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29 Apr 2010

Minister Arcand leads economic solidarity mission to Haiti

Pierre Arcand

Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, will lead an economic solidarity mission to Haiti on April 30 and May 1. Accompanied by a small delegation, he will evaluate the deployment of Québec assistance in the Caribbean nation.

The delegation will be made up of Pierre Richard Casimir, Haitian Consul General in Montréal, Emmanuel Dubourg, Member of the National Assembly for Viau and Québec government coordinator for Haiti, Gilles Bernier, Canam Group’s Vice-President for Public Relations and former Canadian Ambassador to Haiti, and Marcel Proulx, ENAP Executive Director.

The Minister will meet with Haitian President René Préval and the ministers responsible for national education and vocational training, social affairs and labour, public health and population, and culture and communications.

According to Pierre Arcand, “The mission is aimed at three specific objectives. First, we want to take a first-hand look at the efforts deployed by international cooperation organizations thanks to the $3 million in emergency assistance granted by the Government of Québec. Next, we need to assess how our public expertise can be useful for reviving this hard-hit country. Finally, we have to evaluate the sectors in which Québec companies could participate in the reconstruction. It is crucial that these efforts be deployed in close collaboration with the Government of Haiti and the Haitian diaspora in Québec.”

The Government of Québec has taken various steps since the earthquake in order to provide humanitarian aid in Haiti. Premier Jean Charest has met with the Haitian Prime Minister several times since January in order to make sure that Québec’s efforts are adequately aligned with the country’s needs. A ministerial committee has been set up to coordinate the collective efforts and ensure their efficiency. Minister Arcand also held a consultation meeting with civil society partners active in Haiti on March 22.

Relations between Québec and Haiti
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