When I first heard about the dismantling of the Canadian International Development Agency in the government's recent budget, I was rather dismayed. Nonetheless, upon delving into the issue further, it became clear that my initial reaction was quite misguided. International aid from Canada is not coming to an end; the budget has merely initiated the merging of CIDA with the Department of Foreign Affairs. The aim is not to slash aid, but rather to have a more synergized approach to its deliverance in developing countries. The merger of CIDA with DFAIT ensures the money our government spends internationally will be more focused, effective and better reflect and preserve the national interests of Canada.
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.
In the course of my work at Plan I see so many young people with great potential of their own who have so few opportunities to explore or express it. Still, they bravely persist in striving to make their mark on the world, even in contexts of deprivation and conflict. Programs like Girls Making Media and International Youth Day, youth are changing the world.
Gil Blutrich, an Israeli born entrepreneur moved to Canada after many successful business ventures. However the one project of which he is so very proud is his purchase of the grand old lady of the Great lakes; the last remaining ship of its kind, the SS Keewatin. Thanks to a Canadian Israeli with a true sense of history, a relic of our past will now remind Canadians of a proud maritime era.
New malls, expensive hotels and fancy casinos are springing up everywhere in Uganda. Ex-pats and middle-class Ugandans drive flashy four-wheel jeeps and you can get any food craving satiated. Indian, Italian, Mongolian, Thai: they have it all here. And yet, it is a large urban centre where goats and chickens still roam the streets and witch doctors ply their trade.
In a report called "Left Behind by the G20?", Oxfam looks how every country treats its poorest. Inequality in Canada rose as fast as India's and nearly as fast as South Africa's. Only four have managed to reduce income inequality since 1990 and they are all emerging powers: Brazil, Korea, Mexico, and Argentina.