TORONTO and OTTAWA — Mining magnate Peter Munk is donating $1-million to the Canadian Red Cross to help the thousands of people who have been displaced by the wildfires in the Fort McMurray area – a crisis that the philanthropist said reminds him of his own past as a refugee and marks an opportunity for Canadians to unite.
The Peter and Melanie Munk Charitable Foundation will on Friday announce the pledge, which will build on the roughly $11-million in donations that have flowed to the Red Cross fund dedicated to supporting those affected by the fire. The federal government announced Thursday that it will match all charitable donations to the organization, including those that had already been made.
Jean-Philippe Tizi, vice-president of emergency management at the Red Cross, said the money will be used to meet the immediate physical and psychological needs of affected citizens. But he added that the donations will also be used to help people rebuild their lives. “It’s going to take four or five years, but we’ll be there as long as it takes,” he said.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Mr. Munk said the footage of residents fleeing a burning city conjured thoughts of his own parents escaping a besieged Budapest during the Second World War. Continue Reading →