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Opinion

Foreign aid should not be partisan

Around the world, parties of every stripe defend foreign aid, because it makes economic and political sense; Canadians think the government is more generous than it really is, which paves the way for misguided proposals to slash aid.

Congratulations are due to new International Development Minister Karina Gould, but this is a fight against poverty that requires other champions in Parliament too. Canadians believe in a generous Canada; all the government needs to do is step up and make that belief a reality. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Did you hear that muffled sound during the election campaign? That was the Canadian development sector—who have seen first-hand the difference Canadian aid makes in the world— and our collective gasp of frustration over Andrew Scheer’s attempt to politicize ‘foreign aid’. We were caught off guard by a surprise campaign pledge to slash aid by 25 per cent—a cut that would hurt some of the most vulnerable people in the world. For years, we called—loudly—for smart policy-driven increases in official development assistance (ODA or “foreign aid”). Despite our best efforts, in successive Conservative and Liberal governments, our appeals fell on deaf ears.

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