Edmonton

Executive with PCL Construction identified among dead in Ethiopian airline crash

A former Edmonton executive who worked for PCL Construction and was a founding member of an international not-for-profit organization has been identified as one of those killed in Sunday's airline crash in Ethiopia.

Darcy Belanger, graduate of the University of Alberta, one of 18 Canadians killed

Darcy Belanger, an executive with Edmonton-based PCL Construction, has been identified as one of 18 Canadians killed in Sunday's airline crash in Ethiopia. (PCL Construction)

An executive with Edmonton-based PCL Construction who was a founding member of an international peace organization has been identified as one of the Canadians killed in Sunday's airline crash in Ethiopia.

Darcy Belanger, a graduate of the University of Alberta, was one of the 18 Canadians who died in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

He was a founding member and director of strategic initiatives for Parvati.org, a not-for-profit dedicated to addressing poverty and hunger around the world, the organization said Monday in a post on its website.

"Admired for his courage, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities, Darcy was a hero in every sense of the word," Parvati.org said. 

Watch: A video blog from Darcy Belanger on his way to Nairobi posted by Pavarti.org

Belanger was traveling to Nairobi for the United Nations Environment Assembly, the organization said. As part of his work with Parvati.org, he was an advocate for a project called the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary.

"Darcy was truly a champion and a force of nature, one whose passing leaves an unimaginable gap in this work as well as in the lives of his family, friends and colleagues. Yet he also leaves us with a deep determination to honour his legacy of courage, compassion and focus."

Pam Bryan, who also volunteered at Parvati.org, said she worked with Belanger for the past three years and praised him for his vision and ability to see the big picture.

"Whatever Darcy did, if he was going to do something he would do it with 100-per-cent commitment and sincerity. He was very inspiring to work with."

Bryan said it was emotionally difficult for other volunteers with the organization to be attending the meetings in Nairobi knowing Belanger is not there to help guide them.

She said Belanger moved to Denver about 18 months ago for his job with PCL Construction.

He was the company's director of U.S. professional development.

"The entire PCL family of companies across Canada and the United States are deeply shocked and saddened about the untimely passing of one of our own," the company said in a statement. 

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