Canada’s first attempt to airlift Canadians out of gang-violent Haiti grounded by poor weather

Gang-violent Haiti. Image credit: Unsplash/ev

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Toronto/IBNS: Canada’s reportedly first attempt to bring 18 Canadians out of Haiti by helicopter flights were grounded Monday due to poor weather conditions in the Dominican Republic, André François Giroux, Canada’s ambassador to Haiti reported saying.

Canada planned to transport eligible Canadians with valid Canadian passports by helicopter from Haiti to the neighbouring Dominican Republic, where they can catch flights home, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said Monday

She said that options for other Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families prioritising vulnerable Canadians, such as people with medical conditions or children, are being explored by the government.

Widespread gang violence in Haiti had caused the shut down of the main airport in Port-au-Prince because of its proximity to gang territory.

Giroux said that Canada’s new assisted departure operation for Haiti will resume after heavy rain and wind conditions abate.

Canada had been successful earlier this month in evacuating a portion of its embassy staff from Port-au-Prince, Haiti due to gang violence in the city by commercial helicopter charter .

In a written statement , Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has said that “due to the volatility of the security situation, the lack of reliable supplies and the need to support an effective presence in a volatile situation, Canada is temporarily making efforts to evacuate essential personnel at its embassy in Haiti.

Fewer than 300 people have asked for assistance getting out when Global Affairs Canada reportedly said.

Joly is advising Canadians in Haiti needing help in escaping to register with GAC on its website.

According to GAC.approximately 3,000 Canadians in Haiti are registered with the federal government.

(Image: Helicopter airlifts. Image credit: Unsplash/Cristian Grecu