Canada imposes additional sanctions against Haitian elites

News release

January 13, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing additional sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations in response to acts of significant corruption that are fueling the crisis in the country.

These latest sanctions target 2 Haitian elites – Charles Saint-Rémy, a businessman and associate of former president Michel Martelly, and former member of parliament, Arnel Bélizaire. The sanctions impose a dealings prohibition on them, effectively freezing any assets they may hold in Canada. These individuals are inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Canada has reason to believe these individuals are using their status as high-profile elites in Haiti to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including through drug trafficking and other acts of corruption.

These gangs and their supporters continue to terrorize vulnerable populations in Haiti with impunity and are precipitating a humanitarian crisis in the country that includes the resurgence of cholera. They are also committing unspeakable violence against affected populations and impeding the delivery of critical services and humanitarian aid.

The sanctions Canada has imposed are intended to put pressure on those responsible for the ongoing violence, including widespread sexual violence, and instability in Haiti. These people must stop providing funds and weapons to criminal gangs in Haiti. Canada condemns the weaponization of sexual violence in Haiti that is devastating the lives of so many across the country.

Quotes

“Canada is continuing to fight against corruption in Haiti by imposing more sanctions against elites who are supporting the criminal gangs that are terrorizing the country. Canada will continue to work with the international community to support the people of Haiti so they can emerge from this crisis and restore peace and security in their country.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • On January 11, 2023, Canada airlifted a commercial delivery of specialized vehicles to Haiti.

  • In December 2022, Canada conducted a diplomatic mission in Haiti to encourage greater unity among key stakeholders toward a political path and process for democratic elections.

  • Since November 2022, Canada has imposed sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations against 15 Haitian elites in response to the egregious conduct of Haitian political elites who provide illicit financial and operational support to armed gangs.

  • On November 10, 2022, Canada implemented United Nations Security Council sanctions resolution 2653 into Canadian law under the United Nations Act in response to the egregious conduct of armed criminal gangs in Haiti. This resolution imposed a dealings prohibition against a Haitian gang leader.

  • 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 $20 million to aid reconstruction in Haiti following the 2021 earthquake.

Associated links

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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