Statement by Minister Cannon on Situation in Chile

(No. 91 - March 3, 2010 - 10:15 a.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding the situation in Chile:

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday to offer his condolences following the devastating earthquake. The Prime Minister underscored Canada’s support to the Government of Chile as it responds to the crisis.

“Our Embassy in Santiago continues to make every effort to locate Canadians in the area. Canadian Embassy officials are in the city of Concepción assessing the extent of the damage and reaching out to Canadians who we understand are in the region, but with whom the Embassy has not yet been able to make contact.

“Overall, we have reached 746 Canadians (from 520 reported yesterday). We are actively seeking to locate a further 256 Canadians in the region. Our Operations Centre has received more than 6,000 calls to date.

“I encourage all Canadians who are in the affected areas to call or email home to reassure their loved ones, even if they have not been affected by this event.

“My colleague, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced yesterday that the Government of Canada will provide up to $2 million for urgent humanitarian assistance. This timely response will support the Government of Chile’s efforts to meet the needs of those affected by this disaster. 

“The Government of Canada will work closely with trusted partners on the ground in support of the Government of Chile’s efforts.” 

For up to date information, including on assistance for Canadians in Chile, please visit Earthquake hits Chile.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications

Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada