Hon. Brian Francis: This question is for Senator Gold.
Last week, the Canadian Red Cross announced that more than $11 million had been distributed to people impacted by Hurricane Fiona. However, serious questions and concerns about the rollout have been raised by Islanders who registered for assistance.
For example, seniors and others struggling had to wait in line for hours just to verify their identity and receive $250. Those with mobility issues were provided with no accommodation.
What is the Government of Canada doing to ensure that the Canadian Red Cross is distributing funds to Islanders in an inclusive, transparent and accountable way as soon as possible?
How will the Government of Canada ensure this demeaning, complicated and exclusionary situation is not repeated in future crises?
Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question and reminding us all that, although the hurricane came and went, its effects are still being felt with, in many cases, devastating consequences to our fellow citizens.
The Government of Canada is pleased to have partnered with the Red Cross, as it has done in the past, and pleased that Canadians have been so generous. The government is matching those funds, as you know.
I apologize for not knowing the details of the situation that you described. I will look into it as quickly as I can and report back to the chamber.