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18 February 2021

Dramatic situation in Haiti: The CRC calls on the Canadian government

The Canadian Religious Conference represents Canadian religious congregations. There are over two hundred congregations in Canada and they still total over 10,000 men and women religious. It is on their behalf that I am sharing with you this heartfelt cry to have Canada come to the defence of democratic values by openly and clearly denouncing the dictatorial regime established by President Jovenel Moïse in Haiti.

The violence currently raging in this Caribbean country is indescribable: fear reigns, kidnappings are on the rise, with large ransoms being demanded, there is total disorder and people are starving. Prime Minister Trudeau, you know the strength of Canadian solidarity with the Haitian people. At the present time, because the Canadian government has remained silent, we feel complicit in Mr. Jovenel Moïse’s actions, which are causing an inhuman and disastrous situation. We want to share with you the fact that we are appalled by this situation.

We are confident that a position taken by your government denouncing the current chaos in Haiti, so detrimental to the country’s population, could raise awareness and be a starting point for a necessary change. We therefore beg you, Mr. Prime Minister, to distance yourself from the international “Core Group” and dare to denounce Jovenel Moïse. He is clinging to power and in that way holding the Haitian people captive while making them suffer in agony. Moreover, he has established a dictatorial regime, since he is currently ruling the country by decree; Parliament was dissolved after recognizing that its members’ mandate had come to an end over a year ago. Mr. Moïse has even dared to cross the fundamental threshold of the separation between political and judicial power by changing, on his own accord, the mandate of the country’s Supreme Court justices. As Canadians, we live in peace in a democratic political system; can we not then act by making our voice heard?

Mr. Prime Minister, Canadian men and women religious, many of whom have worked happily alongside the Haitian people, are counting on you to allow Canada to once again be a leader by clearly and unequivocally denouncing this situation, which is as unsustainable as it is painful. May your denunciation of the acts of Mr. Jovenel Moïse’s be in support of the Haitian people!

In the name of this people, who are so dear to Canadians, we ask you to act quickly.