Canada halts humanitarian aid to Haiti

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Fantino scolds them for their garbage

The Harper government has frozen humanitarian aid to Haiti.

The reason behind it is downright shameful.

It came after a visit to Haiti by Julian Fantino, Canada's foreign aid minister, a former Toronto cop who keeps putting his foot into it time after time.

Fantino was walking around Port-au-Prince and found garbage and litter everywhere on the streets.

There's a reason. The city was almost wiped off the map by the Great Earthquake of 2010 that killed 300,000 inhabitants. The city was devastated. There are still 350,000 living in tents and makeshift shelters, begging for food and hoping for desperate supplies.

It's not as if Canada hasn't given money. The Harper government generously sent down $ 353 million and individual Canadians donated another $ 200 million to stricken Haitians.

With few schools or hospitals rebuilt, picking up garbage and cleaning the streets is not their first concern. It's understandable.

But for Fantino who is used to tidy suburban streets in his Toronto-Vaughan riding, the whole sticking mess was disgusting.

It was at this point that Fantino decided to freeze humanitarian aid until the Haitians pick up their garbage in the streets.


Instead of getting the money they need  for reconstruction, Haitians get a lecture from a former Toronoto cop  who scolds them for their dirty streets.

Stephen Harper should have fired him on the spot. Instead Harper decides to do nothing.

Fantino is still a minister. And the garbage is still in the streets in Haiti.

That's where it will stay, Haitians say, and that's where it will remain until the homes, schools and hospitals are rebuilt. That's their priority.

The United States government appealed to Fantino to reverse his decision and continue Canadian government humanitarian aid to Haiti.

Fantino refused. He said he has no intention of changing his mind. Canada is "not a charity," he said.

There's a reason for the hard line. Harper and Fantino want to link foreign aid to foreign trade -- how to make money for Canada out of the misery in Haiti.

Fantino said Canadians expect their government to seek opportunities in Haiti where everyone will come out "a clear winner."

Right now there isn't any foreign trade in Haiti, or much of anything else for that matter.

Canada is being cursed in Haiti this week as another wealthy country pretending to give money to the Third World while keeping it for itself.



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