Blue Line


November 11, 2014  By

805 words – MR

Beyond the Call

The life and legacy of Mark Gallagher

The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean
UNESCO Special Envoy to Haiti

I always warn those who travel to Haiti for the first time that what they are about to experience will remain with them for the rest of their lives. You cannot return from Haiti untouched. You cannot hide in indifference. The country leaves its imprint on you forever and makes you see what is essential in life.

This is what Sgt. Mark Gallagher would have told you. As soon as he set foot in my country of birth in 2009, he understood that he would forever have a bond with this land and its population – Haiti, a nation of such hardships and contrasts, is also one of great value, qualities and beauty.

Mark Gallagher already realized that every action we take can make a difference, change lives, or even change the course of history. In Haiti, he was able to take in the full measure of this. During his official police training mission, he seized every opportunity to cultivate friendship and solidarity.

Certainly, Sgt. Gallagher always went beyond the call of duty and the strict confines of his job description. Consider, for example, that on his last trip to Haiti he brought with him shoes for two little girls from an orphanage in Port-au-Prince. In addition to being a touching anecdote, this shows a sincere concern and a willingness to get involved personally. He wanted to improve the fate of these children, just like he wanted to put all his skills to use for the advancement of safety and justice in this country.

It was while fulfilling this heartfelt desire to help those in need that he was buried beneath the ruins of a building during the earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010 – the very day of his return to Haiti after spending the Christmas holidays with his loved ones in New Brunswick.

His family and friends will tell you about his sense of duty, but they will also speak of his spirit… his generosity… his respect for others… his contagious optimism… and his strong belief in the fact that nothing is ever lost and that people who are willing and creative can accomplish great things.

I pay tribute to this exceptional man whose strong will and exemplary merit continue to inspire other Canadians to move heaven and earth to make sure that life triumphs over the misfortune and ordeals encountered in Haiti. A school to be built in his memory will give hundreds of children a reason to dream and to hope, as well as the knowledge and tools to grow, to build a bright future for themselves and to strengthen that of their community.


Visit to obtain a copy of this title.

Worth Dying For

Canada’s Mission to train police in the world’s failing states

Published on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the RCMP’s first international police training mission, is a brilliantly reported account of a year in the life of our “CivPol” contingents in Afghanistan, Palestine and Haiti. It is also an intimate portrait of the idealism and courage with which our police officers undertake this complicated and dangerous work, brought to us by the only journalist ever granted unfettered access to these missions.

“Worth Dying For” – those three words capture the remarkable dedication that Canadian police officers bring to international missions most of us know little about. We may be aware of the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers who died in Afghanistan, but how often do we stop to ask what happens after the troops move out? Once the war is over, how do countries with so much going against them begin to create a better life for their citizens?

Prize-winning Canadian investigative journalist Terry Gould has come to believe that the most significant tool in securing justice and stability for people living in states in crisis is a police force resistant to influence and corruption. Gould brings to light the remarkable Canadian men and women working in three crucial missions, whose determination was equal to anything these treacherous places threw at them. They risked their own physical safety and they also witnessed police officers they had mentored sacrificing their lives so that their fellow citizens could receive justice.

is full of terrible realities, but it is also full of heroes – Canadians, yes, along with men and women raised in places that might have turned them into pawns and victims, or criminals, who strive to create a reliable security net for everyone, no matter the odds or the dangers they face.

In covering these missions Terry Gould has created a work that inspires us to action and to hope.


Visit to obtain a copy of this title.

Print this page


Stories continue below