Ashton on foreign affairs - Macleans.ca

Ashton on foreign affairs

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Niki Ashton proposes a complete rethink of CIDA.

We would create a new Canadian International Development Agency that makes poverty-fighting Canada’s #1 priority on the world stage. More often than not, mixed motives have muddied the deeds of the Federal government. From Afghanistan to the Americas, they have used foreign aid to advance military, corporate and other interests. Too much aid goes through institutions whose conditions for aid often work against the needs of the poor.

We need a clean break from such failures of the old politics. We need a new CIDA – call it what you will. I’d suggest, Solidarity Canada. As an agency, CIDA has long been a victim of political neglect. But as a full Department of Government with a free-standing Minister, Solidarity Canada would have a clear legislated mandate: poverty reduction in the poorest countries – period.