Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti




It's hard to think of anything else today. We have a huge Haitian population here in Montreal, the largest in the country. Michaëlle Jean, Canada's eloquent and polished Governor General was born in Port-au-Prince, and it was really difficult to watch her struggle to retain her composure during a press conference when she spoke of her many family members there. There are thousands of Canadians working and volunteering in Haiti, people like Sgt. Mark Gallagher from New Brunswick who is working as a mentor for local police and Doug Coates of Ottawa, acting commissioner of a UN mission, both of whom are missing as well as countless other RCMP officers and doctors and volunteers. Some reports say every single building in the capital of Port-au-Prince has been damaged or destroyed.

There is very little potable water for the survivors. There is not enough equipment to find people who are trapped, medical supplies are already used up, and time is running out.

It's hard to know what to do besides making a cash donation. The federal government will match Canadians' donations dollar for dollar. We've chosen the Canadian Red Cross.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has put together a guide HOW CANADIANS CAN HELP and it lists reputable charities and ways to avoid scams.

I can't even turn on the faucet for a glass of water without thinking of the people in Haiti.

Go HERE for a list of links to Canadian organizations who provide financial assistance to Haiti.