Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations: SOR/2023-6

Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 157, Number 3

SOR/2023-6 January 12, 2023


P.C. 2023-12 January 12, 2023

Whereas the Governor in Council is of the opinion that a national of the Republic of Haiti who is a foreign public official, or an associate of such an official, is responsible for or complicit in ordering, controlling or otherwise directing acts of significant corruption;

Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations under subsections 4(1)footnote a, (1.1)footnote b, (2)footnote c and (3) of the Special Economic Measures Act footnote d.

Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations


1 Part 2 of the schedule to the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations footnote 1 is amended by adding the following in numerical order:

Application Before Publication

2 For the purpose of paragraph 11(2)(a) of the Statutory Instruments Act, these Regulations apply according to their terms before they are published in the Canada Gazette.

Coming into Force

3 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.


(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)


Haitian elites are using their position, association with political figures, influence and resources, to protect and/or support the activities of criminal gangs, including through significant acts of corruption which is contributing to a severe humanitarian crisis.


For several years, Haiti has been gripped by a multidimensional crisis characterized by rampant inflation, chronic poverty, alarming insecurity as well as a political deadlock paralyzing most public institutions. In this context, Haitians experience daily assaults on their basic human rights.

The Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations (the Regulations) announced on November 4, 2022, and subsequent amendments, allow Canada to target sanctions at key individuals who finance, support or benefit from the activities of armed gangs. These gangs, who terrorize and subjugate the population, operate under the protection of political elites and oligarchs. Further, they have deliberately killed, injured and committed acts of sexual violence to terrorize and subjugate the population, and to expand territorial control. Insecurity remains rampant with gangs maintaining control over large swaths of the capital. The blockades earlier in the fall intensified an existing humanitarian crisis, characterized by the re-emergence of cholera and millions of Haitians experiencing acute hunger.

The international community is seized by the current crisis and is taking action to limit the flow of financial support to those perpetuating violence in Haiti, as demonstrated by the unanimous adoption, on October 21, 2022, by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), of a resolution establishing a new sanctions regime. Canada has closely coordinated with the United States to establish the autonomous sanctions regime aimed at applying immediate pressure on those supporting or fomenting the violence in Haiti, in order to put an end to the violence, and allow for Haitian authorities to restore law and order. Canada and the United States have continued to work closely together to strengthen these measures, including through the identification of additional targets.

The regulatory amendments align with existing policy and objectives to address the multidimensional crisis in Haiti. It also advances policy objectives focused on the fight against corruption and impunity. Finally, the regulatory amendments build on existing measures thereby reinforcing Canada’s steadfast commitment to promoting regional development, peace and security and to work with the international community in supporting Haitian authorities’ efforts to restore law and order.


These sanctions are intended to exert pressure on individuals, who have engaged in significant acts of corruption and have established links to criminal gangs, in order to obstruct the flow of illicit funds and weapons to Haiti, facilitated by these individuals.


The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations (the amendments) include two individuals who will be subject to a broad dealings ban and be inadmissible to Canada. There is reason to believe the designated two individuals, all considered among the economic and political elite in Haiti, have engaged in significant acts of corruption and have used their influence and resources to protect and/or support the activities of criminal gangs, including through drug smuggling and other egregious conduct. These gangs are committing unspeakable violence and terrorizing vulnerable populations with impunity.

Any individual or entity in Canada, and Canadians and Canadian entities outside Canada, are thereby prohibited from dealing in the property of, entering into transactions with, providing financial or related services to, or otherwise making goods available to listed persons. Further, as these individuals are being listed in the Regulations in response to acts of significant corruption, they are also rendered inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Regulatory development


Global Affairs Canada engages regularly with relevant stakeholders in Haiti, including civil society organizations and other like-minded governments, regarding Canada’s approach to international assistance in Haiti, including sanctions implementation. As an example, Canada chairs the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti, and uses this platform to develop and discuss with its allies of coordinated international responses to the economic and development challenges facing the country.

With respect to the amendments targeting individuals, public consultation would not have been appropriate, given the urgency to impose these measures in response to the deteriorating security situation and humanitarian crisis.

Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation

An initial assessment of the geographical scope of the initiative was conducted and did not identify any modern treaty obligations, as the amendments do not take effect in a modern treaty area.

Instrument choice

Regulations are the sole method to enact sanctions in Canada. No other instrument could be considered.

Regulatory analysis

Benefits and costs

Sanctions targeting specific persons have less impact on Canadian businesses than traditional broad-based economic sanctions, and have limited impact on the citizens of the country of the listed persons. Canadian banks and financial institutions are required to comply with sanctions. They will do so by adding the newly listed individuals to their existing monitoring systems, which may result in a minor compliance cost.

Small business lens

It is possible the amendments could potentially create additional costs for businesses seeking permits that would authorize them to carry out specified activities or transactions that are otherwise prohibited, as Canada has not applied sanctions in the Haiti context since 1992 (later repealed). However, given that the sanctions are targeted, the likelihood of costs for businesses is minimal, as it is highly unlikely that Canadian businesses have or will have dealings with the newly listed individuals and entities. No significant loss of opportunities for small businesses is expected as a result of the amendments.

One-for-one rule

The permitting process for businesses meets the definition of “administrative burden” in the Red Tape Reduction Act and would need to be calculated and offset within 24 months. However, the amendments address an emergency circumstance and are exempt from the requirement to offset administrative burden and regulatory titles under the one-for-one rule.

Regulatory cooperation and alignment

While the amendments are not related to a work plan or commitment under a formal regulatory cooperation forum, they align with actions taken by Canada’s allies.

Strategic environmental assessment

The amendments are unlikely to result in important environmental effects. In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a preliminary scan concluded that a strategic environmental assessment is not required.

Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)

The subject of economic sanctions has previously been assessed for effects on gender and diversity. Although intended to facilitate a change in behaviour through economic pressure on individuals and entities in foreign states, sanctions under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA) can nevertheless have an unintended impact on certain vulnerable groups and individuals. Rather than affecting Haitians as a whole, these targeted sanctions impact individuals and entities believed to be engaged in significant acts of corruption which is fuelling the humanitarian crisis in Haiti. Therefore, these sanctions are unlikely to have a significant negative impact on vulnerable groups as compared to traditional broad-based economic sanctions directed toward a state, and limit the collateral effects to those dependent on those targeted individuals. Furthermore, these sanctions are being introduced in support of vulnerable populations, particularly women and girls, who continue to face daily assaults on their basic human rights by criminal gangs, including sexual and gender-based violence.


Gangs supported by the Haitian elite and others have expanded their territorial control over the country. Several United Nations missions were deployed over the years in an attempt to support Haitian authorities’ efforts to restore order. A key gap in international interventions to date has been the establishment of measures to identify and exert pressure on those providing financial support and arms to criminal gangs to advance their own financial and/or political interests, capitalizing on the endemic corruption and money laundering that exists in the country. Sanctions announced by Canada in November and December 2022 targeted economic elites as well as a number of current and former politicians. There is reason to believe that these individuals, through engaging in significant acts of corruption, benefit from the instability created by the current violence. The current amendments compliment and strengthen these measures by designating an additional two individuals. A sustained Canadian response aims to exert pressure on these individuals so that they change their behaviour and cease their support to gangs. Early reports indicate these measures are already having an impact on the ground. Specifically, in response to these measures, oligarchs and political elites have demonstrated a renewed interest in political dialogue in the context of the protracted political stalemate which has affected the country for several years now, which has culminated in the endorsement of a political accord by several key stakeholders. It is expected that this response will continue to act as a deterrent for others engaged in or considering similar behaviour.

Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards

The amendments come into force on the day they are registered.

The names of the listed individuals will be available online for financial institutions to review and will be added to the Consolidated Canadian Autonomous Sanctions List. This will help to facilitate compliance with the Regulations.

Canada’s sanctions regulations are enforced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In accordance with section 8 of SEMA, any person who knowingly contravenes or fails to comply with the Regulations is liable, upon summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both; and, upon conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has enforcement authorities under SEMA and the Customs Act and will play a role in the enforcement of these sanctions.


Sébastien Sigouin
Executive Director
Haiti Division
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2
Telephone: 343‑548‑7620