Canada’s defense minister says Halifax’s military is building itself an affectionate reputation as the crews of HMCS Halifax and Athabascan work to clean up earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
“They’re being known at the local level by the population as the lumberjacks, they’re calling the crew of the HMCS Halifax the lumberjacks,” said minister Peter MacKay, speaking at an announcement in Truro Thursday.
MacKay says the Canadian forces are working in very difficult conditions to bring relief to Haiti. And that Canadians can be proud of the work that is going on there.
Joining MacKay in Truro was Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The federal politicians are in the province announcing money for the Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre.
Harper deflected criticism that the $10 million announcement comes at a bad time.
“The government of Canada, minister Cannon will be leading an international development conference on Haiti with the Prime minister of Haiti in Montreal this coming Monday,” said Harper.
“So obviously as we’ve said the government of Canada is going to be working with our international partners and leading international efforts, to assist and rebuild this country.
Harper cited the direct commitment of $5 million for Haiti, in addition to all the personnel deployed to the area, and noted the government is matching all donations made by Canadians.