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18 Canadians dead in Haiti including ex-Liberal MP Serge Marcil

By Salim Jiwa     Jan 23, 2010 in World
18 Canadians are confirmed dead and Canada's foreign minister Lawrence Cannon is asking the nation to brace itself for more bad news with 236 still missing in Haiti. One of the latest deaths announced is that of former Liberal MP Serge Marcil.
OTTAWA – Canada’s foreign ministry is reporting 18 Canadians have been confirmed dead in Haiti’s earthquake and the toll is expected to rise.
Among the dead added to the list of Canadian fatalities is former Liberal MP Serge Marcil. He had been reported safe earlier.
But authorities found the body two hours before his wife Christiane Pelchat landed in Haiti on Friday. She confirmed he had been found dead in the ruins of Hotel Montana, where many more bodies are feared buried.
Canada’s foreign minister, Lawrence Cannon, in a statement issued in Ottawa on Saturday said 17 Canadians had died. But his ministry upped the total to 18 on Saturday afternoon.
“The days ahead will not be easy for Canadians who are without news of their loved ones. Our thoughts are with all those families and friends affected by this unprecedented disaster,” said Lawrence Cannon in a statement on Saturday.
“It saddens me to confirm that the number of Canadian fatalities has reached 17 so far. We offer our condolences and prayers to the families and friends of the deceased. Sadly, we expect the number of confirmed fatalities to increase,” he warned.
The expectation that fatalities will rise is based on the fact that there are mounds of rubble in areas where Canadians were located. 236 remain unaccounted for despite days of appeals and searches for them to come forward.
“The number of Canadians unaccounted for in the affected areas has decreased further to 236. The number of Canadians located is now at 1,939,” he said.
Cannon said Canada’s search and rescue efforts have continued for 12 days.
“They have worked closely with international search and rescue teams in efforts to search for survivors and recover the remains of those who did not survive,” he said.
“They have worked on key sites, such as the Montana Hotel as well as sites immediately around the hotel. Other Canadian staff—consular and police—are working in support of the effort at the Montana,” he said.
“Our government is doing everything in its power to assist Canadians affected by this tragic disaster,” he said.
“As you know, this morning the Government of Haiti has declared the search and rescue phase over. The search and rescue efforts were coordinated by the United Nations.
“To date, there were 132 rescues by teams, including Canadian ones. We are also informed that in case there is the slightest sign of life, they will continue to act swiftly.
Cannon said 190 Canadians are at the embassy compound in Port-au-Prince. They are waiting to be evacuated.
“So far, 1,891 Canadians have been evacuated onboard 21 CF flights, including two arriving this morning in Montreal—and an additional 265 on three commercial flights, for a total of 2,156.
“Reports coming from our personnel on the ground in Haiti indicate that critical roads are being opened to the movement and distribution of assistance, but congestion remains a major issue.
A ministerial conference by a group of nations known as Friends of Haiti will be held in Montreal.
More about Canadian deaths, Haiti death toll, Ex-liberal, Lawrence cannon
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