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Lambton County supports Alberta fire victims

Published on

Special to The Journal

Lambton County councillors have donated $100,000 to help Albertans devastated by wildfires.

Anne Marie Gillis, a Sarnia representative on county council, first raised the issue on May 4, saying there should be some way to help the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo, which has a population similar to Lambton’s 126,000 residents.

“We pledged support, but we didn’t know what that support would look like,” she said last week. “I wanted it on record that we would help.”

County staff assured her $100,000 wouldn’t impact operations or the tax base.

The issue of financial support for Fort McMurray fire victims sparked controversy at Sarnia’s May 9 council meeting.

A proposal by Mayor Mike Bradley to send $25,000 via the Red Cross was tabled by city councillors, who said they wanted to wait and see what Lambton would do. Half the county budget comes from the city.

In the meantime, St. Clair Township donated $25,000, Point Edward $5,000 and Brooke-Alvinston $2,500.

Sarnia’s hesitation drew criticism from many residents and wider media attention.

Bradley voting last week to support of the Lambton County donation.

“This will come up again at city council,” he said.

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association immediately sent a note of thanks for Lambton’s generosity.

– With files from the Petrolia Independent

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