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Carter out of hospital

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WINNIPEG—Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter has been released from a Winnipeg hospital a day after he became dehydrated while volunteering with a “Habitat for Humanity” home-building event in the city.

A statement from the Habitat organization said Carter, who is 92, was released this morning and attended the daily devotional at the build site.

Carter was building a set of stairs yesterday, along with other volunteers, when he began to feel weak after two hours in the sun.

“He had just said that he needed to take a break and so he sat down—there was a chair that was close to him,” said Manitoba Families minister Scott Fielding, one of the volunteers.

“He sat down there and his secret security were there, as well,” he noted.

“They hydrated him, giving him some water and some Gatorade.”

Carter required assistance to walk to a nearby trailer and was taken soon afterward by ambulance across town to St. Boniface General Hospital.

“We were out in the hot sun and you're doing a lot of work,” Fielding said.

“No matter what age you are, you're going to get dehydrated.”

The chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International said Carter received medical attention as a precaution, but was fine.

“He has been taken off-site for observation,” Jonathan Reckford said.

“He encourages everyone to stay hydrated and to keep building.”

Carter was in Edmonton earlier this week helping Habitat For Humanity, which builds affordable housing for low-income earners.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, the former president said Canadian governments should consider emulating the non-profit group he has promoted for years as a way to alleviate an affordable housing crunch in this country.

He pointed out other countries such as Peru have adopted similar models to help build more affordable housing units and reduce reliance on the social safety net.

Carter acknowledged the housing challenge remains a difficult one to tackle for policy-makers and volunteers.

“What the local, state, and federal government do, and what volunteers like we do . . . makes a big dent in the need, but it's still not enough,” he stressed.

Habitat for Humanity is building 150 homes across Canada this year to mark the country's sesquicentennial.

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