The COVID-19 pandemic and recent flood are leaving the Royal Canadian Legion 165 battered and bruised.
They’ve lost their entire income since the pandemic forced them to temporarily close their doors, with the flood stopping them from reopening.
Branch President Pat Duggan tells Mix News the next three months will be crucial.
“If we’re not back to some sort of proper operation by late September, early October we’re going to have some real difficult times. We’re fortunate in the sense that we own our own building but utility costs are utility costs, it costs money to put the lights on.”
The Fort McMurray Branch is just one of several Legions across the country who are struggling financially. Many, including the local Legion, have had to layoff staff and are having trouble finding volunteers.
“It was our understanding through insurance that we should have been covered for loss of income for this, but there’s some discrepancy going on with the carrier,” said Duggan. “Right now, no Legion has been able to get insurance coverage.”
Locally, they have been able to get insurance for their flood damage which has helped them in the short-term.
In the meantime, the Legion is hoping to open sooner than first thought.
“We’re looking at full reopening hopefully in September but right now we’re doing a push to get a partial reopening, at least the upstairs for events and bingo and stuff like that, in the coming weeks,” added Duggan.