Updating Canadians on Hurricane Fiona and on the situation in Iran
I’m joined today by ministers Anand, LeBlanc, Lebouthillier, Hutchings, and Fraser. We’re here to provide an update on what we are doing to support people and provincial governments in the wake of Hurricane Fiona. As you know, the storm has passed, but thousands of homes are still experiencing power outages. And the scale of the damage means that people are still facing a tough time. Many parts of Nova Scotia and PEI, as well as southwestern Newfoundland, continue to experience the effects and damage left by the winds and coastal flooding.
We are also seeing the damage from flooding and winds in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, including on the Magdalen Islands and in eastern New Brunswick. There will be a lot of work to do in the coming days and months to clean up and rebuild, but I know that Canadians will be there for one another, as always.
I want to offer my condolences to the loved ones of the woman who lost her life in Port aux Basques and to the loved ones of the person who passed away in Prince Edward Island. Canadians are thinking of you in these difficult times. Our thoughts are also with people who’ve lost homes or businesses. People have been evacuated and aren’t sure when they’re going to be able to get home. People who are having difficulty accessing services and support due to road washouts and debris, and people with young kids who won’t be going to school today. I want, of course, to thank first responders for their incredible work this weekend and the work they continue to do, as well as thanking Atlantic Canadians who, as always, are being good neighbours to one another, looking out for each other, because that’s what Atlantic Canadians do. That’s what all Canadians do.
It’s traumatic to see your home destroyed or to have to be evacuated during an emergency. These are very difficult situations. I can tell you that everyone on the ground is working hard to support the communities affected. Yesterday, I reconvened the Incident Response Group with ministers and senior officials, who are actively working with their provincial counterparts and with First Nations communities. I also spoke with the mayors of Charlottetown, Port aux Basques and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, and, of course, with our team of local MPs who are with people on the ground.
Our government quickly approved requests for federal assistance from provinces. In Nova Scotia, the Canadian Armed Forces are available to clear road links and to restore electricity. On PEI, some smaller communities are isolated and tens of thousands remain without power. The Canadian Armed Forces have arrived to help remove debris from roadways and assist in the restoration of the power grid. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the federal government is helping by providing detailed aerial imagery and mapping of damages. We’re also deploying military personnel to support local authorities on the ground. Naval vessels and aircraft are also on high readiness to assist if necessary. The one thing that’s been consistent in my calls to premiers, mayors, and MPs is that Canadians are stepping up for each other and helping their communities get through this tough time. I will be visiting the affected regions as soon as possible this week and I want all people in the Atlantic provinces and Eastern Quebec to know that we are here for you.
Just this summer, I had the opportunity to travel to the Atlantic provinces to meet with people and to talk about the issues that are important to them. And I specifically went to the Magdalen Islands, a little earlier, a month ago. It’s an incredible place. Magdalen Islanders are very welcoming and are always there to help one another. I know that they are also used to storms, but this one, it hit hard and we will continue to be there to support them like we are supporting everyone in the region. I can tell you, we will continue to be there, not just in the coming days, but in the weeks and months and, if needed, years to come. As we announced on Saturday, those who want to help can go to the Canadian Red Cross website to make a donation and our government will match donations for the next 30 days.
If Canadians want to help, you can donate on the Canadian Red Cross website and our government will match your donations over the next 30 days. I know Canadians are watching with consternation (inaudible) the images that they’ve seen or like so many Canadians, having friends and family members in Atlantic Canada that we’ve been worried about, it’s an opportunity to step up and give what we can to support people on the ground. And, like I said, the government will match those donations to the Red Cross.
To end today, I would like to talk about the situation in Iran. Unfortunately, contempt for human rights in Iran is nothing new.
In the wake of the horrific downing of PS752, the Iranian regime refused to be held accountable, but our government was and is relentless in the pursuit of justice for the families of the victims. We will stop at nothing to ensure that this regime is held to account and that we will support the families until justice is served. We’ve seen Iran disregarding human rights time and time again, and now we see it with the death of Mahsa Amini and the crackdown on protests. To the women in Iran who are protesting and to those who are supporting you:
We stand with you.
We join our voices, the voices of all Canadians, to the millions of people around the world demanding that the Iranian government listen to their people, end the repression of freedoms and rights, and let women and all Iranians live their lives and express themselves peacefully. Today, I’m announcing that we will implement sanctions on dozens of individuals and entities, including Iran’s so-called morality police. This is in addition to some of the toughest measures of any country towards Iran.
Today, I am announcing that we will impose sanctions on dozens of individuals and organizations, including Iran’s so-called morality police. To the women who are protesting and those who are supporting them: we are here for you and with you.