Fort McMurray Fire: Tory MP Accuses Liberals Of Taking Advantage Of Tragedy

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The subject line read: "United for Fort McMurray."

The body of the email — sent to Liberal Party supporters Thursday — featured a picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, and interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose meeting to discuss the devastating wildfire that has displaced more than 80,000 people.

The email linked to the Canadian Red Cross and reminded recipients that the federal government will match donations for Fort McMurray relief.

justin trudeau rona ambrose

But at the bottom of the email, Liberals were also encouraged to donate to the party.

And that ask did not sit well with Conservative MP Matt Jeneroux, who represents the riding of Edmonton Riverbend.

Jeneroux rose in question period Monday to charge that as organizations and business unselfishly come together, the Liberal government was trying to benefit from a natural disaster.

"The Liberals took a non-partisan meeting with the official Opposition and turned it into a Liberal Party fundraising email," Jeneroux said.

"Can the prime minister explain how it is appropriate for the Liberals to take advantage of this tragedy for a partisan gain?"

As Goodale rose to respond, he faced a few shouts of "shame" from across the aisle.

'All Canadians stand together'

The public safety minister said the federal government has been supporting the Alberta government "every step of the way." Officials have been working with the Canadian Red Cross, first-responders, and businesses to make sure Fort McMurray has the support it needs, he said.

"Every agency and department of this government has been thoroughly engaged to make sure that all Canadians stand together. And surely it's a time for that, not that!" he said, pointing back at Jeneroux's direction.

Ambrose thanked Trudeau, Goodale for meeting

The exchange deviated from the non-partisan remarks Ambrose delivered last Thursday on the wildfire. In a speech to the House of Commons, Ambrose thanked both Trudeau and Goodale for meeting with her "at short notice," and for "making sure that all of us, particularly MPs who live in the region, have all of the updated information."

Trudeau, who spoke to the House about how Canadians come together in difficult times, hugged the interim Tory leader at the conclusion of her speech.

Hours later, however, the Conservative Party released a video to Facebook critical of how the prime minister made a "Star Wars" joke to members of his caucus last week before addressing the situation in Fort McMurray.


"Skip the jokes, and make a real difference," the Facebook post read, linking to the Red Cross donations page.

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