The government may soon reach a "tipping point" where it will have to conclude that some of the Canadians still unaccounted for in Haiti are dead, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said on Monday.
Cannon said the known Canadian death toll from the Caribbean country's Jan. 12 earthquake has increased to 34, and 50 Canadians remain missing.
"There will come a time when we will have to just acknowledge that a number of these people are now deceased," Cannon said in Ottawa.
He said RCMP identification units are still working in Haiti to identify bodies that continue to be pulled from the ruins. He also said consular officials are still attempting to follow up on information about people who were last spotted at different places.
But he said it's "getting to a point, a tipping point, where we will have to be able to make that determination" that they are dead.
"That will mean that indeed all the recourses have run the gamut."
Cannon also said Canada is withdrawing some of its forces from Haiti, taking into account the capacity of the Haitian government, the United Nations and other humanitarian participants.
The government is asking Canadians in Haiti to seek commercial transportation to Canada, Cannon said.