Canada must boost foreign aid for feminist agenda to have sustained impact, experts say
The Liberal government’s annual budget increases have not resulted in a significant boost in development spending toward the UN targetPrime Minister Justin Trudeau, seen here with Chrystia Freeland in Ottawa on Feb. 21, 2020, announced plans last year to gradually increase international funding for women and girls’ health and rights to $1.4-billion annually by 2023. PATRICK DOYLE/Reuters International development experts say the federal government must boost its foreign-aid spending toward the UN target if it wants its feminist agenda to have a meaningful and sustained impact. The government unveiled its feminist international assistance policy in 2017 as a cornerstone of its foreign agenda. The policy, which focuses on improving the lives of women and girls around the world, came at a critical time for the sexual- and reproductive-health and rights sector. In January of that year, President Donald Trump reinstated the global gag order prohibiting U.S. government financial support for international organizations that provide abortions or give abortion advice, leaving a US$600-million global funding gap. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced plans last year to gradually increase international funding for women and girls’ health and rights to $1.4-billion annually by 2023, up from the $1.1-billion the government currently spends. The money will mostly come from the international assistance budget, which the government promised to increase by $2-billion between 2018 and 2023. Story continues below advertisement In Mozambique, Canadian aid funds a rare service: safe abortions However, the annual budget increases have not resulted in a significant boost in development spending as a percentage of Canada’s gross national income (GNI). Canada reached 0.28 per cent in 2018, up from 0.26 in the two previous years, according to the most recent statistics from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. But the government doesn’t appear to have a plan to reach the UN target of 0.7 per cent. The international development sector says that while the policy shift is ambitious, the government must increase foreign-aid spending as a percentage of GNI in order to ensure the feminist agenda does not affect spending on Canada’s other development priorities. “I’m concerned about ensuring that other aspects of ODA [official development assistance] aren’t taken from in order to fund ... the focus on women and children’s health,” said Sandeep Prasad, executive director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. The sector is in the midst of coming up with a funding target, as the government prepares to table the federal budget this spring. Diana Sarosi, Oxfam’s acting director of policy and campaigns, said the proposal will likely involve a multiyear plan to at least double foreign aid as a percentage of GNI. Global Affairs Canada did not say if there are plans to increase development assistance as a percentage of GNI, but a spokeswoman pointed to the government’s 2018-2023 budget commitment. In an e-mail, Katherine Cyr said the “announcement represented the largest increase to Canadian international assistance since 2002.” The NDP has long urged the government to boost foreign-aid spending, with Leader Jagmeet Singh campaigning in the 2019 federal election on a plan to reach the UN target if elected. Heather McPherson, the party’s international development critic and former executive director of the Alberta Council for Global Co-operation, participated in the consultation process for Ottawa’s feminist international assistance policy before she was elected last year. She applauded the government for developing a “remarkable” policy but said it has turned into “typical Liberal words and no action.” Story continues below advertisement “It’s an awful lot of Peter and Paul. We are taking money from other projects for these funds,” she said. Experts wonder whether the NDP could pressure the government into increasing foreign-aid spending in exchange for supporting their minority in Parliament. In 2005, the NDP reached an agreement with then-prime minister Paul Martin to support his minority government’s budget in exchange for a $4.6-billion boost in social-program spending, including $500-million in foreign aid to bring Canada in line with the UN target. The Martin government failed to reach the UN target before it was defeated by the Conservatives in 2006. Ms. McPherson said talks around foreign aid are “in play” for the NDP, but the development sector is concerned the party will prioritize other matters. “I think there are bigger priorities for them – for example pharmacare, climate change – that I don’t know if they will necessarily use the ODA bucket as a stick in their negotiations,” Ms. Sarosi said. Stephen Brown, a political science professor at the University of Ottawa who studies foreign aid, questions just how groundbreaking the feminist policy really is. He says that aside from the decision to fund safe abortion services, the government’s agenda looks similar to the former, Conservative government’s policy. “So much of what Canada is doing now is a repackaging and a rebranding of what Canada has been doing before and sometimes all along,” Prof. Brown said. “It’s selling the Liberal brand as being feminist.” Story continues below advertisement Mike Lake, the Tory international development critic, said the Harper government laid the groundwork for Canada’s current development priorities by launching the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in 2010, a US$7.3-billion international funding effort, and investing another $3.5-billion in the sector in 2014. It refused to fund abortion services, though. The government’s feminist international assistance policy is still in its early stages, so it will take years to see the full effect of the policy shift. However, some projects are showing early results. The Globe and Mail recently visited an $18-million project in Mozambique, where Canadian funding has trained four doctors at the Manica District Hospital to provide safe medical abortions. The hospital now provides an average of six or seven procedures a month and has seen a decline in cases of complications from abortions. Related Read more: The Globe and Mail
Why does it have to be Canada...can someone ask the expert please and thank you Why you don't have work in your backyard. Allowing black money to be invested in real estate. How can young generation get out of real estate. All mulroneys and your faults. 'Feminist Agenda?' Stereotype much? I don't think 'womens issues' are a 'feminist agenda' It's a human agenda - who are you people? racism sexism stereotypes
Trudeau gets economics better than we think! Books balance themselves. 🤔 Giving $10 to terrorist Omar Khadr.$10 Mil to Ethiopia womans rights. Bribe for UN seat. Trudeau understands money comes for free (taxes) & grows on trees. After all, it's only your money he's spending. Is there a masculinist agenda? Do we fund it and try to improve the lives of men and boys? Or is that sexist?
