Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 07, 2009 11:19 ET

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Death of Master Corporal Pat Audet and Corporal Martin Joannette

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 7, 2009) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, issued the following statement today on the death of two Canadian Forces members in Afghanistan.

"I would like to convey my sincerest condolences to the families and friends of Master Corporal Pat Audet and Corporal Martin Joannette, who died as the result of a CH-146 Griffon helicopter crash. The accident occurred during take-off near a forward operating base in Tarnak Va Jaldak, Zabul Province, northeast of Kandahar City.

I would also like to express my sympathy to the family and friends of the fallen ISAF soldier, killed in the same incident, and wish a quick recovery to the three Canadians injured.

This tragedy demonstrates the great risks involved in this challenging mission.

These courageous servicemen gave their lives to secure a brighter future for Afghan families and protect the values of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. Canada's collaboration and determination to contribute to this UN-sanctioned, NATO-led mission will not waiver.

Canada and the Canadian people will always remember this tragic occurrence and we support all those bereaved in these difficult times."

MCpl Pat Audet was from 430e Escadron tactique d'helicopteres, based at CFB Valcartier, and Cpl Martin Joannette was from the 3e Bataillon, Royal 22e Regiment based at CFB Valcartier, near Quebec City.

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