Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal

June 1, 2016

(This column was adapted from speech I gave last month to the Edmonton Social Planning Council. My thanks to them for the inspiration, and the video.)

And so we begin to say a gradual goodbye to our visitors from Fort McMurray.

As evacuees slowly return to their city and dig into the long, slow messy work of rebuilding, we in Edmonton may feel a legitimate pride.

In a crisis, our community reacted with breathtaking speed and generosity to provide for almost 90,000 displaced people. It was a tribute to the people and institutions of Edmonton, and especially to our not-for-profit sector, as social agencies, large and small, jumped in to action. It was a tribute, too, to the thousands of people who donated their time, their money, their goods, their homes, to the victims of the fire.

We pulled together with incredible spirit, mad creativity, and commendable organizational skill.

The state of emergency brought out the best in us.


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