Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 27, 2006
Keep foreign aid promise
Make Poverty History calls on harper to increase giving
Canadian Catholic News
Make Poverty History is calling upon Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government to live up to Canada's promise to increase foreign aid to 0.7 per cent of gross national income by 2015.
"Accountability means keeping your promises," said Make Poverty History co-chair Gerry Barr in a Feb. 15 news release. "There is tremendous momentum on this issue.
"Over a quarter million Canadians and 60 per cent of the newly elected and returned MPs have endorsed the goals of setting a timetable to reach Canada's aid commitments and to enact aid legislation."
"All-party cooperation is clearly possible on this issue," Barr said. "Prime Minister Harper has a perfect opportunity to move ahead quickly when the House reconvenes."
Barr welcomed NDP Leader Jack Layton's call for the prime minister to live up to commitments the Conservative Party had made on foreign aid.
On Feb. 15, Layton wrote a letter to Harper reminding him that he and Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe had co-signed a letter Feb. 17, 2005 asking then-Prime Minister Paul Martin to develop "a clear and predictable approach to reinvestment in aid and, for legislation establishing a legal framework for Canada's Official Development Assistance (ODA) envelope for spending."
Make Poverty History points out that all parties agreed that Canada should reach 0.5 per cent of GNI for foreign aid by 2010 and 0.7 per cent by 2015.
The Conservative platform promises to raise the level to the OECD average by 2010, which is currently 0.42 per cent."
The Conservatives' most recent pledge would be an excellent first step," Barr said, "Now Mr. Harper must move on that quickly and set a timetable for reaching the 0.7 per cent promise."