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Francophone Association Still Waiting to Return to Facility

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Francophone Association Still Waiting to Return to Facility

L’Association Canadienne Francaise d’Alberta, Regionale de Wood Buffalo receives grant funding from the Government of Alberta // Jaryn Vecchio - Harvard Broadcasting.

One of the harder hit organizations in Fort McMurray is receiving funding from the Government of Alberta.

L’Association Canadienne Francaise d’Alberta, Regionale de Wood Buffalo is getting just under $75,000 in grants coming from the Community Initiative Program.

The money will go towards operations, workshops and social activities for children.

However, Regional Director of the French Association Wood Buffalo Angelina Gionet tells Mix News the money won’t help their organization in the long-term.

“Of course, the money is always a need but it’s not going to solve all the problems we have because what we need is our facility.”

Their home, École Boréal, was damaged by the wildfire and is currently undertaking renovations. Since re-entry, they’ve resorted to using a basement suite under the Unifor Building in downtown Fort McMurray.

“Everything is there to do that transition, to go back to that nice school that is waiting for us,” said Gionet.

She says the main reason the school hasn’t re-opened is because of the parents. Gionet adds they want to see an independent environmental test be done in the area before they send their children back

MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo Tany Yao handed the cheque to the association on behalf of the Province on Wednesday. He says re-opening the school is important and will get pushed forward.

He adds the Francophone Association is as important as any other organization in the region.

“There is a misnomer that Alberta and Western Canada is purely English speaking but as you look at the names of the communities and go through a lot of these communities we see that a lot are francophone based and there is a rich French culture here.”

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