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October 19th, 2022

New Democrats call for action on the crisis in Haiti

NDP critic for foreign affairs, Heather McPherson, made the following statement:

“Humanitarians are telling us that the situation in Haiti is the worst they have ever seen. Severe hunger, cholera, soaring inflation and brutal violence are the daily reality for many Haitians. Nearly five million people in Haiti are facing acute hunger and 100,000 children under five years- old are suffering from severe malnutrition. Human rights abuses, including sexual violence, are at extremely high levels. Haitians are living with the dangers caused by armed gangs in the streets.

Haiti has been in political crisis for months – and the international community bears a heavy responsibility for this crisis. The Haitian-Canadian population is urging the Canadian government to listen to their concerns.

While Haiti’s unelected leadership has asked the UN Security Council to discuss military intervention, we know that a militarized approach is neither sufficient nor sustainable to address the pressing needs faced by most Haitians. Many Haitian-Canadians oppose international military action given the failures of past foreign intervention in Haiti. We must not forget the troubling history of MINUSTAH.

New Democrats are listening to Haitian-Canadians who have highlighted the need for the Liberal government to support the Montana Accord, a Haitian solution developed by civil society and Haitians across the political spectrum. They want an end to corruption and the old ways of doing politics. They want the Canadian government to listen to the Haitian community and to show real solidarity that is respectful and focused on their needs – not on securing the political status quo.

Canada has a complicated history in Haiti – and it is one that Parliamentarians should discuss with urgency. That is why we will be calling for the Foreign Affairs Committee to study this crisis and ask the Liberal government to provide answers on its work in Haiti. Canada has given almost $2 billion in assistance since 2010, but has rarely been asked to account for its efforts. We also need to hear from the Haitian-Canadian community about their concerns and proposals for future Canadian assistance.

We are calling on the federal government to use its position within the Core Group to call for a halt to illegal weapons trafficking to Haiti and to promote inclusive dialogue with civil society at the centre; respect the rights of the people of Haiti to self-determination; support the Montana Accord; increase financial support to Haitian civil society, including human rights defenders; and immediately increase humanitarian assistance to Haiti.

New Democrats stand in solidarity with the people of Haiti. The federal government must do better. "