Feds say they’re working to bring home Canadians stranded by Hurricane Irma by end of day

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The federal government is defending its response to Hurricanes Irma and Jose, as it promises to get stranded Canadians back home soon.

Nearly 400 people returned to Canada over the weekend, but 368 remain stranded in countries like St. Maarten and Turks and Caicos after these devastating hurricanes. They’ve asked the government for help.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau says the plan is to see evacuations for those who want to come home by the end of the day.

“Getting Canadians home is our priority and we’ve been working closely with our international partners, with the aiports and with the airlines to make this happen.”

The government has been criticized for a slow response and for not sending in the military, as other countries did.

Garneau says commercial airlines were already in the area, although damaged infrastructure at airports delayed rescue efforts.

A pair of military aircraft have been deployed to the region. While they are focused on relief efforts, they can be used as a back-up for evacuations, if necessary.

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