Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau will meet Friday with the family of Edith Blais, who went missing in Burkina Faso and hasn’t been heard from since Dec. 15.
The 34-year-old Blais and her Italian friend Luca Tacchetto were travelling by car in southwestern Burkina Faso and were supposed to cross the border into Togo to do volunteer work with an aid group. A statement Wednesday by Burkina Faso Security Minister Clement Sawadogo referred to their disappearance as a kidnapping.
Blais’ mother and sister live in Sherbrooke, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers have been holding a cabinet retreat.
“We understand that they are going through a very, very difficult situation,” Bibeau said. “We want to reassure them that the Canadian government is doing everything that can be done to find Edith and Luca as quickly as possible.”
The ministers will meet with the Blais family the day after news broke that anoher Canadian, Kirk Woodman, had been found dead in Burkina Faso. He had been shot multiple times after he was kidnapped by militants. Woodman, originally from Halifax, worked for a Vancouver-based mining company.
Blais and Tacchetto set off in his car on Nov. 20 from the northern Italian town of Vigonza, outside Padua. They made their way to France, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania and Mali before arriving in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso’s southwest.