October 29, 2016

Rising from the ashes: On the ground in Fort McMurray, with Robbie Picard

Sheila Gunn ReidRebel Commentator
 

I haven’t been up to Fort McMurray since before the Wood Buffalo wildfire swept into town last May. That fire forced the largest evacuation in Canadian history, displacing 100,000 people and resulting in entire neighbourhoods being burned to the ground.

I wanted to see for myself how much has changed in the Mac and how people are moving on with their lives.

My friend and long time oilsands activist Robbie Picard was the perfect person to show me around. Not only does Robbie eat, sleep and breathe Fort Mac, but he was evacuee who lost his home in wildfire. (You might remember that pro-LGBTQ meme he made that drove Greenpeace wild and garnered him international attention.)

Watch my video to see what’s new with Robbie, what the rebuild looks like and how people are coping.

I spent the whole day there with Robbie and I have so much more to show you in the coming days.

It hardly seemed like a town that lost entire neighbourhoods. People in town told me they don't want to be negative. They don't want to talk about politics, or taxes or tariffs. Not yet.

They just want to put their lives back together as quickly as they can.

 

Comments
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commented 2016-10-30 10:37:35 -0400
The people who only have ‘damaged’ houses may get repairs done and get in by Christmas, but all those who have lost their houses will be looking to next year to rebuild. Too close to winter now, looks like a winter away from their homes, in trailers or with family or friends. The human spirit is strong up there. You don’t live in fort Mac if you are a whiner. I wish them all the best.

Jay Kelly, bug off.
commented 2016-10-30 02:46:27 -0400
Sheila Gunn Reid is great. She is not the “frumpy” woman she modestly describes herself as. Rather she is dynamic and perky.

Her report on Fort Mac is lively and clear.
commented 2016-10-30 00:50:53 -0400
Now they just need to survive Nutley and Trudope. God Bless Fort Mac.
commented 2016-10-29 15:57:32 -0400
Great segment Sheila, nice to see how the folks in Fort Mac are doing – true northerners – survivors sa to hear there is brain freeze in town – seems a tad hypocritical to stay in a town which depends on an industry you detest – actually it’s beyond hypocritical, it’s neurotic