Aug. 24, 2022

Boosting annual foreign aid as food security concerns rise

I fail to understand why we have an International Development Department at all. This is charity writ large. I don’t understand why our government is engaged in providing charity to foreign nations when we face high inflation, and our health care systems have collapsed.

One would expect a competent federal government would give priority to urgent domestic issues before dolling out $6.6 billion in charity to foreigners. That equals about $170 for every man woman and child in Canada or $680 for a family of four, and we don’t get a tax receipt for our contributions.

The Canadian constitution lists numerous services the federal government is responsible for and provides taxing powers to enable the government to provide those services.  Those services do not include charity to foreign nations or for domestic purposes. The International Development Department is unconstitutional.

Parliamentarians are free to create a charity they can contribute to, but do not have the legal or moral authority to engage in publicly-funded charity. Canadian residents have the right to decide how much of their income they will donate to causes they support. The federal government and many large employers will make provisions for payroll deductions for United Way contributions, but we receive a tax receipt for our contributions.

We have no obligation to engage in charity for foreign nations. Canada’s contribution to foreign aid in 1955 was $330 million on a budget of $4,787 million (0.69%). Canada’s population at the time was 15,733,934 equal to about $21.00 per person.

By 2000, Canada’s contribution to foreign aid had climbed to $4.3 billion, or 2.49% of expenditures or about $140 per person.

We elect governments to govern Canada, not to participate in world governance. Foreign aid, despite the billions spent by Canada, has had no discernible effect on world poverty nor has it diminished conflicts. There is no justification for the enormous increases in foreign aid.

$6.6 billion would go a long way toward training the medical professionals we need to ensure everyone has access to a family doctor and our hospitals are fully staffed 7/24. Our governments operate in a never-never land detached from reality.

Charity begins at home, taking care of family and neighbourhoods. They have destroyed our social safety net, squandering money on boutique international affairs while spending like misers in fulfilling the duties they are elected to oversee.

The bottom line is that there are no foreign junkets, photo ops or ribbon cuttings in providing us with the infrastructure and services needed by the public. We are governed by a self-serving government that has abandoned the people of Canada in favour of pretending that it matters on the world stage.

Millions of Canadians are lying awake wondering how they will be able to afford rapidly-escalating food prices. Food banks are overrun with demands from people who were self-sufficient two years ago. Prime Minister Flutter-by is oblivious to the harm he has wrought on us.

Backgrounder from Suleiman Al-Khalidi Amman of Reuters