Four Canadians now confirmed among quake victims
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Thursday, January 14, 2010 7:18PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 12:42AM EDT
At least four Canadians are now confirmed dead in Haiti, including an RCMP officer, while a number are still missing after a devastating earthquake Tuesday.
The body of RCMP officer Sgt. Mark Gallagher, of New Brunswick, was found in the rubble of his Haitian home. Another officer, Supt. Doug Coates, of Ottawa, is still missing.
Early Friday morning, Lisa Gallagher, of Woodstock, N.B., told CTV's Canada AM that she had heard from her husband about 30 minutes before the quake struck.
He was in Haiti working as a mentor with local police forces, she said.
"He basically called to say he had decided not to go to the office and had gone straight to his apartment and was going to get some sleep," she said.
The Prime Minister's Office said Gallagher was the first Canadian police officer to be killed on active duty in an international peacekeeping operation.
In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences.
"(My wife) Laureen and I extend our deepest sympathies to Mark's wife Lisa and their two children Shane and Heather. We continue to pray that searchers will find RCMP Superintendent Doug Coates alive.
"We thank those Canadian police officers who remain in Haiti for their ongoing efforts to help in this tragic episode in the country's history."
Harper said that Gallagher was one of almost 100 Canadian police officers currently part of the UN mission in Haiti.
Former longtime Montreal university professor and former Haitian cabinet minister Georges Anglade and his wife Mireille also died in the disaster.
They were killed when their family home collapsed on in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.
Anglade was one of the founders of the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, where he was a professor for 30 years, retiring in 2002.
Their daughter, Dominique Anglade, told CTV's Power Play that her parents spent three months a year in Haiti.
She said surviving family in Haiti held a ceremony for them Thursday. Her family is deeply upset, but it is now focusing on the next steps to help the country.
"I lost my parents, I lost an uncle, I lost two cousins. It's a personal tragedy obviously, but it's also a national disaster for the whole country," she said.
The other Canadian confirmed dead is Yvonne Martin, 67, from Elmira, Ont.
She was confirmed killed on Wednesday. She was among a group of seven nurses who arrived in Port-au-Prince around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Martin, who was there to help set up mobile health clinics in poor, rural areas, arrived in Haiti just 90 minutes before the quake struck.
When the quake hit, the guest house the nurses were staying at collapsed, trapping Martin.
Meanwhile, former Quebec Liberal MP Serge Marcil was found alive Thursday. He was rescued by United Nations officials and taken to Miami.
Bernard Poulin, a friend of Marcil, told CTV's Power Play that he was likely sent to a hospital that specializes in bone fractures, and that his injuries are likely not life-threatening.
Marcil's son works in Quebec Premier Jean Charest's office.
Charest said he knows very little about Marcil's condition, and says he is frustrated trying to get any details out of Haiti. Marcil had been missing since the earthquake first struck the country.
There are an estimated 6,000 Canadians in Haiti, according to government estimates.
The Canadian embassy in Port-au-Prince has been sheltering roughly 100 of those and assisting another 48 since the quake struck, according to a statement from Ottawa.
Staff at the embassy have been providing food, water, shelter and blankets to those who have sought refuge at the compound.
Canada will also begin evacuating Canadians from Haiti on Thursday aboard a C-130 Hercules military aircraft. The first group of over 100 evacuees is expected to arrive at Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, reports CTV's Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife.
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, who is heading to Montreal to meet with that city's large Haitian community, is expected to meet the evacuees at the airport.