Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Governor General of Canada to visit Haiti

Governor General Michaelle Jean, Canada's first Black Governor General, speaks on Jan. 13, 2010 about the crisis in Haiti following its earthquake. (Photograph by: Blair Gable, Reuters)

OTTAWAGovernor General Michaelle Jean will travel to her native Haiti next Monday for a two-day visit of the devastated country that was rocked by a powerful earthquake on Jan. 12.

In making the announcement Tuesday, the Prime Minister's Office said Jean would also make a stop in the Dominican Republic, in what is being described as a "working visit."

"The Governor General will also use the opportunity to underscore the importance of education, culture, women and youth within the broader reconstruction and recovery," a news release said.

Jean was to commend the Dominican Republic for "its leadership in responding to the crisis in Haiti, and will encourage the Dominican Republic to remain engaged in the long-term reconstruction of Haiti, as well as in the development strategy for the Island of Hispaniola."

The trip will mark the first time Jean has visited Haiti since the earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and left tens of thousands homeless.

"We know that the island is experiencing terrible suffering, not only because of the earthquake, but also because of the poverty, which was already endemic before the disaster," said Jean in a news release.

Jean was born in the Haitian town of Jacmel, in 1957.

Several of Jean's family members still live in Haiti, but she has not said much publicly about any deaths among family and friends. She was expected to be accompanied by her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond for the March 8-10 trip, the release said.

© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

Source: Canada.com

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