Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

January 24, 2008 13:57 ET

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Death of One Canadian Soldier in Afghanistan

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 24, 2008) - The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, issued the following statement today on the death of a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan:

"It is with great sadness I learned yesterday of the death of Sapper Etienne Gonthier in Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers are also with his two comrades who were also injured in the explosion. Friends and families are foremost in our thoughts in these trying times.

Our Canadian Forces are making an immense sacrifice to bring security, democracy and self-reliance to the people of Afghanistan while protecting Canada's values and security.

These brave soldiers were part of a convoy traveling through the Panjwayi District of Kandahar Province. Efforts in this region are aimed at creating the conditions for reconstruction and development efforts to flourish in a country ravaged by decades of conflict.

The United Nations-mandated mission is making a difference in Afghanistan and we stand proudly with our Canadian Forces members as they strive to bring safety and stability back to people of Afghanistan.

Their sacrifice will not be forgotten."

Sapper Etienne Gonthier, 21, was a member of the 5e Regiment du genie, based in Valcartier, Quebec.

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