International

Quebec City to build $2 million fire station in Port-au-Prince

QUEBEC CITY, Canada (defend.ht) - The Mayor of Quebec City, Régis Labeaume, announced on Friday that the city will sign for the construction of a new fire station in Port-au-Prince, which will be financed by a Quebecois investor at a cost of $2 million [US].

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QUEBEC CITY, Canada (defend.ht) - The Mayor of Quebec City, Régis Labeaume, announced on Friday that the city will sign for the construction of a new fire station in Port-au-Prince, which will be financed by a Quebecois investor at a cost of $2 million [US].

Six months after the visit of Régis Labeaume in Haiti, it was the turn of Haiti to come to Québec: Stephanie B. Villedrouin, Minister of Tourism, and UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti, Michaëlle Jean, were in town. The objective was to implement collaborative agreements and, above all, sell the tourism potential of the country to possible investors.

A first agreement was concluded. Port-au-Prince will have a new fire station thanks to an Quebecois investor that the mayor of the town did not name, but who is willing to provide $2 million in the venture.

"The final answer is expected... The City shall guarantee the investment. This is the City of Quebec, in communion with the Haitians who would draw the barrack, construct, direct the work, but obviously with workers in Haiti and local materials," said Mayor Lebeaume.

Details of the "investor's" interest in Haiti has not been released, neither has this person's identity. The Sentinel has demanded disclosure in this regard.

It is known that the UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti, Jean, did make a trip to Haiti in late 2012 and was accompanied by the Mayor of the City of Quebec. This is what Jean said in a December 2012 interview :

"...this time I brought with me an important delegation of about 20 people. The idea was to address two things. First, the civil protection and fire protection services in Haiti, because the situation is very dire. I think of all the Haitian firemen who, during the earthquake, really supported the international teams to rescue and search for people, who really worked with all their courage and sense of duty, but are now working from a building that is almost completely destroyed. It’s very risky for them to work in a building that is damaged. And they have almost no equipment. The President of Haiti [Michel Martelly] has raised my attention on the situation, and asked me to see if Canada could come and support the reinforcement of the services in Haiti. So I collected a group of Canadians who have been involved in Haiti over the last two years, working with local authorities in different municipalities, building infrastructure and supporting municipal and local governments. So I raised the attention about strategies that could be efficient to support Haiti in that field of fire services. The mayor of Quebec City [Regis Labeaume] wanted to accompany me with a team of specialists from Quebec City. The commander of the fire services of Port-au-Prince, who’s also responsible for all the services in the country, has also mentioned and stressed the issue of professionalizing his teams and the teams across everywhere in Haiti. So a delegation came from a special college in Ottawa where they train firemen and really help structure efficient and professional service. We need to work with Haitian partners to make sure that Haitians would really take ownership of all the knowledge and experience and make it sustainable. So that was one part of the delegation." - Michaëlle Jean

The other parts of Jean's trip revolved around reconstruction investment and tourism.

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