Canada Increases Deployments of Correctional Service Officers to Haiti

(No. 333 - October 13, 2010 - 2:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, today announced that Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and Correctional Service Canada (CSC) will increase Canada’s capacity to deploy CSC officers to Haiti from up to 10 officers to up to 25 officers at a time.

“Once again, Canada is demonstrating its long-standing commitment to helping Haiti reinforce its security in order to enhance the prospects of long-term stabilization for the benefit of the Haitian people,” said Minister Cannon. “Through this project, Canada continues to assist the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti as it works with the Haitian government to build up Haiti’s corrections capacity. The increase in the number of Correctional Service Canada officers deployed to Haiti will help Haitian corrections officers manage its prison system more effectively and in a manner that is based on respect for human rights.”

“Sending more correctional services officers to train and mentor Haitian officers is another example of Canada’s strong, tangible contribution to help to restore security and democratic institutions after the terrible earthquake earlier this year,” said Minister Toews. “I am proud of Canada’s continued efforts, contributions and cooperation with our allies, such as the United States, during this pivotal time for the people of Haiti.”

Ministers Cannon and Toews have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a $3.5-million project that will increase the number of CSC officers deployed to Haiti in support of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). This MOU highlights Canada’s central role in training and mentoring Haitian corrections officers and administrators, and demonstrates Haiti’s ability to respond to the needs and priorities of its correctional system as it evolves.

Since 2006, Canada’s Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START) has supported MINUSTAH and the Haitian corrections service by financing both the renovation and construction of Haiti’s facilities and the deployment of Canadian corrections officers to MINUSTAH to train and mentor their Haitian counterparts. Under this MOU, 17 CSC officers are now deployed to MINUSTAH and additional deployments are planned in the next few months. Established within Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, START has committed more than $51 million since 2006 to help stabilize Haiti by improving security and re-establishing the rule of law in the country.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

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

Christopher McCluskey
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
613-991-2865

Correctional Service of Canada Media Relations Office
613-992-7711
media@csc-scc.gc.ca