November 16, 2005 15:59 ET

CIDA: Canada Increases its Support for Electoral Process in Haiti

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 16, 2005) - International Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll and Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew today announced that Canada will contribute $6.75 million to support the electoral process in Haiti. Through Canada Corps, Canada will deploy up to 300 short-term observers to monitor the upcoming elections. This funding will also support Elections Canada's on-the-ground coordination of observers and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) deployment of 1,200 electoral security agents.

"Canada is committed to ensuring that the upcoming Haitian elections are conducted in a free, fair, and transparent manner, reflecting the democratic will of Haitians," said Minister Carroll. "Recognising the special relationship between Canada and Haiti, we have once again increased our contribution to strengthen the democratic process in Haiti, knowing that it will improve the lives of the Haitian people. I invite qualified Canadians to apply to become observers of this historical vote."

"Canada recognizes the importance of the ongoing electoral process in Haiti for the reconstruction and stability of the country," stated Minister Pettigrew. "Observation is vital to the success of the elections. Canada will play a key role in the international observation effort."

Of the funding announced today, $4 million will be provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), including $2 million through Canada Corps for short-term observers. Another $2 million will go to Elections Canada to support the on-the-ground coordination. A further $2.75 million will be provided by the Foreign Affairs/Global Peace and Security Fund and managed by the UNDP for the provision of electoral security agents as well as radio repeaters and other communications equipment.

Last June, Elections Canada was selected to establish the International Mission for Monitoring Haitian Elections (IMMHE), as officially announced at the Montreal International Conference on Haiti. The IMMHE will publish a final report that will assess key areas in Haiti's electoral processes.

The deployment of the election observers reflects the importance of Haiti's election to the country's future, as well as Canada's commitment, through Canada Corps, to bring Canadian skills and expertise to the world. Canada Corps was also mandated to help young Canadians bring their enthusiasm and energy to the world, as well as to ensure that qualified Canadians of all ages and backgrounds can, in the spirit of volunteerism, offer their skills and ideas in support of Canadian development priorities. Building on CIDA's partnerships with Canadian organizations, a global citizenship program is being planned.

Canadians who are interested in applying to be part of the Haiti mission should do so, before the end of day on Friday, November 18, 2005, through CANADEM's website at Please note that certain qualifications will be required.

Today's announcement brings the Government of Canada's total contribution for the election process in Haiti to $29.5 million. This is part of Canada's commitment of $180 million over two years for Haiti's reconstruction and development efforts, including $154 million in support of the transitional government's Interim Cooperation Framework and 100 civilian police officers for the Mission of the United Nations for stabilization of Haiti.

Funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 2005 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Andrew Graham
    Director of communications
    (819) 953-6238
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    (819) 953-6534 (electronic version of document)
    Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
    James Christoff
    Press Secretary
    (613) 995-1851
    Foreign Affairs Canada
    Media Relations Office
    (613) 995-1874