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Flash

April 28, 2006

Headlines

  1. Federal Budget Date Set: Stephen Harper's Conservative government will deliver its first budget on Tuesday May 2. CCIC has prepared a number of budget documents (Pre-budget Backgrounder and Pre-budget Backgrounder Briefing Note) that can be found at www.ccic.ca/e/docs/002_aid_2006_03_pre-budget_backgrounder.pdf and www.ccic.ca/e/docs/002_aid_2006-03_pre-budget_brief.pdf.

  2. Aid Numbers Inflated: The OECD DAC preliminary aid figures for 2005 suggest that ODA increased by more than 30% from 2004 to US$106 billion. The overall performance ratio reached 0.33% of donor Gross National Income (GNI), up from 0.26%. These increases, however, include the full value of cancelled Iraqi and Nigerian debt - more than US$23 billion. Total ODA increased by less than 9% when debt cancellation is removed. Under DAC rules, these additions to aid are allowed, but are also misleading as the actual annual benefit to the poor is significantly less than the face value. In 2005, UK aid actually decreased from 2004 levels when debt cancellation and other inflated items are removed. Canadian aid also increased by 30% according to the DAC, reaching 0.34% of Canadian GNI. When US$455 million in Canadian debt cancellation is removed, Canadian aid increased by only 17% and our aid performance drops to 0.30% of GNI. For more information see www.oecd.org/document/40/0,2340,en_2649_33721_36418344_1_1_1_1,00.html.

  3. WTO Deadline Missed and Process Blocked: World Trade Organization (WTO) members have conceded they have failed to meet the April 30 deadline, set in Hong Kong, to reach agreement on text for key negotiating issues in agriculture and industrial goods. Earlier this month, civil society groups world wide, including CCIC, sent an open letter to WTO Director General, Pascal Lamy raising serious concerns about a proposed April Mini-Ministerial meeting among a few select WTO countries to help break the deadlock. The proposal to have a Ministerial at such short notice was in contradiction to Lamy's previously stated commitment to an inclusive approach to the negotiations. WTO negotiations are deadlocked with no new deadline set, but the process to reach agreement continues. For a copy of the civil society letter e-mail gauri@ccic.ca.

  4. Capital Gains Exemption on Gifts: Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently addressed the St. Johns Board of Trade where he re-iterated his campaign commitment to eliminate capital gains on gifts of stocks to charities. The Prime Minister said, "We are also going to facilitate greater levels of charitable giving, by removing the capital gains tax on listed stocks donated to charities. Once implemented, this measure will make it that much easier for generous men and women to donate to the charity, or charities, of their choice, a move, which in turn, will strengthen all Canadian communities". For more information go to www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060425.wcomment0425/BNStory/National/home.

Make Poverty History

  1. International Month of Action Announced: The Global Call to Action Against Poverty, the international arm of Canada's Make Poverty History campaign, is calling for an international month of action against poverty from September 16 to October 17. This month will culminate with an international White Band Day on October 17, the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The white band is the symbol of the campaign. For more information go to www.makepovertyhistory.ca or www.whiteband.org.

Upcoming Events

  1. Africa-Canada Forum Colloquium on HIV/AIDS: Building on the growing momentum of the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, CCIC's Africa-Canada Forum (ACF) is organizing a one-day colloquium in Ottawa June 5: "Understanding HIV/AIDS in the Context of Development and Poverty in Africa." The colloquium will provide an opportunity for ACF members to deepen their understanding and analysis of HIV-AIDS issues and their links to broader processes of poverty and development. Panelists from Africa and Canada will address HIV/AIDS in the wider contexts of globalization, gender inequity and food insecurity. For registration or other information on the colloquium, contact sperras@ccic.ca.

  2. Conference Reminder - The Tsunami Crisis: "The Canadian Civil Society Response to the Tsunami Crisis: Challenges, Opportunities & Lessons Learned" will be an opportunity for in-depth discussion on key issues that affect civil society and the response to the tsunami. Confirmed speakers include Sasa Petricic, CBC videojournalist for The National; Wardah Hafidz, Indonesian Human Rights Activist and Recipient of the 2005 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights; and Lai-Ling Lee, Acting Programs Director, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). French and English interpretation will be available. This Asia Pacific Working Group conference, May 1 and 2 will be held in Ottawa. To register contact Sara Kemp at skemp@ccic.ca or (613) 241-7007 ext. 316.

  3. 2006 Ethical Trading Forum May 18: The Ethical Trading Action Group (ETAG), is hosting the 2006 Ethical Trading Forum, "Will transparent reporting lead to better labour practices? Lessons from the garment industry," on May 18, at the University of Toronto. The forum will examine what companies should report on labour rights issues, why and to whom, and how companies can collaborate with each other and with labour and non-governmental organizations to tackle systemic problems in supply chains. Speakers include leaders in labour rights and corporate accountability in the garment industry, and will address issue in a wide range of industries including apparel, electronics, groceries and other consumer goods. For more information contact pclaeys@maquilasolidarity.org.

  4. World Literacy "Power of Five" Readings: Five authors (Joan Barfoot, Karen Connelly, Charlotte Gray, Diana Beresford-Kroeger and Kim Ondaatje) will be reading from work focusing on the theme of the power of women to change the world through words and actions. This special Ottawa reading event is a partnership with the Library and Archives Canada, Nicholas Hoare, Sasquatch Reading Series, St. Mary's Home and Immaculata High School. The reading will take place May 9 at 6:30 at the Library and Archives Canada. Tickets ($20.00 with a $10.00 charitable receipt) are available from Nicholas Hoare Bookstore at 419 Sussex Dr. in Ottawa. For more information contact Linda Roger at (461) 977-0008 or Linda@worldlit.ca.

  5. APG General Meeting: The Americas Policy Group (APG) General Meeting will examine the current Canadian political landscape in relation to the APG's work in the Americas and Canadian investment in Colombia as well as the impacts of the conflict in Colombia on the Andean region. The meeting will take place in Ottawa (CCIC's boardroom) May 10 to 11. For more information contact Nadja Drost at ndrost@ccic.ca.

 

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