British Columbia has been devastated by record-setting rainfall that triggered catastrophic flooding and mudslides.There has been massive economic and social devastation to many communities, First Nations, farms and the transportation system, all of which will take months if not years to repair.
As the crisis unfolds, PSAC’s Social Justice Fund is coordinating an Emergency Resilience Fund to provide both immediate and long-term support to communities across the province.
“To date, our regions, component unions, and locals have stepped forward in an unprecedented way to pledge over $200,000 and we anticipate more contributions in the days to come," said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president. "Our entire union sends solidarity to the people of British Columbia, and thanks first responders, public service workers, and community members who worked tirelessly throughout the flooding and are now beginning the work of rebuilding."
By pooling PSAC resources, the fund will have a greater and more united impact. The fund will support United for BC Flood Response Fund and the Canadian Red Cross, and provide direct funding for Indigenous organizations, farmers and displaced migrant farm workers, food security programs, women's shelters and transition houses, and other initiatives identified by PSAC members as priorities.
“We will take a long-term approach and work in partnership with our members and their communities, not just to rebuild, but to find a better way forward,” Aylward said. “The flooding in BC is another example of the climate emergency facing the world. We will – and we must – work collectively towards a sustainable future for ourselves and our children.”
“As the flood waters recede, British Columbians are beginning to come to grips with the amount of rebuilding that will be needed," said Jamey Mills, PSAC regional executive vice-president for BC. "And PSAC will be there to help, just as our members supported Canadians throughout the pandemic."
Through education, mobilization, and empowerment, the PSAC Social Justice Fund works to advance the role of our members in building more equitable and sustainable communities in Canada and around the world.
The fund also provides humanitarian assistance both in Canada and internationally, most recently in Haiti, after spring floods in the Northwest Territories, and in the aftermath of the Fort McMurray wildfires.