Then-governor general Michaëlle Jean, pictured at the Lester B. Pearson Building in Ottawa on Jan. 13, 2010, delivering a statement after the federal government responded to the devastating and catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. The earthquake, which happened on Jan. 12, 2010, left an estimated 220,000 to 300,000 people dead, three million people affected, and 250,000 homes and 30,000 buildings devastated or severely damaged. Ms. Jean, who is originally from Haiti, met for an emergency meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs with then prime minister Stephen Harper, and later delivered her statement, first in French then in English. In her sometimes emotional statement, she thanked the prime minister and the Canadian government for their swift response and urged Haitians to stay strong and courageous. The federal government, at the time, sent a massive disaster-relief effort, including planes with helicopters, supplies and equipment and 500 Canadian troops on two Navy ships. The Canadian Red Cross has also distributed 14,400 tons of supplies and has helped out nearly five million Haitians in need, according to its website. Last January, Ms. Jean told The Canadian Press that the massive humanitarian aid effort was a missed opportunity and a ‘failure for the international community.’—KATE MALLOY
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