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Hélène Laverdière

NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs

Hélène Laverdière is NDP MP for Laurier – Ste-Marie and NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs. She is a former Canadian diplomat who was posted to Chile, Senegal, and Washington, D.C.

She holds a doctoral degree in Sociology from the University of Bath in England and speaks French, English, Spanish and a bit of Mandarin Chinese.

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.
05/17/2013 12:36 EDT

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.
03/22/2013 12:37 EDT

Let's Learn From the U.K. and Commit to International Aid

The Harper government would do well to learn from the approach of the Conservative government in the United Kingdom which, in a difficult economic situation, has made the laudable commitment not to cut its aid budget. Scaling back our development assistance is, frankly, out of step with Canadian values.
03/20/2013 12:59 EDT

The Conservatives: Tough on Crime, Soft on Violence Against Women

Every six days a Canadian woman is killed by her partner. As of 2010, there were 582 known cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Globally, one in three women will be a victim of violence -- being raped, beaten or abused in her lifetime. In some parts of the world a girl is more likely to be raped than to learn how to read. But women have taken a backseat to the government's other priorities.We could certainly be doing more to help women who are suffering from HIV/AIDS, which in many cases in the developing world results from rape.
03/07/2013 05:36 EST

How CIDA Is Changing -- For the Worse

The Conservative government's recent decision to use Canadian development dollars to subsidise the activities of the extractive sector is troubling. Under the direction of its new Minister Julian Fantino, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is, shockingly, changing its focus from poverty reduction to promoting Canadian extractive industries abroad. During a recent speech before the Economic Club of Canada, Minister Fantino said that from now on, CIDA will be "in the business of building Canada's markets for the future" and "creating an environment where the (extractive) industry on its own can achieve success." This is not the business of CIDA.
12/19/2012 05:06 EST