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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Father recounts narrow escape from Shuswap houseboat fire

Saskatchewan group overwhelmed by kindness of Sicamous, Salmon Arm communities

Salmon Arm RCMP’s busy long weekend punctuated by motorcycle collisions

Air ambulance brought in for Friday afternoon crash in Tappen

UPDATE: Wildfire north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake being held

No further spread of fire in Marble Point area expected

Body of 21-year-old man found in Okanagan Lake

BC Coroners Service is investigating the circumstances of the man’s death

Shuswap wineries medal at national championships

Celista Estate Winery, Ovino Winery represent region at All Canadian Wine Championships

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Merritt man arrested after allegedly touching children inappropriately

Skylar Mcleod, 24, is facing six charges, including one for sexual interference

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

‘The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging’ - RCMP

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

Masks urged for some students returning to Vernon schools

Phase two sees students return full-time Sept. 8

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

Water draws Okanagan artists together for exhibit

Gallery Vertigo open house Saturday for Spirit of Water

Most Read