WINDSOR, Ont. January 14, 2010 – Frank Chauvin, founder of Haiti’s first orphanage for girls and the recipient of the League’s 2009 Archbishop Adam Exner Award for Catholic Excellence in Public Life, will be providing relief aid to victims of the massive earthquake in Haiti January 12.
“The problem is that Haiti has very poor infrastructure at the best of times,” said Mr. Chauvin. “Right now we’re seeing all the news reports of entire buildings caving into the street; they wouldn’t have enough heavy equipment on the island to even be able to begin the cleanup. Quite frankly I don’t think we’ll ever know how many died in this quake because they probably don’t know how many were there to begin with.”
The local supervisor of the orphanage survived the quake, he has learned, but he does not yet have information about the orphanage itself, which is in Port au Prince.
The Holy Name of Mary Food Fund, which Mr. Chauvin established, has been operating in Port au Prince since 1987. It houses 70 girls. Donations to the registered charity can be sent to: Holy Name of Mary Food Fund, 892 St. Mary’s Blvd, Windsor, ON, N8S 2T9.
Mr. Chauvin returned his Order of Canada medal, granted in recognition of his charitable work, on January 11. He had wanted to do so when Henry Morgentaler’s nomination to the Order was announced in 2008, but Mr. Chauvin first brought a federal court application to review the process by which the nomination was accepted.
The application was refused because the court ruled that it could not succeed in its objective to overturn a matter protected by royal prerogative. While acknowledging that the case was possibly justiciable (that, is, that there were objective legal criteria to assess), the court further stated that Mr. Chauvin did not have standing to bring the case, either in support of his personal interests or as a matter of public interest. (League press releases, Nov. 27, 2009).
“Now that we know there’s nothing more to be done, I’ve sent the medal back. The nomination of Morgentaler tarnishes the award, and I think it was good to challenge it. But really all I ever wanted to do was to help the poor as best I could. It was never about awards or recognition.”
Catholic Civil Rights League (www.ccrl.ca) assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization and has chapters across Canada. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.
For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244; firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: Four die at Windsor man’s Haitian orphanage, CBC.ca, January 15/10