I’m just a Canadian and a woman with an opinion, just like everyone else. Right now though, I want my opinion out there  in the open because I keep seeing things online that have upset me greatly as of late. Instead of becoming a united front in the face of a disaster, all I’ve seen is bickering, complaining and pointing fingers as to why things were done one way instead of another.

Tragedy’s rarely happen in Canada, and as a Canadian I am truly grateful. Why? Because of all the horrible disasters that have gone on in the world as of late, whether it be massive earthquakes, devastating tornadoes, or flooding, it’s been everywhere but our home sweet home. I know I should knock on wood, but we’re pretty lucky to be where we are as a nation. So when something like this happens, it’s something we all feel. Or so I thought anyways.

That being said, a great tragedy has happened to us as a nation we watched an entire city get taken over by a ravaging wildfire and thousands upon thousands of residents having to flee their homes, their possessions and their lives to reach safety. My heart hurts for all those who lost everything, or those who don’t know what they’re going back home to yet. Being a victim of a fire, while obviously not as widespread and as large as Fort Mac, I know the feeling of being upended, not being able to go home and not knowing what the damages really are. It’s tough, it’s scary and it’s absolutely exhausting. I may be a lonely girl from Ontario, but please know I am thinking about each and every single one of you – residents, rescuers and all the volunteers. You guys are the real heroes and I wish you all the strength in the world to get back on your feet because I KNOW it’ll be tough, but you’ll definitely pull through.

What’s upsetting me though, is the attitude and hate I’ve been seeing and hearing from a lot of people online. Of course there are people who have donated food, money, possessions and their homes to those who were displaced but there are also people out their criticizing the moves of our politicians and what they “chose” to do or not to do.  Instead of coming together to support our neighbours in Alberta, we’re too busy whining and complaining about how PM Trudeau chose to go about the tragedy.

Trudeau is a leader of an entire country so it’s 100 per cent understandable that he didn’t just drop everything and go to Fort Mac , Alberta. It’s 100 per cent understandable that the leader of Canada wasn’t in an unstable, unpredictable and unsafe environment that has yet to be remotely contained. People are saying he doesn’t care and that he’s privileged because he grew up differently than all Canadians, but let’s be real here, how many other “privileged” people are dropping everything and heading to the prairies? He has a country to run, he has decisions to make and he has a team he needs to handle.

Well what about denying foreign help, you ask? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m fairly sure Canada is well-equipped with their very own task force to handle such disaster. I get more help is better BUT, in all honesty who wants to delegate and keep track of Russian water bombers, Mexican firefighters and Canadian rescuers when we have the resources. This fire will burn for months, and why waste another country’s resources when there’s nothing they can do now but try and contain it, and keep it from growing. The one thing I wish I did hear about is foreign countries coming to aid when it comes to donating money to help. I know we’re extremely nice, as our reputation proceeds us, but I haven’t heard of a single dime from other countries helping us out in our time of need. We have donated to all major disasters for the longest time, so now where’s our support?

As for the money factor, the government already has a plan in place to donate to natural disasters. His pledge to match all Red Cross Canada donations is on top of the federal money already given, so people need to shut up about that. Stop saying too much was given to the Syrian refugees and saying it should have gone to Fort Mac. A) The plan to bring in the refugees was put in place by Harper, Trudeau just came through. Also, the money was already budgeted towards that plan. B) It’s not like they predicted there would be a wildfire in Alberta in 2016 in the middle of a dry spell. It’s nature, not science and you cannot, no matter WHAT you do, control the environment. Mother Nature is a force of her own and she does what she wants.

And to those who keep bringing on the hate, and literally posting all about it anywhere and everywhere they get, just shut up. We understand you’re not a fan of Trudeau, your Facebook posts have already told me that – constantly. Why instead can’t you focus on the good deeds popping up instead? Like the doorbell camera capturing the heroic efforts of firemen trying to save the home? Or of the post of Fort Mac residents posting pictures of what they grabbed in a hurry and have no need for? Or of West Jet allowing Fort Mac passengers and their pets on board to fly to safety? There is SO much good coming out of such a sad event and I feel like people are forgetting to focus on the people.

Let’s focus on the fact that no lives have been lost. Fire is a savage beast, wild and untamed. It’s a crazy miracle that nobody has been hurt or killed in such a massive and insane force of nature. I hope they get down to the bottom of how it started and I hope this fire is contained and put out as soon as humanly possible, but we’ll only be able to see in time what will happen.

I hope and pray the residents of Fort Mac will be able to soon start rebuilding their lives and getting back to some sort of normalcy – even though it may take awhile. If you live there and you’re reading this, I’m thankful you’re alive and while I know you’re probably going to have a tough couple of months or even years, just remember this: you survived. Possessions can be replaced but your life is precious and I hope you are able to see some hope through all the smoke.

Lastly, I’m sorry this is so long. Love it or hate it, I had to say it. I get overly passionate about stuff like this and it bothers me when the first thing that comes to people’s mind is blame our leader. I’d rather him take selfies with Canadians and earn back their trust than being a complete douche bag of a human and taking pictures with firemen in front of a raging forest fire for publicity. You pick, it’s your choice but stop hating and start being the nice, friendly and heartwarming Canadian I know you are.



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