Moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of the Haitian earthquake


A message to the McGill community from Principal Heather Munroe-Blum on the devastation in Haiti

On Tuesday, January 19 at 4:53 p.m., universities across Quebec will join in a moment of silence on their campuses in memory of the victims of last week’s catastrophic earthquake in Haiti.

The hour marks precisely one week after the earthquake struck.

As universities, many of which have been touched directly by the terrible losses suffered in that already fragile nation, we hope this symbolic and solemn gesture of remembrance and solidarity with the people of Haiti will encourage members of our communities as well as others to contribute generously to the massive task of rebuilding.

None of us can see the shocking images or read the disturbing accounts of the utter devastation that has been visited on Haiti without feeling overwhelmed by the extent of human suffering wrought by last week’s natural disaster. While it is yet too early to know the true toll of dead and injured, there is no question that the scale of destruction and loss in Haiti is monumental – and this in a country ill equipped in any event to cope with such an enormous rescue and reconstruction effort. Our hearts go out to all those who have suffered loss. At McGill, we continue to try to learn if any current students, staff or faculty have been injured or killed in Haiti. We know there are alumni among the thousands of victims. As more information becomes available, we will share it with you.

At McGill, we are, of course, making our various counseling services available to any who have need of them. Please see the contact information at the conclusion of this message if you need support or know of someone who does. We are in touch with our sister universities and other partners to determine where we might assist as the massive task of rebuilding begin. The relief effort presents a truly daunting challenge that will require vast resources of every imaginable kind. Many of us will want to offer support and one most effective way of doing so quickly is by making a donation to a reputable relief agency, such as the Canadian Red Cross.

The federal government has agreed to match, to a maximum of $50 million, donations made to registered relief agencies like the Red Cross.

Please join me Tuesday afternoon at 4:53 to observe a minute of silence and reflection on the terrible events of last week.


Heather Munroe-Blum
Principal and Vice-Chancellor


Support services available at McGill

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