Official Opposition International Development critic Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie) has released the following statement:
“On behalf of New Democrats, I join Canadians in celebrating International Development Week. This year’s theme is “We are Making a Difference.” We should make a difference – a real, sustainable difference.
“In 2012, the Conservative government cut Canada’s aid budget by 7.5%, and last year it lapsed an additional $300 million. Funds that were earmarked for international development went back into the government’s coffers. And we have seen this year how Canada’s aid priorities are increasingly tied to our trade priorities – especially in the promotion of Canadian extractive companies.
“Canada’s NGOs have created a petition in advance of next week’s budget to urge the government not to cut foreign aid further. This week I signed that petition and I encourage all of my colleagues to do the same by visiting protectaid.ca
“The world expects Canada to be a leader in international development. Under an NDP government, we will be.”