04/20/2015 16:01 EDT | Updated 06/20/2015 01:12 EDT

Development minister Paradis pushing for new aid lending body to fight poverty

OTTAWA - Days ahead of the federal budget, Canada's international development minister has been touting a new, relatively cheap initiative that could mask the fact that it won't contain any new aid spending.Christian Paradis recently told a major international financing meeting that Canada lacks a public sector, profit-driven financial lending institution that would help generate growth and alleviate poverty in poor countries.Paradis told a gathering at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., last week that he's been pushing hard for the creation of a development finance institution, or DFI.Paradis said his officials have been working hard to create one, but he stopped short of saying whether it would be featured in the budget.The public sector financing mechanism would partner with businesses to create projects that would stimulate economic growth, which could ultimately lift poor countries out of poverty.Aid agencies are leery of DFIs, even though they exist in many other Western countries, because they say their success relies on the benefits of private investment trickling down to the poorest of the poor.