Garda wins Canadian Embassy contract in Haiti
GardaWorld Security Corporation announced Sept. 1 that the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has selected its GardaWorld Global Risk Advisory Group to provide protective services for the Canadian Embassy in Haiti.
By Jennifer Brown
The four-year (one year plus three year extension options) agreement calls for GardaWorld to provide access control and security at the embassy and the staff residences. Additionally GardaWorld will safeguard the ambassador and diplomatic staff, in Port-au-Prince and when travelling throughout the country.
“We welcome the opportunity to provide the Canadian government with our expertise and experience in diplomatic protective services,” said Nick Copeland, Managing Director, Latin America, for GardaWorld. “The situation in Haiti remains fragile. We are confident that working with our local alliance partner, we will help ensure the safety of Canada’s mission.”
The Canadian embassy is located on a busy street is not set off the street any distance, says Copeland, making it a unique property to protect.
Copeland says “overall” the situation in Haiti is a “medium risk” with threats such as car jacking, armed robbery, kidnappings and home invasions still an ongoing concern. On Aug. 22 a U.S. citizen who works for the Department of Homeland Security was visiting in Haiti was killed and a relative was kidnapped in an upscale neighbourhood.
“Haiti was not a particularly safe place before the eathquake,” says Copeland. “We did see a lull after the earthquake and during the World Cup when crime fell by half, but the issue of political protests is a concern with the Nov. 28 presidential election approaching.”
There was a protest against the U.S. embassy in August asking for the return of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
As part of a Canadian company with a recognized global expertise in humanitarian and diplomatic security, GardaWorld responded to the devastating January 2010 earthquake by quickly forming a team in order to support its NGO clients with humanitarian efforts in Haiti. GardaWorld has since established a long term presence, helping to reduce risks and provide solutions for a number of clients.
Globally, Garda also joined with many organizations in addressing the crisis by donating the use of its aircraft to get relief supplies to the country. Particularly in Canada, Garda employees, many of whom are of Haitian descent, organized efforts to collect clothing, water, medical supplies, and made donations as well.
“Garda is pleased to support the Canadian government in this vital area” said Stephan Cretier, President and CEO. “Our GardaWorld experts work with NGOs and relief organizations throughout the world in alleviating the human suffering caused by conflicts, social unrest, and natural disasters. They will apply that experience in support of Canada’s efforts in Haiti as they protect our Embassy and diplomatic staff.”