Hélène Laverdière

CP

When It Comes To Arms Exports, Canada Isn't 'Back'

Canadian-made military equipment initially sold to Saudi Arabia has been used in Yemen, where thousands of civilians -- many of them children -- have died. Canadian-made arms have also been used to violate the human rights of Saudi dissidents. Canada may even be at risk of complicity in Saudi violations of international law.
Stoyan Nenov / Reuters

World Refugee Day: Canada Should Lead By Example And Do More

I believe Canada must do more and become a global model. Canada should increase its acceptance of refugees, regardless of their home country. A refugee is a refugee, regardless of their origin. Settling a larger number of refugees each year is just one solution Canada could consider. Canada should also provide increased humanitarian assistance in crisis situations, and increase its development assistance in fragile states.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Agricultural Development Plants the Seeds for Long-Term Poverty Solutions

While the right to food is a basic human right, food insecurity is a serious problem around the world. The global evidence is clear. Countries that make investments in agricultural development are better equipped to eliminate hunger, reduce rates of undernourishment and accelerate their economies. What's more, increased farm incomes stimulate employment both on farms and in the broader community. Further, the World Bank found that GDP growth originating from agricultural development is twice as effective in reducing poverty as GDP growth stemming from alternative industries.
Khaled Hasan via Getty Images

Canada Should Partner with Canadian NGOs to Help Rebuild Gaza

Now is the time for Canada to focus on long-term recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction in Gaza. Housing, health, water and sewage facilities, provision of social services, education, and psycho-social support are all areas where we can help. Canada must commit to long-term development programming in Gaza -- and a quick survey of some of Canada's NGOs suggests there are many positive and effective options for partnership.
CHARLES LOMODONG via Getty Images

Central African Republic: A Humanitarian Crisis with Security Implications

We must reclaim our position as a strong advocate for human rights and peace. In order to do this, we must do more than increase our financial support to the Central African Republic. We must condemn the abhorrent acts of violence against women and children. We must advocate for religious tolerance and reconciliation. And we must denounce the international apathy that has allowed this crisis to drag on for so long.
Sumaya Agha/Mercy Corps

Why Isn't Canada Doing More to Help Lebanon Deal With the Syrian Refugee Crisis?

The Syrian conflict has passed two sobering milestones. The civil war -- now entering its fourth year -- has now claimed more than 200,000 lives and forced more than three million people to flee the country. The Canadian government can and should be playing a more direct role in addressing the refugee crisis in Lebanon by immediately increasing our humanitarian assistance.
CP

Now May Not be the Time for a Development Finance Institution

In the last few months there has been much discussion about the Canadian government establishing a Development Finance Institution (DFI). DFIs definitely have some potential to work for development. But would it really fill an important gap in Canada's development toolkit? And is this the right time and the right government for this move? I am not yet convinced.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Conservatives Need To Stop Attacking Canada's NGOs

The words "enabling environment for civil society" must mean something different to Minister Paradis than they do to the rest of us. His message does not reconcile with the Harper government's methodical actions to silence progressive civil society organizations with a disturbing combination of funding cuts, reputation assassination and appropriation of government agencies for their intimidation scheme.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Canada Can Afford to Help South Sudan, But Won't Pay Up

In recent months members of Parliament have debated three of the world's major crises, in Ukraine, Syria, and the Central African Republic. There is another crisis, though, that Canada has neglected so far -- the political and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. It's not as though the money is not available; we are nearing the end of the fiscal year, and last year the Conservatives allowed nearly $300 million of the aid budget to lapse. South Sudan is supposed to be a priority country for Canada.

International Development Should Not Happen Behind Closed Doors

When Parliament reconvenes on October 16, all eyes will be on Stephen Harper's "new" agenda as articulated in the Speech from the Throne. What role will international development play in this speech -- and will it matter? I believe that the most important decisions on the international development agenda continue to be made quietly and behind closed doors, with no public scrutiny.
AP

Canada Must Improve Corporate Responsibility Overseas

The shock felt by Canadians following the recent tragedy in Bangladesh shows that we, as a country, care deeply about the welfare of others. In the wake of this tragedy, the NDP has called for stronger corporate accountability rules. Action to strengthen corporate accountability for Canadian companies operating and contracting work overseas is well overdue.
CP

The Mandate of Poverty Reduction Must Not Be Lost in CIDA's Merger

In yesterday's budget the government announced that Canada's International Development Agency (CIDA) will be merged within the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). CIDA's mandate of poverty reduction is distinct from the mandate of DFAIT, which is to promote Canada's interests abroad. The merger of these departments must be done without watering down CIDA's mandate.
Jacada Travel

The CIDA Debate: Why Africa Doesn't Want Charity

In the passionate exchange on the role of the Government of Canada via CIDA in Africa between the NDP MP and the Minister of International Cooperation, I side with Julian Fantino in what I think is best for Africa. These days, Africans are more occupied with trade and economical opportunities rather than handouts as often advocated by the NDP.