Rich nations must help build Haiti consensus: former governor general Michaëlle Jean

OTTAWA — Former governor general Michaëlle Jean says wealthy countries must admit mistakes they've made in Haiti and pressure that nation's elite to find a path out of an ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Jean says countries such as Canada need to take responsibility for ushering in debilitating economic policies in Haiti and deporting criminals who have sowed chaos in Port-au-Prince.

She was among dozens of high-profile signatories to an open letter this week that said Haiti is "dying" and needs international help to avoid becoming a failed state.

Jean says that means building up institutions led by Haitians, ending exploitative economic policies, and having more countries sanction corrupt leaders who support gangs.

She echoed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's comments that a solution requires a political consensus, which she says means a deal between civil society groups and the unelected prime minister they want to resign, Ariel Henry.

Jean was born in Haiti and was the former UNESCO envoy for that country after serving as Canada's representative of the monarch.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2023.

The Canadian Press