How can we help relief efforts in Alberta both personally and professionally?

On a Personal Level -- Donate!

I would like to challenge all CMC-Canada members to donate to the Fort McMurray relief fund. There's no point in trying to describe it -- all we have to do is watch the news to see the largest natural disaster in Canadian history continue to unfold.

Early estimates of the economic losses from the fire are pegged at $9 Billion, and economists' predictions of the impact on Canada's real GDP growth range from zero this quarter to a 1% reduction for the year. Before the fire, RBC Economics' forecast for national GDP growth in 2016 had been 1.8%.

I applaud the association for keeping this issue top of mind by putting a link on the front page of the CMC-Canada web site to donate to the Fort McMurray relief fund, and urge you to make an even larger contribution. Please remember that private (individual) donations made to the Red Cross will be matched by the Government of Canada, so $50 becomes $100, and $500 turns into $1,000. You can donate here:

On a Professional Level -- How Can We Help?

CMCs all know that fire is a major cause of business closure.

Single-location businesses are the most affected since they have minimal redundancy. It's bad enough to lose your building, furniture and fixtures, original documents, and records but maybe there's also purpose-built equipment, proprietary tooling and jigs, engineering drawings, non-digital data that can't easily be backed up, and specialized inventory. Worse of all, customers -- no matter how satisfied -- are forced to look for new suppliers until a business resumes operation. Small wonder that some business owners can't face the thought of starting over again.

This means that some people will lose not just their homes but also their livelihoods.

I'm not sure what we can do to help, but it is obvious that our membership possesses considerable expertise that could be brought to bear on the situation. If anyone on the ground in Alberta could suggest some way of coordinating things, perhaps we could help some of these businesses get back on their feet?