Town will not take evacuees at the present time
The Cochrane Times-Post
 

The Town of Cochrane has made a tough decision at their last council meeting.

Richard Vallée, Director of Protective Service noted “Today we had a discussion with our federal and provincial partners in regards to hosting evacuees. And, after further discussion with municipalities across the Hwy 11 corridor, it was decided that Cochrane would not be hosting anyone from Kashetchewan for the pre-emptive season.”

The town usually commits to the evacuation that begins about mid April and ends October for the flood and fire season.

Vallée continued “We are not saying we are not committed to helping out our neighbours if things get really bad, but, we do have plans that we can address without affecting any agencies in Cochrane. At the present moment, because we do have positive cases in Cochrane of COVID, we find it is prudent if we just don’t participate right now at the first stage of the evacuees.”

Mayor Denis Clement noted that “there were long discussions at the Emergency Operations Control Group with our agencies and there is a huge concern with Lady Minto Hospital being overtaxed and the Porcupine Health Unit as well and the EMS people. They are encouraging us not to move forward due to the fact that our resources are low and being under pressure at this time. As the fire chief says, we will be prudent and the first wave we will forgo and as things calm down in the near future then we will re-examine.”

Vallee told council that it is an issue that the federal government is taking on and there are plans to evacuated to Trenton, Cornwall or another federal facility that will be made available.

“Nobody will be left at home without a safe place to go,” he said.

According to Vallée, some of the people from the north will be accommodated at their own camps in the bush that they do have. The remainder will fit comfortably in the federal facilities.

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