The remains of former Liberal MP Serge Marcil have been recovered in Haiti, ending a cruel 10-day wait in which his family was wrongly informed he had survived the earthquake.
Mr. Marcil's wife, Christiane Pelchat, learned yesterday that his body had been found, just two hours after she arrived in Port-au-Prince to look for him.
"He was here by choice, by love for this endearing people," Ms. Pelchat said in a communiqué released this afternoon that confirmed his death.
"His soul left along with those of tens of thousands of Haitians. This nation that we love is devastated. I cry for all those who loved him and who died with him. My thoughts are with them."
Mr. Marcil, 64, was in Port-au-Prince on a business trip, as a representative for the Montreal engineering firm SM International, where he was a vice-president.
He was one of at least 11 Canadians missing at the site of the Hotel Montana, an upscale facility in the Pétionville heights that collapsed, trapping scores of foreign travellers.
At one point, his family was mistakenly told he was alive.
Two days after the quake, they had received an e-mail from a United Nations staffer saying that he was one of a group of survivors who were injured but alive and were being airlifted to Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital.
By the time the UN realized it was a mistake, Ms. Pelchat had already flown to Florida, only to discover that her husband wasn't there.
The family was later told of rumours that he might have been unconscious but removed to a hospital in the Dominican Republic.
His body was eventually found under "tonnes of rubble," a sign that death was instantaneous, Ms. Pelchat said in her statement Saturday.
Mr. Marcil was a Liberal MP from 2000 to 2004. He had also been a provincial labour minister under Quebec premier Daniel Johnson. Ms. Pelchat, also a former member of Quebec's legislature, is the president of the provincial women's group, the Conseil du statut de la femme.