Above: Minister Julian Fantino (UN Photo/Rick Bajornas)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti President Michel Martelly hosted a visit by Canadian International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino at the National Palace on Monday.
The trip by Fantino, which began Sunday, is an effort to “gain a better understanding of how Canada’s contributions to Haiti are making a difference in the lives of the Haitian people,” according to a release by the Canadian International Development Agency.
“The government of Canada and Canadians expect transparency and accountability from the government of Haiti given Canadians’ significant level of generosity,” Fantino said ahead of the visit. “I will be expressing this expectation in my meetings with senior officials.”
Fantino has served as Canada’s International Cooperation Minister since the departure of Beverley Oda earlier this year.
Fantino’s visit will continue with a meeting with Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, Foreign Minister Pierre Richard Casimir and representatives of Canadian companies in Haiti.
“I will be discussing with Haitian leaders how they can work towards achieving concrete reforms, so that the public interest is upheld, the rule of law prevails, human rights are protected and the economy is strengthened through local job creation and investment,” he said.
Fantino will also look at development projects supported by Canada in areas including Port-au-Prince and Leogane.
“Interventions by the Canadian government to strengthen the capacity of Haitian institutions can only enhance the overall climate for improving the situation in Haiti,” Martelly said Monday, thanking Canada for its efforts in the country.
Fantino’s trip concludes Nov. 28.