Joe Biden is quoted saying, “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”
In advance of the 2017 budget it’s time we asked, “What does Canada value?”
We set a target in 1970 to contribute 0.7 per cent of our national income to international assistance, yet currently we are only contributing a dismal 0.26 per cent.
If the Trudeau government remains on its present course, it will have the lowest commitment to international assistance of any Canadian government in the last half-century.
This means there are fewer funds going towards health and education initiatives globally — Canada is falling short on the global stage. It is estimated one more cent per 100 dollars of national income given to international assistance would save a minimum of 25,000 people every year, mostly women and children.
As Canadians we cannot afford to be complacent, we have a responsibility to support the world’s most vulnerable populations.
It’s time we recognize that not acting is costing us human lives.
Canada needs to increase its contribution to international assistance, and set a timetable to reaching the 0.7 per cent target.
John Jang, Ishita Sharma, Erika Richter, Caroline Groleau, Gabrielle Francouer, Danait Mehreteab