'It is unbearable': Canadian victims of Burkina Faso attack mourned

Friends and colleagues of the six Quebecers who were killed in the deadly terror attack in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, while on a humanitarian mission, are expressing their shock and grief over the deaths.

See Full Article

Yves Carrier, a retired teacher, his wife Gladys Chamberland, and their adult children Charlelie and Maude, from Lac-Beauport, Que., have been identified as four of the victims of the massacre.

A school in the Quebec City area, Jean de Brebeuf, identified one of its former teachers, Louis Chabot, as the fifth victim.

Sister Yolande Blier, a representative of the Quebec-City religious community that helped organize the trip Africa, identified the sixth victim as Suzanne Bernier.

Rose-Anne Rousseau, who also helped co-ordinate the mission, said the group spent much of their time helping to paint and repair a school.

The six Canadians were among the estimated 28 people who died when terrorists stormed the Splendid Hotel at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

Rousseau said that three of the Canadian victims had been planning on flying out of the country on the evening of attacks.

"They had come back to pack their bags, and were having one last dinner before going to the airport," she said.

Blier, who worked in Burkina Faso for more than a decade, said that Yves Carrier and Chamberland were committed humanitarians who had made several trips to the region.

"I think they fell in love with Burkina Faso," she said. "They loved the values of the Burkinabe, they loved the welcome there," she said.

'Beautiful soul'

Karine Paquet, who has been friends with Maude Carrier since high school, said that she didn't know anyone "who didn't love Maude."

"She had a beautiful soul, a marvellous generosity, she knew how to welcome people, she was respectful and loving... the most beautiful person I ever met," Paquet told The Canadian Press.

Paquet said that her friend was emotional when she spoke to her over the phone before she left for Africa.

"It was painful for her to leave her two little daughters to go there, but at the same time she knew she would live an extraordinary experience," she said.

A Quebec City school board said four of the victims, including Carrier, were current or retired teachers in the area.

The board expressed its grief over their deaths on its Facebook page.

"The commission scholaire de la Capitale learned with dismay of the death of two members of our teaching staff, as well as two retired principals in the attacks Friday in Burkina Faso," said the post.

The Musique Brebeuf program, which is part of the board, said that three of the victims worked at the school. Yves Carrier was the school's former assistant principal, Maude taught French to young children, and Chabot was a math teacher.

"Colleagues and friends, we have all been blessed to know them. They will always be some of the kindest, most authentic and generous people we have known," The Musique Brebeuf program wrote on its Facebook page.

"Today, mourning and grief overwhelm us," it added. "But our thoughts are with Yves Richard, spouse of Maude, and their two daughters who live these difficult times. We send them our deepest sympathies."

Nicolas Begin, a spokesman for Quebec's Natural Resources Department, confirmed that Chamberland was a communications specialist who had worked at the ministry since 2008.

Begin said that Chamberland was always pleasant, and was passionate about her humanitarian trips.

"It was something that animated her, that she held close to her heart and believed in," Begin said.

The mayor of Lac-Beauport, Louise Brunet, told CTV Montreal that the town, 25 kilometres north of Quebec City, was shocked to hear about the deaths.

"I cannot believe it. It is unbearable when people, so kind, so generous, and something like that happens," said Brunet.

Brunet said she didn't know the Carrier family personally, but she used to teach music, and one of the children had taken some lessons.

"Many of my students were friends of Charlelie, and they are really in shock," she said.

Brunet said that the town's flags are flying at half-mast in their honour.

In a speech earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for a moment of silence in solidarity with the victims' families, who, he said, "are suffering an unspeakable and tragic loss."

"Yesterday we got some terrible news from Africa," Trudeau said while speaking at an Ontario mosque. "Six of our fellow citizens were murdered in a brutal act of violent terrorism in Burkina Faso."

‘A quiet country’

Patrick Gagnon, a Canadian who has lived in the West African country for four years, said he was shocked by the violent attack.

"I mean it happened in (Mali) … but we never expected that to happen in Burkina Faso," Gagnon told CTV News Channel on Sunday.

"It is kind of a quiet country."

Gagnon originally went to the country as part of a humanitarian mission, but now works in the mining business.

He said that his office in Ouagadougoo is 100 metres from the Splendid Hotel, where he often brings his clients from abroad.

"This hotel has lots of Canadian people or European people that I bring to sleep there," he said. "So, I know this place by heart."

With files from CTV Montreal and The Canadian Press



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Crews save homes from fire in California canyons

    World News CTV News
    Photos Source
  • Jared Kushner's lawyer reveals private email strategy to prankster

    World News CTV News
    Jared Kushner’s lawyer in the scandal involving his use of a private email address has revealed part of the strategy he is employing with his client, in an email exchange with a prankster who posed as Kushner. Source
  • Stunning lawsuit against 'Big Coffee' could lead to cancer warning labels in California [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — A future cup of coffee in California could give you jitters before you even take a sip. A non-profit group wants coffee manufacturers, distributors and retailers to post ominous warnings about a cancer-causing chemical stewing in every brew and has been presenting evidence in a Los Angeles courtroom to make its case. Source
  • Televangelist David Mainse, host of '100 Huntley Street', dies at 81

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadian televangelist David Mainse, who hosted “100 Huntley Street,” has died at age 81. The Burlington, Ont.-based Crossroads Christian Communications Inc., which Mainse founded, said the reverend died after a battle with MDS leukemia. Source
  • Macron calls on Europe to reject isolationism, for EU to share a military force

    World News CBC News
    Calling Europe slow, weak and ineffective, French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said the EU should embrace a joint budget, shared military force and harmonized taxes to stay globally relevant. "At the beginning of the next decade, Europe must have a joint intervention force, a common defence budget and a joint doctrine for action," said Macron. Source
  • Full federal court to hear ’Making a Murderer’ appeal

    World News Toronto Sun
    MADISON, Wis. — A federal appeals court will consider arguments Tuesday over whether detectives tricked a Wisconsin inmate featured in the “Making a Murderer” series into confessing and whether he should go free in a case that puts police practices in the spotlight. Source
  • Toronto cop who Tasered and stomped on suspect appears before disciplinary hearing

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A Toronto police sergeant who stomped on and repeatedly Tasered a man during arrest has made his first appearance at a disciplinary hearing. Sgt. Eduardo Miranda was charged with unlawful or unnecessary use of authority and discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act after a civilian police oversight agency investigation. Source
  • Bangladesh plans separate shelters for Rohingya children

    World News CTV News
    DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh is planning to build separate shelters for 6,000 Rohingya Muslim children who entered the country without parents to escape violence in neighbouring Myanmar, a government official said Tuesday. Children make up about 60 per cent of the estimated 480,000 Rohingya Muslims who have poured into Bangladesh over the last four weeks to flee persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Source
  • Former B.C. finance minister Mike de Jong enters Liberal leadership race

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- British Columbia's former finance minister Mike de Jong has announced his bid for the provincial Liberal leadership, joining a race that already includes two other past cabinet ministers and the former mayors of B.C. Source
  • Trump to visit Puerto Rico next Tuesday

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump says he'll visit hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico next Tuesday. Trump announced the visit after the administration came under criticism for its response to the damage on the island that is home to more than 3 million U.S. Source