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Clarenville man advocating for Haitian girl left disappointed by Trudeau visit

Shawn Hart brought along a sign reading #BringWidleneHome, hoping to draw the attention of the Prime Minister.
Shawn Hart brought along a sign reading #BringWidleneHome, hoping to draw the attention of the Prime Minister. - Jonathan Parsons

CLARENVILLE, N.L. — At least one of the people in attendance at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Clarenville Thursday night was not there for a photo.

Shawn Hart, a local business owner in Clarenville, came to the event with a sign which read #BringWidleneHome.

The cause, which he had hoped to bring to Trudeau’s attention, refers to the efforts of his friend of 25 years who is trying to bring his adopted Haitian daughter to Canada.

Hart says his friends, Vaden and Crystal Earle originally from St. Lunaire-Griquet, adopted a girl — Widlene — in the Dominican Republic and have been trying to bring her to Canada to live for the past eight years.

Hart says Widlene was in great danger in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Vaden and Crystal currently live in Dominican Republic until they can return to Canada with Widlene.

“She is stateless,” says Hart, adding the family has endured the last two hurricanes while waiting on a decision by the Canadian government to allow her into the country to live.

While Hart hoped to get a few seconds to implore the Prime Minister to ensure the young girl could return to Canada with her family, Trudeau exited through a side door and did not meet with him.

He says it’s what he expected.

“He’s been dodging this issue for years.”

There will be more protesters bearing #BringWidleneHome signs tomorrow in Labrador as well, he added.

 

jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca

Twitter: @jejparsons

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