(No. 12 - January 13, 2010 - 2:20 p.m. EST) The following is an edited transcript of a statement made to media by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on the situation in Haiti. The statement was made in the House of Commons foyer at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.
"Canada is deeply concerned by the events unfolding in Haiti in the aftermath of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake which occurred earlier today.
"The Government of Canada extends its sympathies to those affected by the earthquake. Our thoughts are with the people of Haiti and Canadians of Haitian descent who are worried about their loved ones.
"We are monitoring the situation very closely and working with local authorities. Government of Canada officials are making contact with trusted humanitarian partners in the region to identify humanitarian needs resulting from this earthquake.
"To date, we do not have confirmation of any Canadian citizens affected.
"Officials in Ottawa and at the Canadian Embassy in Port-au-Prince are closely following the aftermath of the earthquake, and I will continue to inform you of any developments.
"Canada stands ready to provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens as required.
"Haiti is our second-largest aid recipient. We have close ties to Haiti, so we obviously stand ready to assist.
"We invite Canadian citizens who are in the affected area to call home and reassure their loved ones, even if they have not been affected by this event."
Canadian citizens in Haiti requiring emergency consular assistance should call Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada's Emergency Operations Centre collect at 613-996-8885, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in Haiti should contact the Emergency Operations Centre by calling 1-800-387-3124 or, for those in Ottawa, 613-943-1055. They may also send an email to email@example.com.
For more information, including advice on how to help those affected by the disaster, please visit Earthquake in Haiti.
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For further information, media representatives may contact:
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada