Crisis in Haiti: A vocal Montreal diaspora is heard outside Trudeau's office


By Laurent Lavoie, Le Journal de Montreal, April 2, 2023

Several members of the Haitian diaspora gathered Sunday in front of Prime Minister Trudeau's office in Montreal, urging his government to do more to secure their loved ones who are affected by the crisis in their native country.

"If they have a minimum of respect for us, [the authorities] will get involved in a serious and relevant way," Wilner Cayo, President of the organization "Debout pour la dignité" [Stand up for Dignity], told the Journal de Montreal.

A few minutes later, he gave a fiery speech to the approximately 200 Haitians who were gathered on Boulevard Crémazie Est, along Highway 40.

“We want a serious commitment!” he thundered repeatedly. Under the spring sun, the demonstrators also chanted a host of slogans: "Let's put an end to kidnappings", "Canada can make a difference", "No to corrupt politicians".

Moments of Terror

The concern and anger among those interviewed by Le Journal de Montreal was palpable.

“We live in moments of terror. We live in fear, there is insecurity everywhere. We are ransomed for money that we do not even have, ”lamented Holanda Beaubrun.

Holanda Beaubrun worries daily for the safety of her family in Haiti. This mother has lost count of the dollars donated to help acquaintances extorted by violent gangs in Haiti.

"Every day we wonder what will happen to our loved ones," added Ms. Beaubrun, whose parents and sister are constantly on their guard in their native country.

Ronalde Obas, whose shoulders were covered by a large Haitian flag, spoke to the exasperation that is eating away at the diaspora.

“We are tired of seeing our children, our brothers and sisters, our cousins […] suffer and die of hunger,” she summed up. The one who has lived in Quebec for fifteen years has also recently paid $ 400 to help a friend to pay a ransom.

The Montreal Police Service (SPVM) did not report any violence during the demonstration.


Translated by CHIP editors


Posted April 25, 2023