Question Period: Support for Haiti

By: The Hon. Wanda Thomas Bernard

Share this post:

Hon. Wanda Thomas Bernard: My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate. Senator Gold, I want to inquire about the situation in Haiti, which is quite dire. A March 28 United Nations human rights report referred to the situation as “cataclysmic.” Canada was slow to get involved in a multinational security support mission for Haiti. Finally, in March, Canada deployed 70 Canadian Armed Forces members to train Caribbean Community, or CARICOM, troops in Jamaica to strengthen the Haitian police force.

Now that Canada has troops in Jamaica, can you assure us that Canada’s involvement in the security of Haiti will be for the long term and meaningful rather than performative?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question and underlining the human, political and social crisis in Haiti. There are so many problems in the world that things can get overlooked.

Canada’s involvement with Haiti and its commitment to assisting the people of Haiti are longstanding and will endure. It works closely with its partners in the region to ensure that its interventions, whether financial, for training or otherwise, meet the needs in Haiti as well as they can. I have every confidence that the government will continue to support the people of Haiti in their ongoing struggle for a better, more decent, peaceful and safe life.

Senator Bernard: Thank you.

Senator Gold, there are Haitian refugee claimants who are waiting for their hearings before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. While they have refugee claimant status, they are unable to reunite with their loved ones in Haiti.

Will the Canadian government prioritize hearings for Haitian refugee claimants?

Senator Gold: Thank you for your question.

I am really not in a position to know exactly how the prioritization among different categories of applicants is progressing, but I’ll certainly raise this with the minister.

Share this post: