Canadians home from Caribbean: minister

Lynette Rowe
September 13, 2017

Fitzpatrick says the workers were allowed to disembark, but airport and civil aviation authorities wouldn't allow Air Canada to board the passengers, who had been waiting at the airport.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland talks to reporters about disaster relief as the Liberal cabinet meets in St. John's, N.L. on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.

"We are very aware of how frightening, how worrying this situation is, and I am not going to rest until everybody is back and safe". Both have family who live there.

Freeland said a C-17 Globemaster aircraft will be delivering relief supplies, and will be available to bring home any additional Canadians still in the region later in the week.

Many noted that the USA and several other countries had deployed their militaries to evacuate citizens and wondered why Canada hadn't done the same and was instead relying on commercial airlines.

Both Freeland and Transport Minister Marc Garneau thanked the staff of commercial Canadian airlines for the hard job of bringing Canadian citizens back home, amid mounting criticism that the Liberal government should have used its military assets instead of relying on civilian airlines to ferry its citizens back. So I can understand people saying: "'Hey, where are the airplanes?'"

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Bibeau said officials are now on the ground there assessing how Canada might help with humanitarian aid and rebuilding.

That woman finally got a WestJet flight to Toronto on Monday. An estimated 70 per cent of the homes were damaged or destroyed by Irma and four people have died, according to the Dutch government.

"I could hear her screaming", Mary told a CBC reporter in the terminal at Toronto's Pearson International Airport Monday night when Murphy arrived back in the country on an Air Canada flight.

Freeland's parliamentary secretary, Omar Alghabra, said additional staff have been brought in to the government's response centre in order to deal with the additional workload.

"I certainly understand how (the Canadians still in the region) are feeling stressed and I can understand how their relatives are feeling stressed", Garneau said. "But quite often there is a logical explanation".

A representative for the Canadian airline said the flight will be picking up Canadians, Americans and Europeans stuck on the island.

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