Friday, January 15, 2010

Canada to Illuminate Parliament, CN Tower With Haitian Colors

By Greg Quinn

(Bloomberg) -- Canada will illuminate its Parliament and the 1,815-foot CN Tower with the colors of the Haitian flag to encourage donations and express sympathy with the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Haiti’s Red Cross says the quake may have killed 50,000 people. Three days after the magnitude-7.0 tremor hit the capital, destroying homes, hospitals, schools and such landmarks as the presidential palace and national cathedral, thousands of people are wandering the city’s streets.

The earthquake will cost Haiti at least 15 percent of its $7 billion gross domestic product, Pamela Cox, the World Bank’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

“The situation is quite dire,” Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said today at a speech in Toronto. “Tonight, the CN Tower, which is right next to us here, will start showing the national colors of Haiti and encouraging all visitors to the CN Tower and all Canadians to donate.”

Spain, Russia, Germany, Chile and Israel sent field hospitals by air. Poland, Ireland, Canada the U.K., Iceland and Brazil sent rescue workers, as did several U.S. cities, including 80 firefighters and police from New York City.

Canada’s Governor General Michaelle Jean, Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in Canada, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and moved to Canada in 1968, according to her Web site.

“To show solidarity with the people of Haiti, in a small yet special way, starting tonight, the Parliament buildings will be illuminated in Haitian colors,” Dimitri Soudas, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon today said four Canadians died in the quake, and at least 13 were injured. A further 1,415 are unaccounted for, he said.

Canada will match charitable donations for the relief effort up to C$50 million ($48.6 million).

To contact the reporters on this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at

Source: Bloomberg

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