As we continue our campaign to protect critical Canadian international development funding, ONE member Sarah Stone, from Waterloo, Ontario, reports back from meeting her local Member of Parliament.
As a constituent and on behalf of ONE I had the opportunity recently to meet with Peter Braid, Conservative Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.
Mr. Braid had recently returned from a trip to South Sudan as part of his role as the Vice Chair of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association whose main purpose is to discuss trade, aid and strengthen ties with African parliamentarians. During this trip, and on previous trips to Africa, Mr. Braid has seen first hand the benefits of Canadian foreign aid. We discussed my involvement in the Griot Project, and my recent trip to Washington this past December to participate in #ONErocksDC – the lobby day on Capitol Hill and the White House Leadership Series briefing day.
I provided Mr. Braid with a Living Proof brochure and ONE armband and shared some of the issues that ONE is very passionate about including encouraging the governments of both Canada and the US to NOT make any cuts to their foreign aid budgets, the benefits of childhood vaccinations and ensuring that no child is born with HIV/AIDS by 2015. I directed him to the recent petition on the ONE website in which Canadians are encouraged to ask Prime Minister Harper to protect the Canadian foreign aid budget – you can sign the petition here.
I expressed my pride as a Canadian that my own government has been supportive of these issues as evidenced by the $1.1 billion in funding for the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, in addition to pledging to maintain current funding levels of $1.75 billion over five years for similar initiatives. I expressed my concern for any threat to the foreign aid budget and my desire that Prime Minister Harper would honour his commitment to the world’s poor and most vulnerable and not make any cuts to these important programs. Mr. Braid was appreciative of the work of the ONE Campaign and expressed his support of our endeavours.