Foreign Aid

Canada's foreign aid to developing nations has long been a subject of significant debate.

issue: how much should be spent on it?

Most of the argument has been on the amount to be spent, with larger amounts often coming with conditions. Prime Minister of Canada Lester Pearson advocated the 0.7% threshold that has since become a source of significant and public debate.

position: much more than 0.7% of GDP with conditions

The Green Party of Canada during the Canadian federal election, 2004, called to increase Canada's foreign aid contribution to above 1% of GDP but tie this to actual ecological health and well-being improvements;

argument for: More money would pay to unify military aid, humanitarian relief and conflict prevention budgets to avoid redundancies and achieve more results.

argument for: To outlaw Canadian involvement in foreign projects that result in fatal deforestation such as that seen in Haiti and the Phillipines would reduce the overall foreign aid budget when such disasters occur.

argument against: Stricter ecological measures would restrict Canadian banks and contractors from working on ecologically unsound projects, including those sponsored by the World Bank, and would reduce the benefits that Canadians get from foreign aid expenditures.

position: much more than 0.7% of GDP

position: only 0.7%

The Make Poverty History and Live8 campaigns loudly advocated the 0.7% amount.

Paul Martin advocated 0.7% of GDP during his acceptance speech at the Liberal Party of Canada leadership convention, 2003, having invited Bono specifically to advocate this to the convention itself. The New Democratic Party of Canada and Liberal Party of Canada also advocated this stance during the Canadian federal election, 2004. Despite having a majority of seats between them, and also the support of the Green Party of Canada on this measure, the Canadian federal budget, 2005 did not include it.

Ralph Goodale advocated more transparency measures before this budget could be increased.

position: less than 0.7%

The New Democratic Party of Canada, Liberal Party of Canada and Conservative Party of Canada actually hold this position. Only the CPC admits it.