2nd group of Haitian adoptees lands in Canada
A plane carrying 52 Haitian children arrived in Ottawa on Wednesday afternoon, the second such flight bringing orphans whose adoptions have been fast-tracked since the deadly earthquake two weeks ago.
"These children are the second group to arrive in Canada whose adoptions are in the final stages of approval and have been cleared by the Haitian government," said Peter Kent, minister of state for foreign affairs.
The plane arrived at Ottawa International Airport at around 1:45 p.m. ET, with Immigration Canada officials and a medical team aboard.
The children emerged from the plane wearing woolen tuques and hooded jackets — to better tolerate the outside temperatures of about 3 C. They were then wrapped in blankets and carried across the tarmac to the terminal.
On Sunday, a plane carrying 24 young Haitians touched down in Ottawa.
Kent said Canadian Embassy staff in Haiti continue to find and identify all the children who have been cleared for adoption by the Haitian government and by provincial adoption authorities.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has said about 90 children have been approved by Haitian authorities to live with Canadian families.
Kent also said the Canadian death toll in Haiti has risen to 21, with the number of Canadians unaccounted for at 147.
International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda told reporters that Canadian non-governmental organizations have reported that $82.5 million has been raised for Haiti relief, money eligible for matching by the government.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty urged Haiti's creditors Wednesday to cancel Haiti's debts, noting that Canada cancelled all its Haitian debt last fall.
"Haiti's future must be focused on the priorities of its people, not on the liabilities of its past," Flaherty said.
Flaherty called on Haiti's remaining bilateral creditors — Taiwan and Venezuela, specifically — to follow Canada's lead and cancel their debt as soon as possible.
With files from The Canadian Press