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Chambre des communes House of Commons

Circonscription Constituency

Edifice La Promenade Building Piece/Room 910 Ottawa, Ontario KlA 0A6 Tel./Tel.: 613-992-6779

1001 Maisonneuve est / East Suite 507 Montreal, Quebec H2L 4P9 Tel./Tel.: 514-522-1339

Helene Laverdiere Deputee / M.P. Laurier - Sainte-Marie helene.laverdiere@parl.gc.ca

Hon. Julian Fantino Minister of International Cooperation Canadian International Development Agency 200 Promenade du Portage Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0G4 February 4, 2013 Re: "Reverse the Cuts" Campaign

Dear Minister Fantino, I write to you today in my capacity as Official Opposition Critic for International Cooperation, to urge you to reverse the harmful cuts to the Canadian International Development Agency's budget announced in March 2012. I believe this decision is out of step with Canadian values and will have a significant negative effect on development programming in several of the world's poorest countries. Minister, I am sure you are aware of the current Reverse the Cuts campaign led by many of Canada's leading international aid organizations, including RESULTS Canada, World Vision, Association quebecoise des organismes de cooperation internationale, the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation, the Ontario Council for International Cooperation, the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation, and several others. I respectfully ask you to listen to the concerns of these organizations. Minister, the cuts announced in March 2012 total $319 million over the next three years - a reduction of more than eight percent relative to the Agency's 2011-2012 expenditures. The previous federal budget froze Canada's Official Development Assistance, effectively abandoning Canada's commitment to increase our aid by 8 percent annually. As you know, in 2008 Canada committed to contribute 0.7 percent of our national income to

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international development. Yet with your government's most recent cuts, Canada's foreign aid will drop to only 0.25 percent of GNI by 2015, running contrary to Canada's international commitments. This is unacceptable. Canada's NGOs are among the best in the word when it comes to delivering international development assistance. Your government's cuts to CIDA's budget will have a disproportionate impact on these organizations, which have decades of experience working successfully and effectively with partners in developing countries. Minister, foreign assistance is often a crucial factor in improving social services and government operations in developing countries, including education and health services. Cuts to CIDA will disproportionately affect the poorest of the poor through the elimination of essential programs and services. A May 2012 poll on Canadian Engagement on Global Poverty Issues found that the majority of Canadians believe that the federal government must play a lead role in addressing global poverty. Canadians are generous people. We can afford to increase our assistance, and we have the moral obligation to do our part to eradicate global poverty. As Minister for International Cooperation, you have the responsibility for an important agency whose mission is to help eradicate poverty in the developing world. This mission is seriously impeded by the irresponsible and short-sighted cuts to development funding. I. urge you to listen to the experts in the field who have spent decades achieving real success on behalf of Canadians. I stand with Canada's NGOs in calling for your government to reverse the cuts now. Sincerely,

Helene Laverdiere MP, Laurier - Ste-Marie Official Opposition Critic for International Cooperation


MP Hélène Laverdière's Letter to Minister Fantino