Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Mother of Burkina Faso terror victim criticizes Canada's IS stance

Soldiers stand guard in an armoured vehicle outside the Splendid Hotel after al Qaeda militants attack on the hotel and a restaurant in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Joe Penney/Reuters

The mother of one of the victims in the Burkina Faso terrorist attack has sharply criticized the Trudeau government for plans to withdraw fighter jets from the fight against the Islamic State instead of boosting the military response.

Camille Carrier, whose daughter Maude was among the six Canadians killed at a hotel and café in Ouagadougou Friday night, said she is ashamed the Canadian government is not standing more forcefully with allies such as France in the fight against terror.

"I was ashamed before this happened, but obviously the loss of my daughter has only made me more revolted about this situation," said Ms. Carrier, a retired administration professor at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. "I'm so ashamed of my country."

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Trudeau, who was elected in the fall with a promise to withdraw Canada's small contingent of CF-18 fighter jets from the mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, "offers shallow words about inclusion and tolerance. We need to do more," she said. "We need our leader to pay attention to legitimate security concerns in addition to our image as a welcoming country."

On Friday, six people from the Quebec City area on a month-long humanitarian trip to Burkina Faso died when a café and hotel came under attack in Ouagadougou, the capital. The victims were Yves Carrier, a retired principal, his wife, provincial civil servant Gladys Chamberland, their 19-year-old son Charlelie Carrier and the teen's half-sister Maude Carrier, a teacher and mother of two children. Family friends Louis Chabot, a father of three, and Suzanne Bernier, a mother of three, were also educators.

While an al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb subgroup unaffiliated with the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, Ms. Carrier said Canada has to take a greater role in the overall war on terror.

Ms. Carrier was also critical of the response of Canada's Global Affairs department. She said one of the nuns working with the group had to go to the morgue in Ouagadougou to confirm the six Quebeckers were dead some 15 hours after the attack. Frédéric Carrier, Yves Carrier's son, had to track down the nun to find out his family's fate. She delivered the news.

"We were getting more information from France than our own officials," Ms. Carrier said. "It's pretty unimpressive."

Quebec lowered the flag over the National Assembly to half-mast and Premier Philippe Couillard offered his condolences as the province faced the deaths of seven Quebeckers in recent terror attacks.

Mr. Couillard said all seven victims died at the hands of barbarians while they were living lives in the "best of the human spirit: altruism, compassion, openness and generosity."

Story continues below advertisement

"We live on a troubled planet, much smaller, everything is so close to us," Mr. Couillard said in brief comments outside his office. "We all realize that such barbaric violence that seems so far from us can also touch Quebec."

Mr. Couillard offered a short tribute to each of the victims, including Tahar Amer-Ouali, a 70-year-old hearing-aid technician who founded several clinics in the Montreal area. He died Thursday in Jakarta when a bomber targeted his favourite Starbucks.

"Our compatriots were overseas to renew their hope and to do good, quite simply," Mr. Couillard said.

"Quebeckers will continue to make a difference by carrying hope around the world. But we will do all of this without illusion or naiveté, or compromise. These acts must reinforce our determination to combat these barbarians with all of our force next to our allies, without compromise."

The group in Burkina Faso worked with a small Quebec NGO and a religious order with a mission in the country. They raised funds for months and helped repair a dormitory and dig a well for a school and repair the home of the nuns in their small village. They also brought funds to help some women launch a soap-making business.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles as we switch to a new provider. We are behind schedule, but we are still working hard to bring you a new commenting system as soon as possible. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to