OTTAWA–International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino’s recent announcement that Canadian aid to new projects in Haiti will be frozen, and blaming this on the Haitian people, is simply deplorable, said Liberals today.
“We obviously have to ensure that Canadian aid is used effectively, but rather than freezing aid and making disdainful remarks about Haitians who face extremely difficult situations every day, the Conservative government should enter into an open dialogue with Canadians and our international partners,” said Liberal International Cooperation critic Mark Eyking. “The solution is not to turn our backs on the Haitian people under the pretext that the aid is not producing real results. The solution is to develop a clear strategy on the objectives to be achieved and the ways to do so.”
Canadians understand that rebuilding Haiti requires a long‑term commitment from Canada, along with a commitment to accountability by the Haitian government and its institutions. Canadians expect the Conservative government to show leadership to ensure that Canada’s aid produces results. Last year, Liberals demanded that the government be more transparent and reveal Canada’s strategy for aid to Haiti over the next ten years. Unfortunately, the Conservatives have remained silent.
“Minister Fantino’s contemptuous comments are shocking and demonstrate a flagrant lack of empathy for Haiti and its people,” said Denis Coderre, M.P. for Bourassa. “His statement also shows his complete lack of understanding of the complexity of Haiti’s situation. It is possible to ensure that accountability measures are put in place without insulting the Haitian people. Canada must work with Haitians and not preach to them. Show a little respect please, Mr. Minister.”