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OECD Criticizes Canadian Aid Cuts of $389 Million This Year

OECD Criticizes Canadian Aid Cuts of $389 Million This Year

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a peer review of Canada’s international aid programs on June 19. The review was complimentary of parts of Canada’s foreign aid service, such as the country’s ‘field presence’ in countries where aid is being delivered. The organization did have some issues, however, with the clarity and coherence of Canada’s aid plan.

Particularly, the review questioned a decision by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to partner with mining companies – profitable corporations – saying that CIDA has shown no rationale for working with these commercial interests. The agency says they are supporting economic growth and international trade in these countries.

The report also comments on the deteriorating relationship between the Canadian government and certain NGOs. The OECD says the relationship between the government and NGOs or civil society groups seems to have become ‘selective.’

The truth is that the Harper government is selective about the groups it works with, and has a history of cutting funding to groups that disagree with the Tory mandate. They also badmouth these groups and call them names.

The OECD suggests in this review that given the economic outlook of this country – that which the Harper government is often bragging about – Canada could afford to increase aid to countries in need. The Tories actually plan to cut aid funding by $389 million this year. They have also reduced the number of countries that receive aid from Canada – a move the OECD actually notes as a good thing, saying more concentrated aid is better.

Brian Tomlinson, an aid analyst in Nova Scotia, told the Toronto Star the CIDA’s partnership branch, which has helped to distribute aid money in the past has been cut by 15 percent, and because of this:

“It’s possible that this year there will be no new calls for aid project proposals because of the cuts,” Tomlinson said. “That’s never happened before.”

The cuts to Canada’s aid funding comes as the Minister of International Development, Bev Oda, who is responsible for CIDA, is in the news for her ministerial spending habits. Perhaps CIDA and its Minister should be more transparent about where their priorities lie.

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Photo Credit: Vince Alongi

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10 comments

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3:46PM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

I am so ashamed of the Canadian government's budget cuts. These affect primarily the weakest in society. The next 4 years, with a Conservative Party majority, we will likely see more and deeper cuts, unfortunately. A majority of Canadians did not support the Harper Conservatives, but with our first past the post system and 3 to 4 major parties, they won a majority of seats and so have control of both Parliament and the Senate, they can do pretty well whatever they want until the next election.

2:38PM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

What happened to Canada? Oh yeah. Global Corporation Organization. That .0001% is international, they want to control EVERYTHING and EVERYONE!

10:21AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Harper's priorities are all about making money for the boys at the top especially the oil industry in his home province of Alberta. He has lost his popularity completely and will lose the next election- The NDP just need to have a candidate that is warm and walking. Hopefully some of this damage can be undone but it is a long wait.

8:12AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

I believe the UN target for foreign aid for each nation is 0.7% of the nation's gross domestic production. This is what we all should be demanding of our governments.

6:34AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

humanismo é o futuro do mundo os ricos tem o dever de ajudar os menos afortunados

7:43PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

We shouldnt be cutting aid..

4:02PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

With two billion of the world's seven billion people living in extreme poverty, nearly 900 million of these populations living on the brink of starvation, now is not the time to reduce aid. We need to help these people grow their own foods, or we could end up having to fight them as part of some hostile force seeking retaliation against the rich, developed nations, The U.S. with five percent of the worlds population consumes over 24 percent of the world's resources. On a percentage basis, Canadians are also big consumers. To starving populations, we are "targets" living in "target rich" nations.

3:07PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

I wish the US could back out as easily.

2:54PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

Canada should definitely not cut aid!!! It seems maybe they are doing some type of population control.

1:40PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

We have a duty to help those less fortunate.

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