Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is departing for the Bahamas to attend a summit of 20 Caribbean leaders in Nassau to discuss regional issues, including the crisis in Haiti. Trudeau is attending the summit as a special guest to commemorate the group’s 50th anniversary. His office states that the purpose of the trip is to consider political, security, and humanitarian aid to the Haitian people and to find Haitian-led solutions to the current situation. Haiti is facing violence from gangs in Port-au-Prince, sexual assault, kidnappings, and a worsening health emergency. Prime Minister Ariel Henry of Haiti has asked for a foreign military intervention, and the U.S. has proposed Canada to lead it. Canada is searching for a consensus on the ground and has imposed economic sanctions on those accused of supporting gang activity. Emmanuel Dubourg, Canada’s only Haitian-born federal member of Parliament, has said that the government is considering all options to help the people of Haiti. This issue is also likely to be discussed with U.S. President Joe Biden when Trudeau visits the U.S. in March. Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino has said that Canada will work with the U.S. and other allies to help the situation. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that it is important to work with the Haitian people to find a solution rather than forcing one from outside the country. Trudeau had planned to attend the summit in February 2020, but cancelled due to criticism of his government’s handling of anti-pipeline blockades. Over two million Canadians travel to the countries in the group each year, and Canada’s two-way trade with them was nearly $6 billion in 2021. Trudeau is expected to return to Ottawa late Thursday night.
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