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article imageOp-Ed: Will anything change in Canada's foreign assistance ministry?

By Andrew Moran     Jul 8, 2012 in Politics
Ottawa - This week, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a small cabinet shuffle: the replacement of Tory Member of Parliament Bev Oda with former Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino as Minister of International Cooperation. Will anything change?
Bev Oda is the epitome of government: wasteful spending, a superfluous and incompetent politician and a corrupt public official being paid by us the taxpayers. After five years and numerous scandals, including the infamous $16 glass of orange juice paid for by the taxpayers, Oda has finally been replaced by the former esteemed Police Chief Julian Fantino in the Ministry of International Cooperation.
This Canadian ministry’s purpose is to develop international growth and is responsible for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Essentially, these departments provide foreign aid, promote democracy and support programs in developing countries that treat STDs, protect children and enhance educational tools.
In other words, money for the foreign aid is stolen by the federal government from poor people in Canada to give to rich people in impoverished nations. For some reason, possibly to purchase influence or philanthropic ideals, this is a practice that is done by most Western nations, no matter how much debt they may have.
The national debt in Canada is approaching $600 billion, which is nearly $17,000 per person, and the budget deficit is $21.1 billion, but supposedly, after all of the Keynesian economic policies for the last several years, we will have a surplus of more than $5 billion – of course, we all know how government projections are always wrong.
Other than the initial question, I have another question: how can this country afford providing foreign aid?
According to data from CIDA, this nation’s taxpayers give aid to a preliminary number of 47 countries, which is down from 69 in 2007 to 2008. Who did the money go?
- Caribbean: $600 million over the past 10 years.
- Lebanon: $20 million over a five-year period
- West Bank/Gaza and Palestine: $300 million starting in 2008-2009 for the next five years
- Haiti: $620 million ($400 million to the New York Pledge and $220 million to match every dollar donated by Canadians).
- Pakistan: $79.8 million since the disastrous flood in 2010-2011
- Afghanistan: $1.68 billion since the war began in 2001-2002
These figures, which are most likely higher than they appear, are only a glimpse into how much we give to nations around the globe. Meanwhile, cuts and reforms are being made in this country, including an end to the Atlantic Canada tax credit, the increase of the retirement age and our personal income taxes will be unchanged.
As a libertarian (don’t worry, I won’t pontificate my libertarian didacticisms), a lot of the Conservative federal budget was a step in the right direction, such as the 10 percent cut to the CBC, federal public sector job cuts and an end to the penny. But cuts to foreign assistance should take precedent over domestic cuts.
Why are we worrying about bombing bridges overseas, spending money to repair them and then rebuilding them again in nations that have done no harm to us? Why are we concerning ourselves with corrupt public officials in other nations while we have elected pigs feeding from the trough? Why are we trying to reduce poverty in developing nations when the Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney impoverishes the nation with the inflation tax and zero percent interest rates?
Oda stepping down is positive news – even though she still owes the taxpayers quite a bit of money for her alleged $17,000 limousine expenses – but will Fantino make any serious changes to the ministry? Most likely not, which is a shame for the taxpayer, but it’s certainly stupendous news for other governments around the world.
Oh, the Canadian Press reported this morning that Canada will donate another $227 million in aid to Afghanistan. That's swell.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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