Green Party calls for emergency review of Haiti policy

The Green Party believes that Canada's disgraceful involvement must be reversed, and Canada must halt all aid

(Ottawa, January 8, 2006) - The Canadian government must put an end to its unconstitutional actions in Haiti, said Green Party leader Jim Harris. "Canada must respect the inherent right of the Haitian people to self-determination and democratic processes," Harris added.

Paul Martin's Liberals have been sinking deeper into this human rights debacle since their cooperation with France and the United States to depose Haiti's democratically elected President on February 29, 2004 and install an interim government that has since been responsible for brutal repression and gross violations of human rights.

The Green Party believes that Canada's disgraceful involvement must be reversed, and Canada must halt all aid, as well as training being provided by the RCMP to the Haitian National Police, who have been responsible for massacres and assassinations of civilians since the coup in 2004. The detention of political prisoners in Haiti must also be condemned.

As the political and human rights situation in Haiti worsens, the Green Party of Canada is calling for an immediate independent review and re-orientation of Canadian foreign policy activity towards that troubled nation. "A full and independent review will prove that Canada's recent Haiti policy was and is a stunning series of miscalculations and mistakes," said Green Party Foreign Affairs Critic Eric Walton.

The Haiti policy review should consider whether the United States, Canada, and France were openly and strategically involved in supporting the process that led to the coup and exile of a democratically elected president.

The ongoing attempts to cover over the flagrant violation of the Haitian Constitution with new elections, now delayed for a fifth time, have been plagued with brutal violence and abuse of fundamental democratic principles.

"The continued imprisonment of opposition party leaders on politically motivated charges makes a mockery of the elections. "Canada and the U.N. should be demanding the immediate release of all political prisoners in Haiti", said Walton.

As an alternative to the upcoming elections in Haiti, the Green Party believes the Canadian government should promote a broadly representative Haitian Peace and Renewal Process in a safe third country, ensuring the security of all participants.