Taking up a global cause

Canada is part of an international agreement committing to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on global development assistance

It’s somewhat of a tradition for Canadian politicians to throw around money at election time, wooing voters with promises of financial largess for themselves and their communities. This appeals to a very low human impulse: what’s in it for me?

For more than 40 years Canada has been part of an international agreement committing to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on global development assistance, and we’ve never been further from this goal, currently at 0.24 per cent. Most developed nations are above 0.3 per cent, with several at the agreed-upon target.

Canada repeatedly ranks in the top of all nations in terms of quality of life and standard of living. The vast majority of the world’s people live far below Canadian standards of nutrition, sanitation, clean water and security.

As the election season winds up, with the inevitable promises of more money flying out of Ottawa, I’m waiting for all party leaders to acknowledge the wealthy and enviable position Canada already enjoys, and rather than showering us with more money, affirm their commitment to raising our global development contributions to the long-delayed 0.7 per cent.

Nathaniel Poole

Victoria

 

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