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August 30, 2011
For immediate release

Premier commits $150,000 to Canadian Red Cross capital campaign

Premier's Office

Construction of a new $1 million provincial headquarters and disaster operations centre for the Canadian Red Cross will be kick-started with an investment by the provincial government, says Premier Robert Ghiz.

“The Canadian Red Cross makes a major contribution in helping Islanders affected by personal disasters, and is a key partner in helping deal with emergencies,” said Premier Ghiz. “The Red Cross has outgrown its current facilities and the provincial government is pleased to support the organization as it embarks on an impressive fundraising campaign for a new facility.”

An initial contribution of $150,000 is being made to the Canadian Red Cross from the Island Community Fund this year. A matching amount next year is contingent on Red Cross success achieving milestones with its overall fundraising campaign.

“Our 135-year-old building on Prince Street in Charlottetown has served the Red Cross well for seven decades but all signs point to more frequent and more intense natural and other disasters and emergencies in the future, and we must plan accordingly,” said John L. Byrne, Director General for Atlantic Canada with the Canadian Red Cross. “This campaign and today’s important contribution from the Province helps ensure that the Red Cross will have the infrastructure, equipment, supplies, well-trained disaster volunteers and administrative support to meet the needs of all Islanders well into the future.”

The Canadian Red Cross campaign will also involve donations from corporate, community, government and other partners over the coming months. Designs and potential sites are already under consideration for the new provincial headquarters and disaster operations centre, for which it hopes to begin construction by next spring.

Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Minister Neil LeClair said the Canadian Red Cross provides an essential service to all Islanders. “The new headquarters and disaster operations centre will help reduce critical response times, centralize supplies, provide more training and ultimately better assist in responding to disasters,” he said.

The Island Community Fund is a six-year $27.5 million program established by the provincial government to address infrastructure needs for communities and organizations across Prince Edward Island.

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Media Contact: Wayne MacKinnon
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