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Canadian Ethnocultural Council Extends Condolences to Families and Friends of Tsunami Victims

Media Advisory

Ottawa, January 7, 2005

The Canadian Ethnocultural Council (CEC) extends deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of those affected by the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that have claimed over 165,000 lives to date. "This tragic event touches many Canadians and is a reminder of the bonds we share with people around the world" said Oleh Romaniw, President of the CEC.

"We are heartened to see the incredible and compassionate response of ordinary people from all communities. They have taken action to offer help in some way, shape or form no matter how small. The collective outpouring of humanity has crossed borders, disregarded religious and cultural differences and is indicative of the globalization of humanitarian response" added Anna Chiappa, Executive Director of the CEC.

The CEC praises the provincial governments, the Government of Canada and Prime Minister Paul Martin for initiatives taken thus far and urges the extension to double financial contributions beyond January 11, 2005. "This should be a long term commitment that we are making and it will require continued contributions and support by many communities. Reconstruction efforts will take months, even years" says Oleh Romaniw.

We also commend the Minister of Immigration for her quick action in meeting with affected ethnocultural communities. "There is much concern and we urge a fast facilitation of family reunification, particularly
where children and spouses are concerned. We urge the Canadian Government to look at innovative ways for sponsorship and support for communities", suggests Oleh Romaniw. The CEC appeals to all Canadians, regardless of background, to support the relief efforts and join in a national memorial service on January 8th , 2005.

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For more information contact
Anna Chiappa, Executive Director, (613)230-3867,
fax (613) 230-8051 or cec@web.ca

The Canadian Ethnocultural Council is a coalition of over 30 national ethnocultural organizations, which in turn represent over 2,000 local chapters across Canada. Its mandate is to work towards the elimination of racism and to promote the understanding of the multicultural reality of Canada as defined in The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and The Canadian Multiculturalism Act.

176 Gloucester St., Suite 400,
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0A6, Canada
tel (613) 230-3867, fax (613) 230-8051
e-mail: cec@web.ca

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