Toronto’s Haitian com­mu­nity calls for more help for earth­quake vic­tims

Cape Breton Post - - OUR COMMUNITY -

TORONTO (CP) — About two dozen mem­bers of Toronto’s Haitian com­mu­nity turned out for a ‘March for Hope’ Mon­day to draw at­ten­tion to on­go­ing needs in the quake-stricken coun­try.

Or­ga­niz­ers had ex­pected a much larger crowd of a cou­ple of hun­dred peo­ple to march from Toronto City Hall to the On­tario leg­is­la­ture for a mo­ment of si­lence, pray­ers and speeches.

Speak­ers in­cluded Rose­mary Sadlier, pres­i­dent of the On­tario Black His­tory So­ci­ety.

Karine Morin, whose cousin suf­fered an am­pu­ta­tion and died from a lack of med­i­cal at­ten­tion and whose aunt re­mains miss­ing in Haiti, said be­fore the march that or­ga­niz­ers had three goals.

First was to call on Ottawa to widen the def­i­ni­tion of fam­ily class so HaitianCana­di­ans could spon­sor more of their rel­a­tives to come to Canada.

Sec­ond was to al­low refugees who have yet to re­ceive sta­tus to bring fam­ily mem­bers here, and third was to be­gin an air­lift evac­u­a­tion of all crit­i­cally in­jured Haitians to Canada.

“A lot of peo­ple have lost par­ents and spouses or chil­dren or have nieces or neph­ews or chil­dren and un­cles that are sur­vivors,” Morin said. “They re­ally need this to be broad­ened a bit more.”

She said Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials at an in­for­ma­tion ses­sion last Fri­day in Toronto were com­pas­sion­ate.

“The fact they are go­ing around and set up a spe­cial unit that speaks all three lan­guages — French, English and Cre­ole — is a sure sign they’re will­ing to lis­ten to the peo­ple,” said Morin.

She said the re­sponse from Cana­di­ans, who have do­nated $112 mil­lion to the re­lief ef­forts, in­clud­ing $90 mil­lion from in­di­vid­u­als, has been in­cred­i­ble.

“There’s no bor­ders to this world. We’re all broth­ers and sis­ters and that’s the feel­ing I get from the com­mu­nity in Toronto.”

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