ALBERTA

Alberta Flood Relief Donations Pour In From Corporations To Golf Pro

06/24/2013 12:52 EDT | Updated 06/24/2013 12:53 EDT

As thousands of Albertans face, or prepare to face, their worst fears and return to flooded homes to see just how much of their previous lives are left, corporations, and even a golf pro, are stepping up to help those afflicted by the province's floods.

Cenovus Energy, Rogers Wireless, the Canada Revenue Agency, Target, as well as Canadian golf pro Graham DeLaet have all stepped up to help Albertans rebuild their lives following the floods.

Swelling rivers and fast-rising water levels forced thousands from their homes starting last Thursday as currents brought violent destruction in Canmore, resulted in most of High River becoming submerged and saw downtown Calgary ceding all low-lying ground to the Bow River.

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Flooding in Alberta

DeLaet said on Twitter he would donate $1,000 for a birdie and $2,500 for an eagle this weekend. Soon after, ATB Financial and PGA Tour Canada announced they would match the golfer's donations.

When all was said and done, DeLaet raised $36,000 for the Canadian Red Cross.

Oil giant Cenovus Energy Inc. also stepped up, announcing a $1-million donation to relief efforts in Alberta.

The company said the first $250,000 will go to the Red Cross. How the rest of the money will be allocated will be decided in conjunction with community partners, Cenovus said in a statement.

"Our thoughts are with everyone across southern Alberta who is impacted by the devastating floods," said Sheila McIntosh, Cenovus Executive Vice-President Environment & Corporate Affairs.

"We want to acknowledge the amazing work being done by emergency personnel and other agencies to ensure people remain safe." 

Cell phone service provider Rogers Wireless announced a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross and indicated that customers who are interested in making a five-dollar donation can send the text message “ABHELP” to shortcode 4664, with one hundred per cent of the proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross.

Target announced a $50,000 donation also to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts in Alberta.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Calgary and the other affected communities in southern Alberta today," said Tony Fisher, president of Target Canada.

"Our hearts go out to all of those impacted by the flooding, and we hope Target can help our neighbours in those communities recover quickly from this disaster.

According to the Montreal Gazette, donations to the Red Cross to help the organization's relief efforts in Alberta have already reached $2.6 million.

“We always have known that Canadians and Albertans were generous people,” Tracie Moore, communications manager for Red Cross in Alberta, told the Gazette.

In a move that may likely affect many of the corporations affected by the flooding in downtown Calgary, the Canada Revenue Agency announced corporations who are unable to file their T2 returns by July 2 due to flooding can apply to have interest and/or penalties waived or cancelled using Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief.

"The CRA understands that natural disasters may cause great difficulties for affected taxpayers whose primary concerns during this time are their families, homes, and communities," said the agency in a statement.

"The CRA can provide relief to these taxpayers if they are unable to file their returns by July 2, 2013, due to flooding or because of other circumstances beyond their control.

"Business owners and self-employed individuals who were unable to meet their filing and payment obligations are also eligible for relief."

In a move that to many of those directly affected by the flooding will likely mean more than cash donations, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi told media on Sunday how Edmonton firefighters have made their way down to Calgary to work 24-hour shifts pumping out flooded homes.

Meanwhile, safety code inspectors from Lethbridge, another Alberta city dealing with its own flooding woes, have made their way from their home communities and into Calgary to help open up the city following the raging floods.