Canadian Council for International Co-operation

February 23, 2005 18:37 ET

Goodale Budget Mixed Bag for Poor at Home and Abroad

Attention: Assignment Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 23, 2005) - MAKE POVERTY HISTORY

News Release

For immediate release: February 23, 2005

Goodale Budget Mixed Bag for Poor at Home and Abroad

Progress towards Canada's commitments, at home and abroad, towards ending poverty is uncertain. Finance Minister Ralph Goodale's budget does not go far enough to address the pressing concerns of poor people world wide.

"While Goodale's announcement to lock-in 8% increases to the International Assistance Envelope (IAE) to 2010 gives certainty to the funds that will be available, it unfortunately falls dramatically short of what is needed," says Gerry Barr, President and CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation and spokesperson for Make Poverty History.

Additionally, the government has failed to give any indication, through a timetable, when it might reach the internationally agreed to target of 0.7% of Gross National Income for aid spending.

However, the announcement to create a $100 million annual fund for global peace and security is welcomed. This will respond to urgent needs for reconstruction and peacebuilding in countries devastated by conflict.

The $342 million set aside to combat diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Polio and Malaria and to promote immunization shows Canada's continued leadership on the international health file.

The restructuring of the IAE, announced today, is also a positive measure. It will create greater transparency and accountability for the use of the funds.

At home, again, it is a mixed bag. While the long-awaited child care announcement is more than welcomed, no mentioned was given, in the budget, to affordable social housing.

"The fact that spending on social housing is no where to be seen amounts to a broken promise," says Barr.

With one million Canadian children, or one in six, living in poverty, much more was needed in this budget.

Make Poverty History is part of a global call to action against poverty. National campaigns are currently active in more than 50 countries. Make Poverty History is calling for more and better aid, trade justice, the cancellation of 100% of the debt owed by the poorest countries and an end to child poverty in Canada.

For more information contact:

Katia Gianneschi
Media Relations
Canadian Council for International Co-operation
(613) 241-7007 ext. 311

Contact Information

  • Katia Gianneschi, Media Relations, Canadian Council for International Co-operation
    Primary Phone: 613-241-7007 ext. 311