Family of Quebecer missing in Africa reassured Ottawa taking case seriously
fully restore what you have lost.
“but what we can offer is the solemn assurance that government policies have changed and they continue to change.”
some survivors said before the apology that they hoped it would come with action to reduce the number of children in care.
The number of children in outof-home care in saskatchewan was more than 5,200 at the end of september.
Chief bobby Cameron from the Federationofsovereignindigenous nations, which represents 74 First nations in the province, did not attend the ceremony.
He said the apology is empty if it’s not accompanied by action and called for child welfare reform.
“our First nations children are still being ripped away from their families,communitiesandculture,” Cameron said in a statement. “This needs to stop immediately.”
MonTreal — The family of a Quebec woman who went missing with her italian friend in West africa last month says it finally feels federal authorities are taking the case seriously following several frustrating days seeking answers from ottawa.
sherbrooke, Que., native edith blais and her italian friend luca Tacchetto were travelling by car in burkina Faso when all communication with their families abruptly ended dec. 15. Media have reported their disappearance is being treated as a possible kidnapping, but blais’ sister, Melanie bergeron blais, said Monday the family has received no information the pair were abducted.
“it’s a possibility,” bergeron blais said about whether the pair were kidnapped. “There aren’t 1,000 different scenarios of what could have happened. but we’ve received no clues, and we can’t confirm or deny it.”
Tacchetto and blais, 34, were last seen in the city of bobo-dioulasso, in burkina Faso’s southwest, and had planned to drive to the capital of ouagadougou before crossing into neighbouring Togo. blais planned to volunteer with an organization attempting to reforest parts of Togo.
bergeron blais said the family called global affairs Canada’s hotline at the end of december to see whether federal authorities could determine whether the two had crossed the border into Togo and if data from their passports or visas was collected.
after hearing no news for three or four days, the family called back, only to be asked for blais’ passport number.
“The front-line services at (global affairs) were really deficient,” bergeron blais said. “it was confusing. They didn’t seem like they were making an effort.”
The family’s frustrations were assuaged following a meeting sunday with global affairs officials.
“last Friday we really felt were in a bureaucratic impasse,” bergeron blais said from sherbrooke, about 150 km east of Montreal. “but since yesterday it’s been like night and day.”
she attributed the change in approach to media attention since the first report of her sister’s disappearance in a sherbrooke newspaper saturday.
global affairs Canada did not immediately return a request for comment Monday. on sunday, a spokesperson said the department would not make any comment that would be “likely to compromise efforts underway and to endanger the safety of Canadian citizens.”
Marie-Claude bibeau, Minister of international development and Mp for a riding that borders sherbrooke, tweeted saturday: “our teams are doing everything to gather the relevant information, in close co-operation with the burkina Faso authorities.”
italian media are reporting that Tacchetto is a 30-yearold architect from the northern italian town of Vigonza, outside padua. Tacchetto’s father, nunzio Tacchetto, the former mayor of the town, told Corriere del Veneto that he hosted the two travellers at the family home in november while blais received vaccinations for the african voyage.
“on nov. 20, the day after (luca) turned 30, he left with (edith),” he told the news organization. after leaving Vigonza, blais and his son travelled through France, spain, Morocco, Mauritania and Mali before arriving in burkina Faso on dec. 15.
Premier Scott Moe speaks during the apology to Sixties Scoop survivors at the Legislative Building in Regina, Sask., on Monday.
Luca Tacchetto and Edith Blais