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Letter to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien on Aid Spending

December 3, 2001

The Right Honourable Jean Chrétien
Prime Minister of Canada
Langevin Block
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister:

We are writing to you out of urgent concern that Canada make good on its commitments to the world’s poorest citizens in this year’s Federal budget. The events of September 11th have sent shock waves through the economies of countries like Canada. We recognize this forces tough budgetary choices in uncertain times.

But whatever the impacts in Canada, they are far more grim in the developing world. According to the World Bank, the economic downturn that has ensued since September 11th will hit the world’s poor the hardest. Some 10 million more men, women and children are likely to see their incomes drop below $1 day.

We share a concern that another effect of September 11th will be on national budgets in countries like Canada, where a renewed focus on security measures may, to some extent, set aside other priorities. This would be a tragic mistake. Arrested development and the vast economic disparities that separate us on the planet do not cause events like September 11th – but they set the stage for more than 40 conflicts around the world today.

Canadians are looking for leadership on global peace as well as personal security. Prime Minister, we are encouraged by your regular and recent commitments to boost Canada’s aid performance. At Genoa, you accepted responsibility (with the G-8) for the "New Africa Initiative" file. Last month, by overwhelming majority, Canadian Members of Parliament from all parties voted for a review and increase in Canadian aid. And merely weeks ago, foreign aid was a featured discussion at meetings of the international financial institutions in Ottawa.

Canada is far from reaching the internationally agreed upon target of contributing 0.7% of GNP to "Official Development Assistance" (ODA). Internationally, we are now one of the least generous countries – ranked a dismal 17 out of 22 OECD donor countries. Canada and Canadians have responded, and must continue to respond, to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Canadians’ growing understanding of international issues needs continued support. And Canadian support to long-term ODA, focussed on poverty eradication goals, must not fall off the agenda. Canada’s repeated commitment to meet the "International Development Targets" by 2015 depends on these resources. Minor or short-term increases will not be effective.

We call on the government of Canada to minimally increase aid spending by $400 million annually for the next four years
. It is a target that would move Canada in the right direction against the internationally accepted donor goals. And it would, as well, address the call of the World Bank and the United Nations for a 20% increase in aid spending in light of the new global crisis.


Gerry Barr, et al
Canadian Council for International Co-operation

Signatures from CCIC Member Organizations:

Elizabeth Dove
A/Executive Director
African Medical and Research Foundation Canada

Lynette Shultz
Alberta Council for Global Cooperation

Scott Harris
Executive Director
Alberta Council for Global Cooperation

Francine Néméh
Executive Director
Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale

Jen Deveney
Executive Director
BC Council for International Cooperation

Robert Letendre
Executive Director
Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace

Susan McNamara Scott
Chair, Board of Directors
Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace

Michel Charette
Executive Director
Canadian Centre for International Studies and Cooperation

Lynne Toupin
Executive Director
Canadian Co-operative Association

Kelly O'Brien
Chair, Board of Directors
Canadian Crossroads International

Charles Beer
President and CEO
Canadian Executive Service Organization

Kevin O’Brien
Executive Director
Canadian Feed the Children

Jim Cornelius
Executive Director
Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Carol Dixon
Canadian Friends Service Committee

Fr. Joseph P. Horrigan, SJ
National Director
Canadian Jesuits International

Kenneth V. Georgetti
Canadian Labour Congress

Ruth Jensen
Executive Director
Canadian Lutheran World Relief

Gizaw Shibru
A/Executive Director
Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief

Janet Hatcher-Roberts
Executive Director
Canadian Society for International Health

John Watson
Executive Director
CARE Canada

Carol Phillips
Executive Director
CAW Social Justice Fund

Gary Cwitco
Executive Secretary
CEP Humanity Fund

Bruce Herzog
Executive Director
Christian Children’s Fund Canada

Mary Coyle
Executive Director
Coady International Institute

Barbara Wood
Executive Director
CoDevelopment Canada

Andrew P. Macdonald
Cooper Institute

Laurie Beachell
Executive Director
Council of Canadians with Disabilities

Claire Dansereau
Executive Director

Tim Brodhead
Chair, Board of Directors
(formerly known as Rural Advance Foundation International)

Mirabelle Rodrigues
Executive Director
Foundation for International Training

P.K. Tran
Secretary General
Fraternité Vietnam

Marco A. Guzman
Executive Director
Frontiers Foundation

Patricia Rebolledo
Executive Director
Horizons of Friendship

Cassim Bhabha, MD
International Development and Relief Foundation

Jean-Pierre Massé
Executive Director
Jules et Paul-Émile Léger Foundation

Janice Hamilton
Executive Director
Manitoba Council for International Cooperation

Don Peters
Executive Director
Mennonite Central Committee Canada

Tracy Brown
A/Executive Director
Ontario Council for International Cooperation

Rieky Stuart
Executive Director
Oxfam Canada

Nicole Saint-Martin
Chair, Board of Directors
Oxfam Québec

Rita Parikh
Executive Director
Pacific Peoples’ Partnership

Bernard Taylor
Executive Director
Partnership Africa Canada

Peachy Cuenca Forbes
Executive Director
Philippine Development Assistance Program

Debbie Grisdale
Executive Director
Physicians for Global Survival

Richard Fee
Executive Director
Presbyterian World Service and Development

Andrew Ignatieff
Executive Director
Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund

Ernie Regehr
Executive Director
Project Ploughshares

Blaise Salmon
Results Canada

Lori Latta
Executive Director
Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation

Gina Daya
A/Executive Director
Save the Children Canada

Rev. Jack Lynch, sfm
Superior General
Scarboro Foreign Mission Society

Daniel Lussier
Executive Director
Société de partage (SOPAR)

Richard Harmston
Executive Director
South Asia Partnership – Canada

David Mackenzie
Executive Director
Steelworkers Humanity Fund

Peter Copping
Executive Director
Street Kids International

Allan Bacon
Overseas Development Consultant
The Salvation Army Canada

René De Grâce
President and CEO

P.K. Talbot
A/Secretary General,
   Division of World Outreach
The United Church of Canada

Steve Mason
Executive Director
United Nations Association in Canada

Ann Thompson
Executive Director
USC Canada

Mary Stuart
Executive Director
VSO Canada

Christina Lubbock
Executive Director

Hon. Flora MacDonald
World Federalists of Canada

Mamta Mishra
Executive Director
World Literacy of Canada

Marc Dolgin
Executive Director
World University Service of Canada

Dave Toycen
World Vision Canada


Raymond Mantha
Chair, National Board of Directors
YMCA Canada



c.c.   Hon. Paul Martin, Minister of Finance
        Hon. Maria Minna, Minister of International Cooperation
        Stockwell Day, Leader of the Official Opposition
        Gilles Duceppe, Leader of the BQ
        Alexa McDonough, Leader of the NDP
        Joe Clark, Leader of the PCDR Coalition


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