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  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Deaths of Canadians and of Hédi Annabi in Haiti

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January 17, 2010

Message from the Governor General on the deaths of eight Canadians and of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Haiti

OTTAWA—It has now been confirmed that His Excellency Hédi Annabi, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Haiti, has died. Last year on this same date, during my working visit in Haiti, we were together to support reconstruction efforts and ascertain the impact of the assistance being given to communities in south-western and northern Haiti after violent hurricanes devastated the country.

I want to pay tribute to his unwavering commitment, the amazing leadership he showed in co-ordinating MINUSTAH operations, and his tremendous respect for the aspirations of the Haitian people.

We are mourning, in addition to Mr. Annabi, eight Canadians who perished following the terrible earthquake that devastated the Port-au-Prince region.

I am deeply saddened by the deaths of Superintendent Douglas Coates and Sergeant Mark Gallagher of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Both were working with MINUSTAH.

Professor Georges Anglade and his wife, Mireille, also perished under the ruins. They were long-time friends of mine, and my heart is also heavy with sadness because of losing them.

I mourn the deaths of Guillaume Siemienski and Helene Rivard of the Canadian International Development Agency, and of Yvonne Martin, a nurse, and Denis Bellavance, a computer teacher.

I would like to offer my sympathy to their families, friends and colleagues, who have been affected so deeply.

My thoughts are with all those who remain unaccounted for. Every effort is being taken to find them and to evacuate those who were spared by this disaster. The hope of seeing them alive must prevail.

Michaëlle Jean


Media Information:
Annabelle Cloutier
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-993-2569 /