Mike Davies

No matter how you feel about Fort Mac…

As everyone who hasn’t been in a cave without an Internet connection for the past few days knows, Fort McMurray, Alta. is on fire.

There seem to be two distinct and contrasting views on Fort McMurray, in general. Some see the city as a valuable economic driver of our society, providing good paying trades jobs to many people from all over this land, enabling those people to feed and clothe their families using their hard work and sacrifice, living uncomfortably and going without seeing their loved ones for weeks at a time so those loved ones can live lives of comfort.

Others see it as full of overpaid people blowing their money on big, lifted trucks and frivolous superficiality while they pollute the only world we have by sucking its natural resources out of the ground to be burnt. But no matter what your thoughts on the place itself – and it’s raison d’être – you need to realize that the residents of that town are people who, as I write this, are running from actual flames.

Regardless of how you see them and their role in our world, these are people who are fleeing their new reality: if they stay they will likely be burnt alive.

They have frightened children they have woken from sleep to load into their vehicles. While I am writing this column at my desk in an air-conditioned office, looking outside once in a while wishing I was golfing because it’s such a nice day, they are breathing air thick with smoke and driving through fire to get those children to safety.

So it bothers me when I see people online saying things like, “that’s karma for you,” or, “serves them right,” when what they should be saying is, “what can I do to help?” or sharing links to places to donate, organizations accepting donations or other information that could be of value for people to know.

Also, as a strange and not-so-funny coincidence, Wednesday was International Firefighters’ Day, “a time where the world’s community can recognize and honour the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible,” according to firefightersday.org. “It is also a day in which current and past firefighters can be thanked for their contributions.”

So let me just take a moment, as part of my reaction to what’s happening in Northern Alberta – and in our own province, as well, by the way – to thank those who do what they do to keep us safe.

Thank-you to those who run toward danger when instinct is to run away. Thank-you to those who ask, “what can I do to help?” when it’s easier to turn aside and ignore something.

And thank-you to those who, no matter how they feel about Fort McMurray as a place and what they do there, set those thoughts aside and realize that these are people. Instead of laughing or mocking, share the link to redcross.ca or the fact that you can donate $5 to the cause just by texting REDCROSS to 30333 and keep your thoughts on the place to yourself for a bit.

Just Posted

High-speed internet connectivity for coastal communities one step closer to reality

Sub-sea fibre-optic cable will circle Vancouver Island and connect the North Coast to Vancouver

The Campbell River Festival of Films announces winter season line up

The Campbell River Festival of Films (CRFF) has unveiled its 2018 Winter… Continue reading

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

‘Heavy-handed’ Campbell River bylaw amendment to get ‘tweaks’ before being passed

City looks to control invasives and noxious weeds by holding property owners accountable

Did you get Hitched in Courtenay on Sunday?

The first annual wedding show saw big crowds and included two fashion shows

All the colours of the rainbow, in a cloud

Rare phenomenon spotted at Mount Washington

LIVE: Solitary confinement in Canadian prisons unconstitutional: B.C. Supreme Court

Associations argued that solitary confinement was inhuman

1 in 4 B.C. consumers unable to pay bills, debt repayment: poll

Since interest rates first rose in July, poll suggests households across B.C. have had to tighten budget

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

B.C. husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

Couple presented with Vital Link Awards for quick use of CPR

Kelowna West byelection called for Feb. 14

Four candidate race to replace departed former B.C. premier Christy Clark

Winds up to 100 km/h expected for Vancouver Island

“If you are near the water, it is important to be ‘Coastsmart,’ by staying above the high tide.”

Most Read