CANADIANS DONATE $11-MILL TO FORT MAC FIRE EVACUEES, OIL PRODUCTION SHUTDOWNS TO RIPPLE ACROSS CANADIAN ECONOMY

May 06, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Analysts say the oil production shutdowns caused by the huge Alberta wildfire could cause ripples across the entire Canadian economy.

BMO Senior Economist Robert Kavcic says past sudden shutdowns in the oilsands have echoed beyond the industry itself. But the impact this time around will depend on the length of the shutdowns.

“Obviously it depends on how long it lasts,” Kavcic explained, “If it’s a couple of days to a week, the impact might not be that big, but if it drags on for the better part of a month, then it becomes a lot more serious.”

Efforts to move thousands of wildfire evacuees trapped north of Fort McMurray will continue today.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says it’s hoped a convoy of some 400 vehicles coupled with an airlift will move many of the thousands of people who have been sheltering at oil fieldwork camps. Thousands of people were also taken by air yesterday to either Edmonton or Calgary.

Canadians are helping fellow Canadians who’ve been displaced from their homes in Fort McMurray. Roughly $11-million in donations have been made to the Red Cross fund dedicated to supporting those affected by the fire. Adding to the total, mining magnate Peter Munk is donating a million dollars to the crisis. The philanthropist says this crisis reminds him of his own past as a refugee and marks an opportunity for Canadians to unite. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday that the federal government will match all charitable donations to the organization.

The blaze exploded earlier this week, ballooning from 100 square kilometres to 850 square kilometres, roughly equivalent to the size of Calgary.

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