Quebec wants Haiti earthquake victims to stay in Canada
Government moratorium on deportations could be lifted
The Quebec government is hoping Ottawa will allow thousands of Haitians who fled to Canada after the 2010 earthquake to stay in the country.
Amid the chaos of Haiti's devastating earthquake, Malie-Merline Fanfan found refuge aboard a Canadian military plane bound for Montreal, settling in the city's St. Michel district with her two daughters.
"Imagine these children who are well-integrated and who truly love Canada then having to leave. It’s really not easy," said Fanfan.
Fanfan says Montreal is now her home. But Canada denied her refugee application, and she's been living in uncertainty ever since.
The government has a moratorium on deportations to Haiti — deeming the country unsafe. But it could be lifted, sending people back to the unstable nation.
Marjorie Villefranche from the community group La Maison d'Haiti is worried the federal government may change its policy.
‘It's expiring and they ask for a review of the situation in Haiti. That's where we were afraid," she said.
Villefranche says Haiti's justice, security and health systems are still in disarray, and adding five thousand deportees to the country would only exacerbate the problems.
The provincial government is appealing to Ottawa to extend the moratorium.
Jean-François Lisée, the Quebec Minister of International Relations, said Canada should give these Haitians the right to apply for residency status after three years.
"You can decide to go back to your country, but you should have an option to build your life in Quebec and in Canada," said Lisée.