Mr. Speaker, last week, I went to Haiti with some ParlAmericas colleagues. We were able to see first-hand Canada's commitment to the reconstruction of this devastated country. The people of Haiti are very grateful for the generosity and solidarity shown by foreign governments, which have saved many lives. Nevertheless, the extension of emergency aid is creating a climate of dependency and thus negatively affecting the Haitian economy and society.
After meeting with members of Haiti's parliament and people from local NGOs, I realized just how excluded the people of Haiti are feeling when it comes to the reconstruction of their own country. Canada is facing a major challenge—to inspire a new direction in international co-operation.
We must promote independent and sustainable economic development and always encourage grassroots participation. The people of Haiti must be allowed to take charge of their own destiny in the rebuilding of their country.