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Support for essential services during the crisis

April 29, 2020

Numerous community actions are taking place to support, recognize, and thank people for helping out or to support essential service workers. New ones are cropping up each day in every town, city, and community. Here are more examples.

Québec City

Ville de Québec was the province’s first municipality to successfully apply the new civil security plan from ASCQ (Association de la sécurité civile du Québec) to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was in fact a lucky coincidence that ASCQ presented its base model to Québec municipalities only just before SARS-CoV-2 hit North America in February. The City will be sharing its generic model with the rest of the province in a series of ASCQ webinars, to give other municipalities a chance to use it and adapt the new plan to their needs.


First responders in Grande Prairie go around to the city’s hospitals every evening and raise a cheer to healthcare workers with a blast of their sirens.

The Peace Health Advisory Council and the Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta (ACFA)’s Grande Prairie chapter are also launching a campaign that asks local kids to write thank-you messages for a mural to be posted at the entrance to hospitals.

New Brunswick

Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire lead singer Serge Brideau ran a special fundraiser in Tracadie, New Brunswick.

Funds went to benefit Accueil Sainte-Famille, a shelter for women victims of family violence and their children, which also offers non-residential counselling and support services and temporary shelter for unexpectedly homeless women and children. The event centred on Brideau shaving off his beard. As word spread of the singer’s sacrifice, two more of the Acadian Peninsula’s celebrated long-beards were inspired to follow suit.

A Moncton family gave $50,000 to help the most vulnerable folks in the region get through the COVID-19 crisis. Moncton’s fire chief (story in French) spoke warmly of the way local people were responding the crisis.

Since the lockdown started, AFMNB (Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick)’s 50 member-communities have taken advantage of technology to start holding virtual council meetings.

The initiative also means that big cities won’t be the only ones webcasting council meetings. Smaller ones now will too, which will open meetings up to a broader segment of the public. The participation rate for the AFMNB mayors’ virtual issue table was over 90% this year, an unprecedented demonstration of how new technologies can improve access.


Local Ottawa restauranteurs stepped in to help those in need by providing meals for underprivileged and older people.

Among them were the Food For Thought Meals Fund program and the Operation Ramzieh project kicked off by the Waverley Restaurant. Owner Abbis Mahmoud donated all the available food from his restaurant. Local stores were quick to jump in, leading to the formation of a new rescue team to provide food for those who need it. Pure Kitchen brought in a Pay it Forward program that encourages patrons to add a donation to their order to fund brown-bag lunches for Ottawa’s frontline medical staff.

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