On Monday, Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew was unseated by electors in the Montreal riding of Papineau.

Pettigrew’s defeat comes on the heels of a two-month campaign by Haiti Action Montreal and Le Comité Haïtien Pour Les Ã0/00lections Fédérales 2006, urging Pettigrew’s constituents to hold him accountable for Canada’s role in the 2004 overthrow of democracy and subsequent human rights disaster in Haiti.

From December until voting day, activists handed out over 12,000 flyers and put up over 2,000 posters in the former minister’s riding.

The two groups organized a string of demonstrations, confronting Pettigrew whenever he appeared in public. On at least one occasion, Pettigrew cancelled an appearance due to the presence of demonstrators.

The campaign was covered by the CBC, Radio-Canada, CTV, the Ottawa Citizen, La Presse, Le Devoir, TVA, Global News, le Journal de Montréal, the Montréal Gazette, Agence-France Presse, and the National Post.

“I think we had a significant impact in the riding, and more Canadians than ever are now aware of Canada’s disastrous role in Haiti,” said Serge Bouchereau from Le Comité.

“There is more awareness of the massacres committed by the UN and the Canadian-trained and -funded Haitian police force, and people have heard the names of political prisoners like Gerard Jean-Juste, and Sò Anne Auguste,” said Bouchereau.

“Pettigrew’s defeat is a warning to any politician who wants to play fast and loose with the lives of millions of people to please the U.S.,” said Yves Engler from Haiti Action Montreal.

“Canadians have little tolerance for human rights abuses being committed in their names,” said Engler, “and when they’re informed, they won’t stand for it.”

Despite reports in the international press and human rights investigations pointing to a campaign of murderous repression, Pettigrew has denied the existence of any abuses. “I am proud, very proud,” said Pettigrew recently of Canada’s intervention in Haiti.

“His denials cost many lives, and they will be his political epitaph,” said Bouchereau.