Monday, January 07, 2008

January 7, 2008

Statement by the Minister of National Defence, Peter Gordon MacKay, on the Death of Two Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan
The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, issued the following statement today on the deaths of two Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan:"We have all been deeply saddened to hear of the deaths of Warrant Officer Hani Massouh, and Corporal Eric Labbe, who died in a tragic accident while serving Canada in Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their loved ones at this time of loss.

Message from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, on the deaths of Warrant Officer Hani Massouh and Corporal Éric Labbé
My husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, and I were deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of Warrant Officer Hani Massouh and of Corporal Éric Labbé, both from the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment, based out of Valcartier, during a tragic accident southwest of Kandahar City, in Afghanistan.
WO Massouh and Cpl Éric Labbé were killed when their Light Armoured Vehicle rolled over during a tactical move across difficult terrain. Both were taking part in Operation TENG AZEM (Steadfast Decision), a joint ISAF and Afghan National Security Forces operation aimed at disrupting insurgent activities in the region and at establishing a permanent coalition presence in the area.
With the New Year having just begun, this new tragedy reminds us of the perilous conditions our soldiers are facing in Afghanistan.
The deaths of soldiers Hani Massouh and Éric Labbé are another great loss. I salute their merit, their hard work and all the sacrifices they made so fearlessly.
On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to tell their families and friends, who are grieving today, that these men will not be forgotten.
Michaëlle Jean

Statement from Prime Minister Harper said "the contribution that Warrant Officer Hani Massouh and Cpl. Eric Labbe made won't be forgotten."
"They deserve the gratitude of all Canadians for their commitment and the work they performed on our behalf,''
Harper said. "Warrant Officer Massouh and Corporal Labbe made an important contribution to the lives of the people of Afghanistan.''

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