Mr. Speaker, on May 14, René Préval will be sworn in as Haiti's new president. The economic hardships and political crises visited upon Haitians have been horrendous, but the Haiti I was privileged to visit on a parliamentary mission this week is charting a new course.
Confidence in the democratic process and appreciation of Canada's contribution were evident. Haitians' hopes and expectations of the new president and parliament are massive, which is why Canada must stay the course in Haiti while respecting Haitians' sovereignty and right to self-determination.
I was deeply impressed by the dedication and confidence of Canadians working with Haitians to build the desperately needed parliamentary, judicial, economic and security infrastructure.
During President Préval's upcoming visit to Canada and our Haitian Canadian Governor General's attendance at his May 14 inauguration, Canadians must seize the opportunity to strengthen our commitment to a mutually respectful and constructive partnership that will truly benefit all Haitian men, women and children.