Canada Needs Our Help: The Fund for Fort McMurray Mediation
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Posted by: Brennan Frazier
Canada needs our help. In the aftermath of the fire that ravaged Fort McMurray, destroyed over 2,400 buildings and forced the evacuation all 94,000 residents, The Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society (AAMS) is quickly putting together an infrastructure of on-site mediation and arbitration resources.
Alberta’s best trained and most experienced mediators, arbitrators, facilitators and restorative professionals are mobilizing in what may be the largest-ever single volunteer dispute resolution initiative of its kind. But we need funds to feed, house and transport them on rotational scheduling between various crisis centers over the period of several months and we can’t do it alone. We are asking help from those who probably most understand this unique situation - the legal community and mediation practitioners themselves.
Americans understand tragedy and its aftermath all too well. Whether it was 9/11 or the Northridge earthquake or Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew. Americans know well that surviving a disaster of this type is just the beginning of the process. The next challenges to be faced include:
- Resolving insurance settlements through bank-insurance-victim negotiations
- Planning with contractors for timeliness and consistent quality in rebuilding much of an entire city
- Coordinating the efforts of many charities and social service agencies to avoid confusion and duplication in some areas while other are omitted
- Facilitating immediate government assistance, assuring temporary and then permanent essential services
- Addressing supply chain logistics
as well as dealing with difficult family / workplace / volunteer dynamics of over 94,000 highly stressed people in the "new normal" that becomes life after a major disaster.
These are but a few of the hundreds of issues that have been identified as requiring immediate attention.
What The Fund Will Accomplish For Fort McMurray
The Alberta Arbitration & Mediation Society is a federally registered charity with the Canadian Government and with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The fund will ensure a corps of pro bono mediators available to all citizens and businesses impacted by the wildfires.
- AAMS will make available functional mediation facilities in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Fort McMurray and at nearby work camps and oil production facilities.
- AAMS will also provide temporary housing and transportation as needed for the volunteers.
- In addition, AAMS will make the necessary scheduling & back office operations needed to support these processes available to the volunteers and the public.
None of this will be inexpensive and to accomplish this mission AAMS needs your help. Your donation to The Fund for Fort McMurray Mediation will provide support for Canadians to help themselves through this tragedy. While we may not be close enough to offer temporary housing or to deliver canned goods, the American legal and ADR community can step up and help with their recovery by supporting The Fund for Fort McMurray Mediation.
In addition, AAMS will raise awareness of this relief offering of mediation, its benefits, and the availability of this process at no charge to all impacted individuals and businesses by making informational content available to media outlets and others for the purpose of publication.
Canada has a rich history of helping others and we hope that you will do the same for them in their time of need. If you have any questions about the Fund or the program please do not hesitate to contact AAMS.
Donations may be made online by clicking here or by mail to:
11525 - 23 Avenue, Suite 203
Edmonton, AB, Canada T6J 4T3