with the Federal Government on the evacuations is a five year agreement, but we annually renew our commitment to host although, that’s not to say that we couldn’t say that we are committed to the next five years for example to do such a thing. This would be kind of a housekeeping activity every year to renew our commitment… Assuming that the council will continue to support of the practice and that we are meeting the needs from the people displaced of those First Nation Communities.” Said Timmins CAO Dave Landers

Landers, went on to note that there are other communities that welcome evacuees but, when the Provincial and Federal Government asked communities to step up he says there were basically none.

When evacuations like that occur, the money spent to help out the evacuees comes from a company the city has partnered with to allow the evacuees to stay in Timmins but to also have access to certain needs.

“Last year we partnered with Gervais Emergency Consulting to do a lot of the heavy lifting for us. I think it was a very effective partnership, it worked quite well and minimized the impact on Municipal resources; All the while we made sure that we made the evacuation service at a high level, and met the needs of the communities that were displaced.” -Dave Landers

There were no further issues raised with this topic and Timmins will be a host city for evacuees for 2020 and potentially the upcoming years.

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