Minister Cannon Welcomes Haitian Prime Minister to Canada

Modification: media contact information

(No. 385 - Modification - December 15, 2009 - 2:50 p.m.) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today met with Haiti’s Prime Minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, and announced that Canada will fund four projects aimed at strengthening security institutions in Haiti.

“Prime Minister Bellerive and I discussed the progress we have made in Haiti, and I conveyed to our Haitian partners Canada’s commitment to continue to work closely with Haitians and the international community to translate the gains we have made in terms of stability into sustainable economic development and job creation,” said Minister Cannon. “With these new resources, Canada and Haiti will implement new projects to increase the capacity of the Haitian National Police, strengthen security along the country’s border with the Dominican Republic and improve conditions in Haitian prisons.”

This is the second round of Canada-Haiti Expanded Consultations, an initiative that is jointly led by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency and Public Safety Canada. The first set of consultations was held in Port-au-Prince on March 26, 2008. The Canada-Haiti Expanded Consultations take place once a year, alternating between Canada and Haiti.

The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, also met with Prime Minister Bellerive, who is also minister for planning and external cooperation. They discussed Canada’s development program in Haiti, which is CIDA’s largest in the Americas.

“In my discussions with Prime Minister Bellerive, I continued to build on the strong relationship we have already established, and to further align our important development efforts in Haiti with those of his government,” said Minister Oda. “As CIDA’s development and aid efforts represent 80 percent of Canada’s commitment to Haiti, I reconfirmed our support of that country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy with effective, results-driven initiatives.”

“These consultations will help assess the progress being made by Canadians in helping Haiti achieve greater safety and security,” said the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety. “Our government continues to support the important contributions of Public Safety Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Correctional Service of Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency in helping Haiti tackle crime and improve its national security standards.”

Canada’s commitment to Haiti is a key element of its foreign policy and engagement in the Americas. Canada has committed $555 million over five years (2006-11) to bring stability, sustainable development and prosperity to Haiti. 

Prime Minister Bellerive took office in November and this is his first visit to Canada in that official capacity. 

For more information about Canada’s engagement in Haiti, please consult Haiti Task Force.

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A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874

Jessica Fletcher
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
819-953-6238

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency
819-953-6534
media@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657

Backgrounder - Canada-Haiti Expanded Consultations

The Canada-Haiti Expanded Consultations serve as a mechanism to formalize high-level policy discussions seeking to broaden the scope and potential opportunities for cooperation, particularly under the framework of Haiti’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and within the wider context of coordination between Haiti and its international partners.

This year’s consultations will be divided into working groups covering three specific themes: political, governance and state of law issues; socio-economic development; and security and stabilization. It is expected that topics of discussion will include institutional and security system reform, particularly justice sector reform; the political situation in Haiti; and ways in which Canada and other members of the international community can increase aid efficiency in Haiti in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, which emphasizes the importance of accountability and a country’s sense of ownership over its development agenda.

In response to the disastrous events of 2008—marked by food riots, the fall of the government and a destructive hurricane season in Haiti—the international community gave reconstruction and stabilization efforts a renewed impetus. The presence of the international community and of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti has greatly aided in bringing much-needed security and stability to the country, laying the foundation for sustainable development and prosperity. Canada has been at the forefront of efforts in Haiti, demonstrating solid leadership, and will continue to do so as the focus shifts to investment, sustained economic development and job creation.

Canada’s commitment to Haiti is a key element of its foreign policy and engagement in the Americas, and Haiti is the second-largest beneficiary of Canadian development aid. Using a whole-of-government approach and in close collaboration with international partners and Haitian authorities, Canada is working to increase stability and foster conditions for sustainable development and prosperity in Haiti in line with Government of Haiti priorities.

Security-system reform projects in Haiti

Canada will allocate $15 million for projects to strengthen security institutions in Haiti. The funds will be allocated in fiscal year 2010-11 from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF). The objective of the GPSF is to provide financial and operational resources to facilitate timely, effective and accountable conflict prevention, crisis response, peace operations, civilian protection and stabilization interventions.

Through the GPSF, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada supports security-system reform in Haiti. The Fund is managed by the department’s Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START).

START leads Canada’s approach to crisis-affected countries where a whole-of-government approach is required, and in which there is an increasing need for specialized civilian expertise.

START initiatives in Haiti

Reinforcement of the Haitian National Police’s marine unit

Through the Canadian Commercial Corporation, Canada will provide $3.7 million for five boats to the Haitian National Police’s marine unit for the security of the country’s maritime borders.

Construction of a slipway and workshop at the Admiral Killick naval base in Port-au-Prince

Canada is committed to building a new machine shop and a boat ramp at the Admiral Killick naval base, the main base of the Haitian National Police’s marine unit, to ensure the unit’s ability to maintain their boats. The funding for this initiative, $701,287, will be provided to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is administering the project.

Capacity building in migration management, phase II

Administered by the IOM, this project aims to increase the capacity of Haitian migration services to trace the migratory paths and improve coordination of services with other agencies involved in border management, through vocational training and regional cross-border cooperation. Canada is providing $3.6 million to this initiative.

Construction of a detention centre in Croix-des-Bouquets

The objective of this project is to reduce the overcrowding of the national penitentiary, thereby improving the health and safety of detainees. The contribution of $4.4 million from the Canadian government seeks to finance the construction and equipping of a jail with a capacity of up to 750 people. This initiative, administered by the IOM, will complement the deployment of up to 10 officers of the Correctional Service of Canada to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti and the rehabilitation of the Cap-Haïtien penitentiary.