Spineless. Trying to turn the page Ur fake excuse to feed ur dictators friends of the world so u can buy their support when u known they gonna continue to oppress everything Canada stand for. This ‘government’ is disgusting....🇨🇦 TrudeauIsNotFitForOffice TrudeauMustGo Corruption must end Is this guy out off he’s fucking mind . STOP SENDING OUR HARD ERANED MONEY TO OTHER COUNTRIES !!!
Just ignore the obvious, country is on verge of civil war.
Sex-abuse allegations against L’Arche founder Jean Vanier spark reckoning over his legacy in CanadaAdmirers of Jean Vanier have been struggling to process the revelations, trying to square them with the founder’s almost saintly reputation as a friend of the fragile Dear Globe and Mail: there are more important things going on in our country right now. Really. Good old Catholics. Deny deny cover up and move them around.
Well, duck the experts! Coming out of your trust account or are you broke after the 2.2 million you paid the young lady. Kill our economy. Give away our money and ensure every kid has free birth control. Can't supply our army with sleeping bags, but oh yes, we can help foreign women with feminism! Wow, just wow.
Everybody’s agenda needs more financial aid for greater impact lmao, this tweet is going to trigger some right-wingers If the billions going to corrupt foreign aid were redirected to Canadians in need, what a huge amount of good could be done for veterans, seniors, First Nations drinking water, the homeless and others
Are you too high up there? Come to the ghetto and take a look! We got ppl WITH-IN Canada that needs help! Bullshit! There is excessive foreign aid as it is. 'Experts'--more like 'shmucksperts' And where is the money going to come from? Canada isn’t functioning right now.
Parks Canada faces controversy over employees' winter coatsParks Canada is raising ethical concerns from various groups for using coyote fur and goose down in winter coats meant for its employees. But as Jayme Doll r... agree, tone deaf fauxfuronly Ya that’s right up there with the most pressing issues facing the country Of course they should, Canada Goose all the way, fur keeps u warmer, it’s science, unless peta would like to use the cats & dogs they’ve had killed.
Justin Trudeau's dreamy happy place... maybe he can get Saudi Arabia and Iran to sign up. I'm sure that 'patience and dialogue' will be effective with them much as it is effective in getting through to the Blockinistas now trying to take Canada down They've never ever defined what they mean by a 'feminist' anything, never mind any 'sustained impact'. Women in 3rd world, esp. Islamic ones are treated like chattels. Throwing money at it isn't going to change a thing. The $$ is going into untraceable pockets.
I think we need to debate the credentials of ‘Expert’! Experts say!!!! Who hell are these experts? Liberal elites experts who never care about Canadians but push so called ultra progressive liberal agendas! We have 50 bn deficits under jihadist lover JustinTrudeau and growing everyday Is this some kind of bad joke?
is this the guy who is doing this? Fucking gong show. perfect, a killer nation Is our PM running a charity dipping into Canadian Pockets?
Statistics Canada set to reveal new data on poverty ratesStatistics Canada will lay out today how many Canadians live below the country's low-income threshold as part of an updated portrait of poverty.
You know your country is no longer control by democracy but from foreign powers, this is no longer Canada 🤦♂️ I am still waiting for AndrewScheer to pull his pants UP and bring us back in election ASAP cdnpoli Foreign aid is taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving to it to rich people in poor countries. 😒
How about boosting support for equality within our own nation? 'Experts' is often a synonym for the clueless supporting what the clueless want. Never more so than right now, Ignoring inequity at home and lets not forget how our PM treated one female for doing her job... Money from Canadian taxpayers to Canadians first PierrePoilievre AlainRayes
It’s up to canadian tax payers to save the entire world? We have 709 billion federal defecit, 48% of us are $200 away from bankruptcy and the second worse performing stock market in the world. Tampons or trains - seriously what is more important? Experts? Lmfao OK
Homan gracious in defeat: Manitoba will be great representatives for CanadaDespite coming up short to Manitoba in the Scotties final, Rachel Homan was a great sport, saying her Ontario rink fought until the end and that they were overall very happy with their performance. Your 💓 is your strength not your weakness😁
Yes, broke Canadians must give more So we have the train situation, the west almost at a revolt stage AND the corona virus and this is what JT is doing 😳 I use to think that the economy was the most important thing in an election. Now I have only the 'crisis' criteria. How will he/she react. by doing so，the international development will get more funding from our gov. Nice try.
OMG. Liberals are lost Whoever is the writer if this article needs his / her head checked We have no fucking money JFC! No! We're taxed to death. We can't fix our own problems. Huh? OK Globe.
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Canada got enough body bags for the outbreak of coronavirus ? FFS HELLO! how about we look after canada first !!! And where do we get the cash for that, Trudeau has destroyed our economy! Yep that makes sense. Nothing important in Canada going on. Foreign aid, have you taken a look at what the Canadian military looks like. Can Canada protect itself? What about protecting Canadians from the Coronavirus?
Umm no.... Oh my God! Make it stop!
Bank of Canada to create its own digital currency as 'contingency,' deputy saysThe country's central bank plans to lay the foundation for its own digital currency as a backstop should the day arise where cash is no longer king, a Bank of Canada deputy says. Bit-loonie How appropriate!! Hey BOC, how's are gold reserves looking? What could go wrong?