Some Canadians abroad have been struggling to return back home to Canada recently. Canadians have been left stranded in Haiti after violent protests and demonstrations have been taking place in the country. The reason why these travellers have been stranded is due to the fact that it's dangerous and risky for these Canadians to get to the airport in Haiti and travel back home, according to Global News.
Several different groups of Canadians are stranded in Haiti right now. Around 100 Canadian tourists from Quebec have been unable to leave their hotel in the midst of violent protests and demonstrations, according to CBC News. An entire team of Canadian health-care professionals from the Maritimes is also stuck in Haiti and unsure how to return back to Canada.
One of the Canadians stuck in Haiti, Rachel Blaquiere, is a nurse who is originally from New Brunswick. "There’s violent protests and demonstrations," she told Global News. "People are being asked for money when they get up to roadblocks, some people are being taken for ransom, there’s just a lot of violence".
Blaquiere and her fellow Maritimes Canadian health professionals were supposed to leave on February 12. Now it's two days later and on February 14, they are still unsure when they will be able to return to Canada. They were told by SWAT teams not to leave the compound where they are staying, according to Global News.
Dr. Heather Dow, another doctor with the Maritimes health professional team, told CBC News that this dangerous situation was completely unexpected to them because they had traveled to Haiti before the same time last year.
This Canadian medical team even had a gas bomb thrown at them when they tried to escape the dangerous situation on the streets and get to a small clinic in the mountains. "We had to go through a dirt path he knew of to get back to our house," she said. "And our driver had a gun too. It was something that I don't want to go through again."
The Quebec tourists have also been told to stay confined to their hotel in Haiti. The tourists are stuck at the Royal Decameron Resort, around 75 kilometres north of Port-au-Prince.
Their tour company has told them that they cannot be safely transported to the airport to return back to Canada because of the political unrest and protests, according to Global News.
Terry Watson is one of the Quebec tourists currently trapped at the resort in Haiti. "We're very nervous. People have a hard time sleeping, everybody's worried, some people are sick, they need medication," she told CBC News. "We heard yesterday that [the unrest] could last a long time. We don't want to be stuck here for months."
Quebec Minister of International Relations Nadine Girault told Global News today on February 14 that she has been in contact with the federal government, who is following the situation.
"I have people that are close to me who are there also. I know they are doing everything possible to bring them back safely, but we also have to deal with the situation there, which is not safe at all (to) travel between the hotel and the airport,” said Girault.
Girault said that the tourists are better off staying put where they are rather than trying to arrange transport to the local Haiti airport. "We’re just making sure that they’re going to be coming back home safely," she said.
*Disclaimer: The cover image and photos in this article were used for illustrative purposes only.