Canada imposes sanctions against Haitian political elites

News release

November 4, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced in coordination with the United States that Canada is imposing targeted sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations in response to the egregious conduct of Haitian political elites who provide illicit financial and operational support to armed gangs.

These sanctions target two individuals, President of the Senate Joseph Lambert and former President of the Senate Youri Latortue. The new measures will impose a dealings prohibition on these individuals, effectively freezing any assets they may hold in Canada.

Canada has reason to believe these individuals are using their status as previous or current public office holders to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including through money laundering and other acts of corruption.

These gangs and their supporters terrorize vulnerable populations in Haiti with impunity, and are precipitating a humanitarian crisis in Haiti that includes the resurgence of cholera on the island.

They are committing unspeakable violence, including widespread sexual violence, against affected populations and impeding the delivery of critical services.

The sanctions against these individuals are intended to stop the flow of illicit funds and weapons to weaken and disable criminal gangs. The Government of Canada will consider further sanctions against additional individuals and entities, as well as other measures to pressure those responsible for the violence and insecurity in Haiti.

Quotes

“Canada will not remain idle while gangs and those who support them terrorize Haiti’s citizens. We are putting pressure on these individuals to force them to end their senseless violence. The international community has an important role to play and we need to do everything we can to both help Haitians and to uphold respect for human rights, democracy and international peace.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • In October 2022, a Canadian government delegation carried out consultations in Haiti with regional partners, the United Nations, CARICOM and other partners.

  • In partnership with U.S. armed forces, Canada airlifted a commercial delivery of specialized vehicles to Haiti on October 15, 2022.

  • On September 21, 2022, Prime Minister Trudeau announced Canada’s contribution of CAD $20 million to help reconstruction in Haiti following the 2021 earthquake.

  • Canada is strengthening the capacities of the National Police of Haiti, in particular through a recent contribution of $10 million to the Security Basket Fund implemented by the UNDP.

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Contacts

Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Adrien.Blanchard@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
media@international.gc.ca
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