The wildfire that decimated the city of Fort McMurray this week has been an unimaginable nightmare for the nearly 90,000 people directly affected.
It leveled 2,400 homes and businesses, and has impact tens of thousands of lives in ways that will never be forgotten.
On an economic scale, the catastrophe is without precedent in Canadian history. Up to 9 billion dollars in anticipated costs to the insurance industry. The disruption to our nation’s daily oil production, more than half of which comes out of the Fort McMurray region, has potential impacts on the global price of oil and Canada’s GDP.
If you or your loved ones lived in Fort McMurray, you have the deepest, sincerest sympathy from my Canada-wide MetCredit team.
Metcredit will not be making outgoing collection attempts to debtors from Fort McMurray for several weeks, with an end-date undetermined at this time.
It’s simply what we must do right now.
This decision will affect our agency’s bottom line, and the finances of many of our clients. I anticipate some fallout, and am prepared to face it. Businesses need the money that’s owed to them in order to continue operating. Many of them were already facing dire circumstances before this happened, after nearly two years of a severe economic downturn. As Canada’s top collection agency, the drive to collect and to never accept excuses is in our DNA.
But this is different.
I cannot subject Fort McMurray debtors to any further distress at this time. Nor will I ask my collectors to make calls I would not place myself.
Fort McMurray will rebuild and recover. Its strong, indomitable people will rebuild and rise to prosperity again.
For the rest of us, it is our duty to allow the recovery and the healing to begin.
To my valued clients, join me in temporarily shifting our focus, helping and allowing the people and businesses of Fort McMurray to rebuild as we re-align our own goals. We are the engine left to power this now very fragile economy.
Let’s reset our business goals, and work together to each be the biggest possible part of the solution.
We are all in this together. Those of us so blessed that the wounds are merely peripheral, let’s rally and work like never before. For Fort McMurray. For Alberta. For Canada.
And everything that is worth working for.