Haitian Montrealers Hope To Bring Family Members To Canada

Haitian Montrealers hope to bring family members to Canada

Updated: Wed Mar. 10 2010 6:40:32 PM

Jodler Vital is among a host of Haitian Montrealers who are trying to bring family members to Canada from Haiti following the massive earthquake that struck the island in January.

Close to 223,000 people were killed and almost 100,000 homes were destroyed when the quake hit on Jan. 12.

In response to the devastation, the Quebec government introduced exceptional measures to its immigration sponsorship program — to make it easier for Haitian Montrealers to bring family members to Canada.

The government enlarged the notion of family, to include brothers and sisters over the age of 22. It is also now allowing a third party to act as a co-sponsor.

Vital, who is married with two children, said two of his sisters were injured were injured in the quake, and were left traumatized by the experience.

“There is no psychological help for the people () We say that we need to rebuild the country but how about the people?” Vital asked.

Vital plans to sponsor nine family members, including his siblings.

His wife, Myriam Bartholemy, said she is anxious to reconnect with relatives.

“I think it would be good like for them and for us too () even if (it doesn't) happen tomorrow,” she said.

Claude Fradette, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities, said applicants must be sure to fill out all required documents properly.

“It's a question (of having) a complete file, because when it's not complete we have to call and write back to the person,” he said.

Vital and Bartholemy are still in the process of completing the paperwork.

Meanwhile, the Quebec government is advising all applicants to include a tax notice of assessment with their documents, so officials can determine whether they can afford to support their family members.