Canada Congratulates Haitians on Their Independence Day

(No. 410 - December 31, 2010 - 1:45 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today offered the best wishes of the government and people of Canada to the people of Haiti and to Canadians of Haitian origin on the occasion of Haiti’s Independence Day on January 1:

“On behalf of the Government of Canada and of all Canadians, I wish to extend my best wishes to all Haitians as they celebrate the independence of their country.

“The achievement of your national independence represents an exceptional legacy for humanity. Your struggle for independence was the genesis of the abolition of slavery not only in the Americas but throughout the world, and it continues to be a source of inspiration for future generations.

“In this tragic year for Haiti, Haitian leaders are called upon to meet an immense responsibility toward their people and to history.

“Indeed, your country continues to face dramatically the consequences of a devastating earthquake, an epidemic of cholera, a hurricane and turmoil following the election process. Canada will stand by those who demonstrate a firm commitment to peace, democratic principles and the integrity of the electoral process. And Canada will continue to stand by the Haitian people.

“We will continue to work tirelessly with our partners, including the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti and the Organization of American States, to help Haiti overcome these significant challenges.

“To succeed, these efforts must be supported by a responsible political dialogue in Haiti, one that promotes good governance and respect for human rights.

“On this, the anniversary of Haiti's independence and the beginning of the New Year, we wish to express again to Haitians in both Haiti and the diaspora the friendship of Canada, as well as our continuing commitment to contributing to the sustainable development of Haiti.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

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

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