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

Vital Information Program part of community preparedness and residents’ safety

The VIP is provided free to seniors, to provide critical information to emergency personnel

Rodeo preparations are year-round

The rodeo season doesn’t gear up till April, but Quesnel riders are already getting ready

Letter: provincial residents should have ability to enjoy nature

Green Party’s Weaver re-introduces bill to increase British Columbian’s access to nature

Quesnel youth Riley Wyssen has amazing goals

Marian Gillard interviews this remarkable young girl and finds a depth well beyond her years

Letter: parents, students, staff have been waiting for new school to replace QJS

Quesnel District Parent Advisory Council wants action from education minister

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Mountain caribou habitat protection target of COS patrols

A patrol by the COS resulted in the location of snowmobiles operating in protected caribou habitat.

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Most Read