Crisis in haiti: tourism quebec soon to be repatriated

Crise haïtienne: les touristes québécois bientôt rapatriés

OTTAWA — hundreds of tourists quebecers stuck in a hotel in Haiti will be evacuated Saturday morning, according to the prime minister of Québec, François Legault, who met with the ambassador of Canada in this country.

“Air Transat has just confirm to me that the 113 passengers in Haiti to be repatriated on a flight tomorrow morning”, he wrote on his Twitter account at the end of the day Friday.

It was revealed a few hours ago that the government was “very close to getting a solution”.

“There is a private security company hired by Air Transat to protect passengers, and we look at the possibility tomorrow to have three helicopters that go from the hotel Decameron to bring the 113 passengers, with two trips, at the airport, where there will be Air Transat, which could bring them to Montreal,” he stated in the margin of his meeting with the leader of the Bloc québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, Montreal.

The air carrier has confirmed that he was putting the finishing touches on an evacuation plan “, which will be implemented over the next few hours”, but did not want to give more details before Saturday, in order “not to jeopardize the safety” of its passengers.

Since about a week, Haiti is in the throes of violent social upheavals. The protesters have been demanding the departure of president Jovenel Moses for multiple reasons. The protests have so far claimed the lives of several protesters and many of the activities are paralysed due to the motion raised by popular anger.

The violence that is shaking the country to prevent tourists québécois confined in this hotel take the road to return home. A distance of about 70 km between the airport of Port-au-Prince.

Evictions suspended

Any haitian national in Canada not be deported to his native country because of the crisis there.

The Agency of Canada border services (CBSA) has today suspended Friday’s deportations to Haiti through an administrative stay of removal, and this, “until further order”.

“The CBSA is aware of the impact of this situation on the people concerned,” said his spokesperson, Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr, in a brief e-mail.

She did not say how many people have been deported from Canada to Haiti since the beginning of the crisis in this country.

This decision is pleasing to the coordinator of the action Committee of non-status people, André Frantz, who had protested earlier this week the deportation of a father and his 11 year old daughter.

“However, the word that you don’t like, this is temporary”, he said.

“Yes, I welcome the decision positively, but I believe that the situation in Haiti will not cure in a few days, a few weeks, he added. I think I need to put something more permanent and offer also a program of regularization on a humanitarian basis.”

Asked by reporters Friday morning on the evictions, the prime minister Justin Trudeau had simply said that the government “was in the process of looking at this issue.” He also avoided specifying whether he supported the haitian president.

“In relation to the president Jovenel, we are monitoring the situation closely and we will continue to provide assistance to the haitian people”, is it limited to say.

Mr. Trudeau has pointed out that the government was “very concerned” by the crisis, which affects many Canadians.

“We are also very aware of a number of Canadians who are currently caught up in the country and who want to return, and must return to Canada, and it is currently working to world Affairs and our diplomatic corps for help,” he said.

Avoid travel

In addition, the federal government released Thursday evening a new notice regarding Haiti, and is now recommending that Canadians avoid all travel in this country.

Ottawa announced that the Canadian embassy in Port-au-Prince remained closed Friday. The consular services are always available by phone or email, 24 hours on 24, and the ministry of foreign Affairs says it is ready to provide any assistance that would be required by its citizens (1-613-996-8885 or sosinternational.gc.ca : mailto:sosinternational.gc.ca.).

The government warns now that “the security situation could deteriorate quickly” and that Canadians should ‘consider leaving by commercial means while they are available”.

Protesters have blocked the main roads of the country to demand the resignation of president Jovenel Moses. They are unhappy with rampant inflation and the inability of the government to prosecute those responsible for misappropriation of funds related to the program of the venezuelan several billion dollars, which was exporting oil at a reduced price in Haiti.

The doctor Ottawa Émilio Bazile and three members of his team in the Maritimes are part of these Canadians stranded in Haiti. He said Thursday that the food was running out for him and his medical team composed of 10 members, who visited the south of Haiti to provide care to the local population.

A team of 26 humanitarian workers associated with the missionaries of Quebec is also part of the dozens of Canadians stranded in the Caribbean island.

World affairs Canada has stated that he provided advice consular tour operators and agents on the ground in Haiti providing assistance to canadian citizens.

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