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Paul Martin on Helping Africa

posted by dru Geography: Atlantic Topics: haiti

April 1, 2008

Paul Martin on Helping Africa

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[Irving-owned media version here.]

[From an email:]

Engineers Without Borders hosted a lecture by former PM Paul Martin last night at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. The title of the lecture was called: "How business and government can help Africa." The auditorium spilled into 2 other full rooms. The rooms were filled with many Liberals but also several people completely offended by the lecture. We had a great flyer done up, which mocked the event and had information about Paul Martin's track record.

When Paul Martin began his speech. Two UNB students unfurled a banner that read "Canada Out of Haiti and Afghanistan". They were told by a student organizer to move to the side, which actually made them closer to Martin. The students were surprised when they were not told to leave. Another couple of students unfurled another banner that read "Neo-Liberalism=Neo-Colonialism" on the other side of Martin. They stood there during his entire talk with Martin acknowledging their presence a couple of times.

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Martin made many outlandish statements. He said that Canada is not a colonial power. During his lecture, he was first interrupted when he said that Canada has no business interests in Haiti. A student said "What about the sweatshops?" Then again he was interrupted by myself when he started to tell his version of how Aristide fell from power. I pointed out that it was his government that helped to overthrow the democratically elected Aristide government. He said that Aristide asked for help seeking asylum and that the Caribbean nations supported his departure! I pointed out that Canadian armed forces secured the airport when Aristide was flown out of the country.

Martin kept referring to our generational differences on Africa, asking the audience if he thought our generation was more concerned, and he mentioned his concerns with fixing the problems for Aboriginals in Canada by bringing entrepreneurship opportunities, etc.


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