2015 Federal Electoin: Question 3

Canadian Foreign and Defence Policy After October 2015:

Questions for the political parties from the World Federalist Movement – Canada

3. Canada’s contributions to global sustainable development

Will your party work to ensure that the next government moves progressively to meet the internationally recognized goal of providing 0.7% of gross national income in overseas development assistance (ODA), in a manner that is consistent with Canada’s ODA Accountability Act?

A September 2015 United Nations World Summit is set to adopt the new Sustainable Development Goals, a comprehensive framework for global sustainable development. Will your party follow up the World Summit with strong diplomatic and financial commitments to help ensure that the SDGs are in fact implemented?


Although the proportion of the world’s population living in poverty has decreased in recent years, nearly half of the world’s population – more than 3 billion people – live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty – less than $1.25 a day. (Source: 2014 UN Development Report)

While some European governments have met and even exceeded the internationally agreed goal of providing 0.7% of gross national income in overseas development assistance (ODA), Canada’s ODA contributions have declined to 0.24%.

At the United Nations, and through hundreds of meetings, consultations and events around the world, governments, international agencies and civil society have in recent years developed a new framework for sustainable development. The “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) will replace the soon-to-expire Millennium Development Goals that have shaped international development programming since the year 2000.

The new SDGs are a better, more comprehensive framework than the MDGs. They incorporate a stronger emphasis on a human rights-based approach, aligning sustainable development programming more closely with universal human rights obligations. And the SDGs will be universally applicable. Unlike the MDGs, which involved donor country programs to address development challenges in less wealthy states (the more traditional North-South development lens), the current process will apply to all countries, including developed countries – a recognition that there is inequality and poverty in all states. These universally adopted goals will be implemented according to nationally determined targets, aligned with each state’s circumstances.

However, getting a global consensus on post-2015 goals is only a start. Achieving significant poverty reduction and sustainable economies will depend on: adequate funding: successful monitoring and implementation mechanisms; and transparent and effective accountability machinery, at the global, regional and national levels.


Bloc Québeçois

Conservative Party

Green Party

Nearly half of the world’s population lives in absolute poverty (less than $2 USD per day) and 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 USD. Poverty is the single largest determinant of ill health. Each day, an estimated fifty thousand people die from povertyrelated causes, and one child dies every three seconds. Four decades ago, Canada committed to eliminating global poverty, and we set a target of spending 0.7% of our GDP on official development assistance (ODA). We reaffirmed this target in 1992, but we have never come close to meeting our goal. In 2000, Canada and all UN members set eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to achieve by 2015. The first goal is “to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.”

Canada’s level of ODA is now one of the lowest of the contributing donor nations. Currently we only contribute 0.3%. The Green Party supports meeting this target of 0.7% for ODA and believes it can be reached in the next decade through strategic poverty reduction planning.

A Green government will work with our global partners to establish clear paths to meet our SDGs. The Green Party was a vocal advocate for placing the MDGs at the centre of Canadian diplomatic and international efforts and we believe that we must do the same with our new targets.

Liberal Party

A Liberal Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson, led the UN commission that recommended the ODA’s 0.7% of GNI goal, and a Liberal government under Justin Trudeau will aspire to reach this allocation.

We are committed to international development assistance and global stewardship. Our Leader, in particular, is strongly committed to Canada fulfilling this obligation, which is incumbent on a nation with our capacity to effect change.

We are greatly distressed by the ongoing decline in Canada’s contribution to the ODA that is at the lowest that it has been in a decade at 0.24% of GNI. The Liberal Party of Canada is serious about restoring Canada’s international reputation and a Liberal government will take concrete steps to regain our leadership role in improving health, education, and economic opportunities for citizens of the world’s poorest countries.

New Democratic Party

Our aid budget has dropped to just 0.24 per cent of GDP – less than most other OECD
countries and well short of the UN target of 0.7 per cent. The Conservatives have cut eight of the poorest African countries from our aid programs, shifting instead to countries willing to sign free trade deals. The last Liberal government cut Canada’s aid budget to its lowest level in 30 years. Tom Mulcair’s NDP will reverse decades of Liberal and Conservative cuts to global aid and set a long-term timetable to meet Canada’s commitment to the UN global aid target of 0.7 percent of the GDP.

Strength in Democracy


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