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Steelworkers Humanity Fund donates $20,000 in emergency assistance in response to B.C. wildfires

September 1, 2023

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund (SHF) is donating a total of $20,000 to provide support in response to the most recent wave of wildfires affecting parts of British Columbia.

B.C. is experiencing one of the worst fire seasons on record with more land affected than previous record-breaking years. Thousands of people have been put on evacuation orders or alerts, and hundreds of homes lost to wildfire in the Okanagan and Shuswap regions. United Steelworkers (USW) Locals 1-423 (Kelowna/Okanagan), 1-417 (Kamloops/Thompson), 7619 (Highland Valley) and 1944 (Telus) all have affected members within their ranks.

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is responding to two emergency appeals. One by the Canadian Red Cross, with a $10,000 donation to support evacuees in need with emergency lodging and basic necessities, recovery assistance and psychological support. Another $10,000 will support the Shuswap Community Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund, which will provide small grants for infrastructure repair and restoration, community engagement and rebuilding, community support and community resilience in the Shuswap region.

“The recent forest fires in B.C. have shown once again that as global temperatures rise, Canada is not immune to increased climate disasters,” said Marty Warren, President of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund and National Director of the USW.

“We are in solidarity with the communities that are facing the daily and ongoing effects of the fires on their lives and will continue to advocate for policies that reduce our carbon footprint and do not leave any workers and their families behind,” Warren said.

Anyone wishing to donate can visit the Shuswap Community Foundation Emergency Response Fund or Canadian Red Cross British Columbia Fires Appeal websites.

Founded in 1985, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund is a registered charitable organization that focuses primarily on development projects and emergency aid in developing countries but also supports Canadian communities. USW members contribute to the fund through clauses negotiated into collective agreements. In some cases, employers make matching contributions to the fund.

For further information:

Marty Warren, President, Steelworkers Humanity Fund, 416-544-5951

Guillaume Charbonneau, Executive Director, Steelworkers Humanity Fund, 416-544-5944, gcharbonneau@usw.ca

Shannon Devine, USW Communications, 416-938-4402, sdevine@usw.ca

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