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Few people and even Canadians know that Haiti is Canadas largest aid commitment in the Americas, and second after Afghanistan. According to (Michaud, 2001), Haiti is known as a perpetual ‘failed state’ characterized by coup de ’tats, contentious elections, food riots and recently a devastating earthquake. Even before the devastating earthquake, much of the Haiti population suffered from lack of food access. The average cost of living of any Haiti resident is slightly closer to that of Canada yet the Haiti residents employed in the manufacturing sector face difficult conditions. The role played by the Canadian government in its international relation with Haiti is a matter of concern and is subject to debate as it needs a clear analysis of historical data in order to obtain a proper conclusion as to what role the Canadian government played in Haiti. Therefore, my paper will seek to ascertain the impacts the Canadian foreign policy had on Haiti’s government.
The Canadian government started its role in Haiti through the provision of security and stability through the CIDA agencies, the RCMP and other international bodies such as the United Nations. However, the intentions of Canada ventured on the opposite. In the year 2004, the United States of America, together with Canada and the French played a role in ousting the elected president of Haiti by the name Jean Bertrand Aristide. in doing this they overturned an entire government that was elected by the people.
According to the historical records, six years after the assisted Haiti coup, Haiti remained occupied by the UN police and a military best known by the acronym MINUSTAH. The former president ousted out during the coup lives in exile in South Africa and the administration of Haiti remains in tatters. The Canadian and response to the Haiti earthquake added over ten thousand troops to the country hence furthering the countries woes.
Few Canadian’s knows of the role played by Canada in Haiti, and even fewer know the remarkable role the Canadian administration role in the Haitians land. Haiti is the second oldest republic in the western hemisphere. It was once part of the colony France of Saint Dominique, a sugar plantation with many slaves. But historical records show that in 1971, Haiti people began resisting, winning and fighting the single successful historical human revolt (Michaud, 2001).
The Haiti independence struggle was intermingled deeply with the French revolution. They took up the device fraternity, equality, and liberty and demanded equal treatment for all regardless of skin color. The delegates of Haiti presented these demands to the Republican assembly in France. The presence of a republic with free blacks also sent shockwaves through the entire America continent. The very existence of Haiti set up a visible antagonistic relation between the theUnited States of America and its own large black slave population. The US Marines and the Canadian troops occupied Haiti from 1925 to 1934 setting up difficult relationship to date.
Canadian foreign policies with regards to the Republic of Haiti date back to the historical this historical period. There are plenty immigration records of immigration from Haiti to Quebec that date back to the 1700s, when both were part of the French Empire. The exchange slowed hen French started losing its colonies in the new world during the mid-eighteenth century. These relations between Haiti and Canada grew again in the early twentieth century but this time it was restricted to the French-speaking elites between the two nations. The French Canadians began a mission to replace the French and Belgian missionaries who were dispersed by the world wars who were dominant in the Haiti Catholic community.
The wealthy people of Haiti started preferring their children to study in Quebec while at the same time using it for their health and immigration purposes. The integration between the French-speaking immigrants and the Canadian societies was well established. In the year 1964, Dr. Monestie was elected as the fastback Canadian mayor after he moved to the francophone community of Mattawa.
The pattern of immigration changed in the 1970s and 80s to be poor. The Creole-speaking Haitians fled the Duvalier dictatorship. The Canadian government has persisted in treating the Haitians as French-speaking individuals through their documentation even though the Majority of Haiti people speak Haitian Creole. A visible exception to this rule was the educators. The French-speaking teachers realized that they required French as their second language.
Immigration provided a long-standing relationship between Haiti and Canada. It ended up with Haiti becoming the first Latin American and Caribbean country where an official policy and relations were made. Most of the Haitian population are today living in Quebec. In the year 2004, the visible results of the shift were seen when theFrench, us and the Canadian troops removed president Aristide from office. The planning for his removal took place in Ottawa, under the Prime minister Jan Chretien ten and his Liberal government. They later installed an unelected government led by one Gerard Latortue from the year 2004 to 2006.
The Latortue government installed with the aid of the Canadian government cracked down vigorously the initially poverty-stricken population of Haiti. They concentrated their efforts on the Cite Soleil and Bel Air slums in Port-Au-Princeresulting in thousands of deaths. The response that Canada gave was silent support since secretly they knew they were the cause of it. In November 2004the prime minister of Canada, Paul Martin paid his first visit to Haiti and appointed Mitchell Jean who was born Haitian as Canada’s Governor General.
Instead of condemning the coup regime, the Canadian government supported efforts by the local self-established government to tannish the ousted government (Michaud,2001). An egregious case was that where the funds were being channeled by the CIDA’sto fund the National Coalition for Haiti Rights (NCHR) to produce a report that was meant to accuse the ousted government of massacre actions in the region of. Marc. Although the NCHR was not to produce any evidence to find the government liable eventually accusing the ousted government of barbaric acts.
This report has since been used by the Canadian governments as legal grounds to harass and detain former members of the Aristide government. recently Phares Pierre was fired from the Canadas immigration and refugee board. Others accused in the alleged incident, the likes of Ronald Dauphin remained imprisoned without proper trial, although the penitentiary was destroyed by an earthquake. All these allegations were in in the run to make sure that the Canadian government eradicated all potential threats to the non-legitimate government.
In conclusion, my question is, is Canada really helping Haiti? Throughout all this, the efforts displayed by the Canadian government are seen as being beneficial to Haiti and the Haitians. Correct and accurate evidence of good acts by the Canadian was very scarce. According to (McKenna 2012) aid in Haiti is largely is dominated mainly by non-governmental organizations and faith-related organizations that are normally dominated by non-Haitians. The-governmental organizations pay international level wages rather than the Haitian ones. The funds can never have a viable investment in the Haitian soil and existing institutions. As for government-led projects, some Canadian based orphanage was built by donations from individual members of the Canadian police department. Through all this, every interested individual sees that Haiti needs help. However, that help must be incorporated with the historical understanding of Haiti’s history and the recognition of the poor majority of the Haitians majority individuals. The poor have received a negative sidelining from the elites of Haiti and their international backers.
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