Monday, John Baird, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), visited Haiti to see first-hand the contributions that Canada has been making to the country’s development. The ministers also met with Haitian President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe to discuss both the challenges and the successes with accountable development assistance, and improvements to the rule of law, security, governance and sustainable prosperity.
John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, first visit of a minister of the Harper government since the controversial remarks of Mr. Fantino, said he was satisfied with the progress on the ground since a year, remarks that contrasts clearly with those held by the Minister Julian Fantino. Mr. Baird still remember to the President Martelly, that Canada expects that the millions of dollars that Canada contributes annually in assistance produce concrete results “[…] it is natural to evaluate the effectiveness of Canadian aid. After a few years, we must evaluate the investments we have made to see if we have had good results. This was the case in Afghanistan. This is the case in Haiti, it is the same thing everywhere. We want to work with them here, with our partner, and be sure that our priorities are aligned.”
“Canada plays a key role in international efforts to support Haiti and help its people overcome the immense challenges they contend with daily,” said Baird. “We share with Haitian leaders the goal of seeing a self-sustaining economy with opportunity for all Haitians and a greater role for private-sector actors, including Canadian companies.”
“Through our engagement in the Americas, Canada has been working in partnership with our neighbours, including Haiti, to build a safer and more prosperous hemisphere,” said Minister Ablonczy. “Our time in Haiti today will give us invaluable perspective on how Canada can best support the Haitian people in their progress toward these goals.”
“Our goal is to get real and lasting results for Haiti and value for money for Canadian taxpayers,” added the Minister Baird. “The Haitian and Canadian people expect no less of their respective governments.”
The ministers also met with Mr. Pierre-Richard Casimir, Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and with representatives of the Organization of American States and civil society.
Canada stands ready to support the Government of Haiti in better coordinating non-governmental organizations, donors and partners currently operating in the country.
During their visit, the ministers noted the recent efforts toward dialogue between the executive branch of government, parliament and civil society, while reiterating Canada’s concern over the upcoming legislative and municipal elections and the need for the Haitian government to seek a consensus on a permanent electoral council.