A big thank you

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - NEWS - PETER LOZINSKI

The Gov­ern­ment of Saskatchewan is thank­ing Prince Al­bert and Saska­toon for wel­com­ing evac­uees with open arms.

Emer­gency So­cial Ser­vices co­or­di­na­tor Deanna Valen­tine thanked the com­mu­ni­ties dur­ing a con­fer­ence call with me­dia Fri­day.

“Both com­mu­ni­ties have been very sup­port­ive of the evac­u­ated res­i­dents, pro­vid­ing en­ter­tain­ment and trans­porta­tion op­tions,” she said.

“The res­i­dents of both Saska­toon and Prince Al­bert have been very wel­com­ing on the whole, and sup­port­ive of the evac­uees.”

Both Saska­toon and Prince Al­bert have al­lowed evac­uees to ride pub­lic tran­sit just by show­ing their wrist­bands so they don’t have to carry change or bus tick­ets.

The City of Prince Al­bert sent out a press re­lease Fri­day of­fi­cially wel­com­ing evac­uees to the city.

“Mayor Greg Dionne would like to for­mally welcome evac­uees who ar­rived in Prince Al­bert last week due to for­est fires in north­ern Saskatchewan,” the re­lease said.

The re­lease also said that in an ef­fort to as­sist fur­ther, Dionne would like to ad­vise evac­uees of lo­ca­tions where they can ac­cess free pub­lic Wi-Fi.

“I’ve met with some evac­uees this week and one of the is­sues that was raised with me was the need for in­ter­net ac­cess,” Dionne was quoted as say­ing.

“So­cial me­dia is the way that many peo­ple are stay­ing in­formed about the progress of the fire sit­u­a­tion and stay­ing con­nected with fam­ily mem­bers that stayed be­hind in other com­mu­ni­ties.”

Free pub­lic ac­cess for all is avail­able at City Hall and at the li­brary. Sask Tel cus­tomers can ac­cess Wi-Fi on their de­vices through Sask Tel Se­lect at sev­eral other city lo­ca­tions.

Valen­tine also had a mes­sage for evac­uees: if you’ve been shop­ping while evac­u­ated, keep in mind that each per­son will only be al­lowed one piece of lug­gage on the bus home. In­di­vid­u­als will have to ar­range for ship­ping of any other items.

The prov­ince also as­sured res­i­dents that their home com­mu­nity is in good hands while they are gone.

Reg­u­lar pa­trols are be­ing held, and RCMP of­fi­cers are even pro­vid­ing food for pets who have been left be­hing.

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