Canada has a golden chance to boost aid

New Trudeau government can reverse the trend of predecessor

Re: Universal Children’s Day

More than 60 years ago the United Nations established Nov. 20 as Universal Children’s Day, a day where the rights and needs of children everywhere are acknowledged. By all measures the world has done an incredible job at improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable, but of course much remains to be done. Sadly, Canada cannot take much credit for this, because we have long lagged behind all other major developed nations in our commitment to foreign aid, as a proportion of GDP.

With the election of the Trudeau government, many Canadians hope for a significant improvement in Ottawa’s sense of social responsibility, at home and abroad. But past Liberal governments began Canada’s steep decline in aid, a trend that only worsened under the Conservatives. Canada’s aid is parsimonious, barely one third of its publicly declared goal of .7 per cent of GDP.

Improving Canada’s standing in the world has been one of Trudeau’s stated goals during the election. This is a great opportunity for him to show that this was not mere electioneering, and at last increase aid funding for the world’s most vulnerable children.

Nathaniel Poole

Victoria

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