January 6, 2005

York Region donates $500,000 to Tsunami relief efforts

NEWMARKET The Regional Municipality of York will donate $500,000 toward the Tsunami relief efforts, following the disaster triggered by the earthquake and tsunamis in South and Southeast Asia.
A motion approved by the Region's Finance and Administration Committee allocates $500,000 from the Region's 2004 budget surplus reserve fund to be issued toward the relief efforts through the York Region chapter of the Canadian Red Cross Society and World Vision Canada.
"York Region residents are devastated by the recent disaster, and the continuing sense of despair as a result of the tragedy," said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  "These funds represent a donation from all of our residents, representing all nine area municipalities of York Region."
York Region is liaising with the Government of Canada, the Ontario Government and other disaster relief agencies and is prepared to assist with the on-going efforts.  The York Regional Police Service, in partnership with the Canadian Federation of Intercultural Friendship (CFIF), continues to accept cash donations at all police stations across the Region.
"York Region is a Character Community, and these funds will significantly help the efforts that continue with our friends in South and Southeast Asia," said Markham Mayor Don Cousens, Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee.  "I know that the communities of York Region pull together in time of need, and I'm proud of our efforts."
The motion, passed by the Finance and Administration Committee, approves the relief funds immediately, prior to the Regional Council meeting later this month.  The Canadian Red Cross Society will receive 75 per cent of the funds, with World Vision Canada receiving the remaining 25 per cent.  Both agencies are fast-tracking all donations so that funds are put to use almost immediately.
York Region residents wishing to make further contributions are encouraged to contact various agencies assisting with the relief efforts, and can access a link to many of these organizations through the Region's Web site at www.york.ca and click on the "Tsunami Disaster Relief" icon.
Media Contact: - Patrick Casey, Director, Corporate Communications, York Region
- (905) 830-4444, ext. 1235 or cell (905) 715-8211
- Email: patrick.casey@york.ca

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