Statement by the PM on the disaster in Haiti

Ottawa, Ontario
13 January 2010

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today made the following remarks on the disaster in Haiti:

“This morning, I expressed all of my deepest condolences and the condolences of the Canadian people towards Haiti.

“This is a disaster of tremendous proportions.  And it is even more than that.  We all understand it is in a country where there have already been too many problems.

“I have spoken with President Obama.  Our governments are cooperating closely, particularly on the deployment of a response.  We will closely coordinate as we move forward.

“The first priority is search and rescue.  We will have to do some response to the needs of people, but the first priority is to try to get to those people who may still be alive and can be saved.  As the days progress, we will be working on a wide range of humanitarian and other responses through our various departments here.

“You have all the thoughts and prayers of the Canadian population, not just because everyone understands that it is an enormous disaster in a country that really cannot afford such a disaster, and that already has terrible problems, but because there are so many Canadian families with relatives there.  I know many people are losing sleep over this and worrying.  Our hearts are with all of them.

“I can assure you that we are acting as quickly and as comprehensively as we can.”