February 27, 2012

Joe Gunn's article, "Overseas aid battered by storms of cutbacks" (WCR, Feb. 13), is a reminder that government-industry cooperation in the delivery of development aid is not designed with a true spirit and attitude of altruism.

It is obvious to me that the delivery of the $6.7 million of aid over five years, delivered by CIDA, under the government-industry arrangement is designed for good public relations and improving the competitive advantage of the mining industry.

Minister Oda and the Harper government see this as a good deal for Canada and industry rather than as a sincere commitment in addressing the fundamental root causes of poverty in the developing world.

This is just another way of masking a systemic injustice in the market system, which directs the supply of resources in the developing world to satisfy the wants of the developed world.

The owners of the resource in the developing world, those struggling for the basic needs of life, are a secondary consideration and must satisfy themselves with the trickle-down benefits provided by the corporate agenda.

Chipping in a few extra aid dollars in the deal will also be a good bargaining tool for more relaxed environmental standards.

Bill C-300 not only gets the axe but the government rewards industry with tax dollars that should be used by NGO's like Development and Peace, which have indigenous partners able to deliver self reliant, long-term development aid efficiently and effectively, without strings attached to self-serving governments and industry.

Wilf Borgstede
St. Albert