From left to right: Antoine Pouliot from the GPP, Sarah Stone from ONE, MP Lois Brown, James Haga from EWB and Jolene Hansell from Make Poverty History.
Update February 12, 2014: Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Canadian government will maintain its development assistant budget at current spending levels. Says Tom Hart, ONE’s North American Executive Director: “This is a win for Canada’s role as a major player in the fight against global extreme poverty and preventable disease. This announcement comes on the heels of Canada’s recent CA$650 million commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.” Read the full press release here.
This week, I travelled to Ottawa to deliver a petition to the Canadian government asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to ensure that no cuts would be made to the upcoming development assistance budget, scheduled to be announced on February 11.
In a period of just two weeks, more than 20,000 Canadians made their voices heard by signing the petition to protect aid – a phenomenal response!
Along with some of our partners from Engineers Without Borders Canada, the Global Poverty Project, and Make Poverty History, I went to Parliament Hill to meet with MP Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister Christian Paradis, who is the Minister of International Cooperation.
We had an excellent discussion with MP Brown about the number of passionate Canadians who participated in this petition to protect aid, and reaffirmed the support from our various organizations of the successful Canadian government-funded programs already in place – especially those benefiting mothers and their infants, providing childhood immunizations, and education and nutrition programs. MP Brown shared her own firsthand experience witnessing effective Canadian programs in various African countries.
MP Brown was very receptive to our collective message to ensure the preservation of the development assistance budget, and she affirmed the commitment of the Canadian government to continue providing highly effective programs to developing countries in addition to strengthening economic ties and assisting citizens of these countries to lift themselves out of poverty.
MP Brown also expressed thanks to our various organizations for educating Canadians about the ways in which the Canadian government is working to assist developing countries all over the world. MP Brown accepted our 20,000+ signed petition on behalf of Minister Christian Paradis.
Big thank you to all Canadian ONE members who signed this petition.