Laval MPs react to devastating explosion in Port of Beirut

El-Khoury, Koutrakis express support for the people of Lebanon

Members of Parliament from Laval with significant numbers of constituents of Lebanese origin reacted with a mixture of shock and compassion to news of the catastrophic explosion in the Port of Beirut on Aug. 4 that killed more than 150 people, injured 6,000 and left more than 300,000 homeless in Lebanon’s largest city.

Deep wound, El-Khoury says

“Beirut has a deep and wide wound, Beirut is bleeding, but I’m sure with the will of the Lebanese and their friends from all over the world, Beirut will shine again,” Laval-Les Îles MP Fayçal El-Khoury, who chairs the interparliamentary Canada-Lebanon Friendship Group, told the Hill Times in Ottawa on Aug. 5.

“The Canadian people show generosity in every part of the world when catastrophe strikes, and I’m sure now they will do the same thing,” he added. “My thoughts and my prayers go to the victims, to the wounded, to their families, to their loved ones, and to all Lebanese.”

The Port of Beirut was the scene of a massive explosion on Aug. 4 that wiped out much of the city and left 300,000 people homeless.

Assistance from Canada

In a statement issued on Aug. 7, Vimy MP Annie Koutrakis said she was committed to ensuring Canada’s role in providing humanitarian aid to the people of Lebanon following the explosion that occurred in the Port of Beirut.

“I would like to express my deepest condolences to those affected by this catastrophic disaster and tragic loss of life,” said Koutrakis. “While our government has committed $5 million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Lebanon, I know that Canadians are always ready to go above and beyond to help those in need. I will continue to advocate for the deployment of any other humanitarian resources that can assist the people of Beirut and Lebanon.”

Priority saving lives

Of the $5 million in aid committed by the federal government, Koutrakis said an initial $1.5 million will be provided to humanitarian partners such as the Lebanese Red Cross. She said the aid will be used to provide safe shelter, clean water, medicine and other basic necessities to meet the immediate needs of those devastated by the explosion.

Beirut is bleeding,’ says Laval-Les Îles MP Fayçal El-Khoury, who chairs the interparliamentary Canada-Lebanon Friendship Group

“Our government’s immediate priority is to save lives and protect those who are most vulnerable,” added Koutrakis. “We will continue to monitor the situation on the ground to understand the needs of those affected and to maximize Canada’s response.”

Local Lebanese impacted

“The Lebanese community of Laval is vibrant and incredibly valuable to all of us,” said Koutrakis. “I stand alongside all Lebanese people in Laval, Canada and around the world during these challenging times.

“I know that many people in my community are deeply impacted by this tragedy and may be mourning the loss of family or friends. Please know that Canadians are grieving with you. Canada has always played an important role in providing humanitarian support during times of crisis. I am confident in our country’s capacity and willingness to support the people of Lebanon in any way possible.”