As crews continue to fight raging fires in northern Saskatchewan and families hunker down in shelters, national attention is turning this way – the Governor General toured an evacuation facility in Regina on Wednesday.
David Johnston arrived at Evraz Place in the afternoon and was greeted by a group of people outside. He shook hands, asked questions, and even got a couple of hugs from children.
One of the people he spoke with was Charlene Head from Red Earth First Nation and her family.
“It speaks volumes that he’s here, he’s concerned for our well-being,” said Head.
“It’s a relief, somebody’s noticing what First Nations and other communities are going through. Especially that it effects all people, not just us.”
Accompanied by his retinue, Johnston toured the facility where evacuees were staying.
“What really touches you is to see the families, and to have a sense of the disruption in their lives and how well they’re managing in very trying circumstances,” said Johnston afterward.
He said he came to show solidarity and concern for the evacuees.
“This is one of those tragic events of nature that is really quite dramatic in scale and scope, and whenever something like that happens in Canada, one wants to do what one can.”
Saskatchewan’s Lieutenant-Governor Vaughn Soloman Schofield was with Johnston. She said she’s never been so proud to be from Saskatchewan.
“The volunteers who are working inside are proud, the people who are here because they need to be here are proud of what they have at home, they’re proud of what’s going on here. It’s just a wonderful, wonderful atmosphere in there.”
Johnston echoed that sentiment, talking about the great canadian spirit of helping your neighbour.
“The spirit of volunteerism is so alive and flourishing here, you are amazed to see how people rise to the occasion. It makes your heart feel very good.”