Canada supports Haitian communities to improve transparency, effectiveness, and economic growth

Technical support for municipalities will lead to better delivery of services to citizens

February 17, 2014 – Montréal, Quebec – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Senator Claude Carignan, speaking on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, and accompanied by Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, announced today that the Haiti-Canada Municipal Cooperation Project (MCP) will be extended.

"Canada continues to play a leading role in the reconstruction and advancement of Haiti," said Senator Carignan. "We were at Haiti's side when the earthquake struck more than four years ago, and we are still there today. We are working and sharing our know-how with communities to help make them more independent, improve the delivery of services to their citizens, and encourage sustainable economic growth, which remains one of the best ways to reduce poverty."

Mayor Coderre said, "The earthquake in January 2010 was devastating: thousands of lives were lost and infrastructure was severely weakened, and the government's administrative structure was left in ruins. However, the disaster that occurred four years ago has brought out the best in all of us. I particularly want to mention the exemplary work done by our municipal employees who have volunteered for missions since 2011 and by the municipal authorities of Port-au-Prince. I thank them once again for their courage and generosity. They will be called upon again for phase two of the MCP."

Claude Dauphin, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Mayor of the Borough of Lachine, Quebec, said, "The Federation of Canadian Municipalities, with its more than 2,000 members, representing 90 percent of the Canadian population, is proud to renew its commitment to Haiti's future. Over the next five years, we will strengthen the ties established with our counterparts here in Canada and in Haiti, and we will continue to suggest innovative solutions for improving services to the population, tax mobilization, good governance, inter-commune cooperation, and local economic development. By supporting our efforts, the Government of Canada is demonstrating that it listens to its partners and is reinforcing its position as a key player in the issue of local governance and support for decentralization, and we welcome this."

Suzanne Roy, first Vice-President of the Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ) and Mayor of Sainte-Julie, Quebec, said, "The actions of the UMQ have always been characterized by solidarity. Beginning the day after the earthquake in Haiti, we mobilized municipalities to come to the aid of the Haitian people and the communities that had been destroyed. We were there to help them plan the reconstruction of their cities, re-establish their municipal administrations, and provide them with some basic infrastructure, thanks to financial and technical support from a number of UMQ member municipalities. I am very proud of what we accomplished with our partners, and we will continue that work in phase two of the MCP."

This initiative, which builds on the very promising results of the first phase and will ensure its sustainability, is being implemented by a consortium that includes the City of Montréal, FCM, and UMQ. The project's primary objective is to help five Haitian communities establish a transparent, effective, and sustainable administration, and ensure the delivery of services to their residents.

The partners present signed a memorandum of understanding for the project.

Quick facts

  • In January 2010 one of the worst earthquakes in recent history struck the most highly urbanized areas of Haiti. The city of Port-au-Prince and communes in the Palmes region were among the most seriously affected.
  • Canada remains one of the largest funding parties in Haiti, with an investment of $1.4 billion since 2006, of which more than $850 million has been provided since the 2010 earthquake for humanitarian assistance, support reconstruction, and promote stability and development for the long term in the country.
  • In the post-earthquake reality, the MCP has contributed to the recovery and reconstruction of municipal institutions.
  • This initiative is aligned with the Haitian government's strategic development framework, which seeks to make the communes central to the country's economic growth, and with Canada's strategy of engagement in the Americas, which has been a foreign policy priority since 2007. Canada's vision is that of a more prosperous, secure, and democratic hemisphere. Specifically, this announcement is consistent with Canada's commitments to reinforcing institutions in the region.
  • Canada is currently reviewing its long-term commitment strategy with Haiti to ensure it achieves tangible and sustainable results for the people of Haiti and to demonstrate its responsibility to Canadian taxpayers.

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Margaux Stastny, Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie
819-953-6238
margaux.stastny@international.gc.ca

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