691 Canadians home from Caribbean: minister

Stranded travellers and opposition critics had lambasted evacuation efforts

Pedestrians walk by a flooded car on a street as Tropical Storm Irma hits Charleston, S.C., Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says all Canadians who wanted help have had the chance to get out of the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean.

She told reporters ahead of a federal cabinet meeting today in St. John’s, N.L., that 691 Canadians have now returned from widespread devastation in Turks and Caicos and St. Maarten.

READ: WestJet to rescue Canadians stranded by hurricane Irma St. Maarten

Bibeau said officials are now on the ground there assessing how Canada might help with humanitarian aid and rebuilding.

Stranded travellers and opposition critics had lambasted an evacuation effort that many said was slower and less organized than American operations.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau told reporters he understands the frustration over delays and communication problems but it was a complex situation.

Garneau said the government mobilized right away but there were issues getting commercial flights cleared for take-off in those countries.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet are in St. John’s for two days of meetings expected to include North American Free Trade Agreement talks and reaction to hurricanes Irma and Jose.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Alleged affair leads to assault in Princeton

Remorse and a clean record result in suspended sentence

Pepperoni costs Hedley man $500

A Hedley man enjoyed a snack and then refused to pay for it - landing him in court

OSNS #SmileWithOtis making the rounds in Penticton

The 38th annual Shaw Share a Smile Telethon in support of OSNS is Saturday

Penticton treatment centre owner says she plans to raise the bar in care

Michelle Jansen has been an outspoken advocate for the development of rules

Biosphere designation boosts national park drive

Certification outlines conservation as key part of sustainable tourism development

Run, hide, fight — surviving an active shooter situation

A former Kelowna cop teaches how to survive an active shooter situation

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey, White Rock

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness to kick off season

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

B.C. church defaced with disturbing anti-Christian graffiti

Staff at Crossroads United Church reported the vandalism to police late last week

PayPal ordered to disclose business accounts to Canada Revenue Agency

Online payments company has 45 days to hand over information identifying its account holders

Federal government to boost treatment options for opioid drug users: minister

More than 2,800 people died last year as a result of the overdose crisis

Ambulance design changes urged after B.C. man falls out, dies

A coroner’s jury makes recommendations after hearing about death of Ebony Aaron Wood

Suspects in Penticton shooting caught on video

RCMP released CCTV video of a shooting incident at Fairhaven House

Most Read