Professor, School of Political Studies
Canada’s recent announcement that it would donate 17.7 million doses of vaccines to the global fight against COVID-19 is to be applauded. But don’t clap too loud. We weren’t ever going to use them anyway. For all of its rhetoric …READ MORE
Canada talks an excellent game when it comes to foreign aid. Successive Canadian governments tout impressive-sounding new initiatives and brag about the country’s leadership on the world stage. Most recently, the Trudeau government has emphasized the importance of pandemic-related relief …READ MORE
Across the Global South, the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of socioeconomic progress, disproportionally harming poor people. Low- and lower-middle-income countries in particular are struggling more than ever to find the resources to support their citizens’ health and wellbeing at …READ MORE
The Canadian government is currently preparing a Feminist Foreign Policy that seeks to better coordinate its disparate efforts to promote gender equality abroad. This process constitutes a valuable opportunity to defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit …READ MORE
The voting for the next head of the Conservative Party of Canada has begun. The winner, to be announced on August 21, will become the Leader of the Official Opposition. In the midst of the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic …READ MORE
Two prominent umbrella groups of Canadian development organizations – CCIC and CanWaCH – recently launched a COVID-themed campaign to drum up support for Canadian foreign aid. In doing so, they have embraced a nationalistic, threat-based case for aid that verges …READ MORE
Despite talking a good game when it comes to foreign aid, Canada is still not stepping up to the plate. Baseball metaphors are not my forte, but it is clear that Canada is refusing to contribute its fair share of …READ MORE
Justin Trudeau has been a better ally to gay communities than his predecessor. However, he seems to be losing interest in protecting the rights of LGBTI people in other countries, despite the desperate need for such support.
Justin Trudeau’s government …READ MORE
While one federal party leader pledges to cut foreign aid, others fail to agree to meet Canada’s long-standing commitments. In the run-up to the 2019 elections, international assistance finally did earn a place on the campaign agenda. However, all major …READ MORE
Does the world need more Canadians? Global Affairs Canada recently announced a new initiative to send more Canadians abroad to help developing countries fight poverty. The new …READ MORE
From the international development perspective, Budget 2019 is the most disappointing federal budget since the current Liberal government was elected. Foreign aid warrants a mere three paragraphs. The first repeats past commitments and the third describes how the government will …READ MORE
By Stephen Brown and Hunter McGill
To help ensure that Canadian foreign aid is spent on supporting people in need in developing countries — rather than things like white elephants and Canadian commercial interests — Canada has legislation that mandates …READ MORE
Of late, many commentators, from humble bloggers to the more august Toronto Star and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), have lamented Canada’s relative lack of generosity in foreign aid and called on the Canadian government to increase the …READ MORE
by Hunter McGill and Stephen Brown
Every five years or so, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducts a “peer review” of the countries that belong to its Development Assistance Committee (DAC). This year was Canada’s turn and …READ MORE
by Stephen Brown and Hunter McGill
Ten years ago, the Canadian parliament unanimously passed the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, following years of intensive lobbying by Canadian civil society organizations. Prior to 2008, Canada had not had any legislation …READ MORE
One of the best predictors of whether a country criminalizes homosexuality is whether it is a member of the Commonwealth. In 36 out of 53 Commonwealth countries, sexual acts in private between two consenting adults of the same sex are …READ MORE
The preliminary aid statistics for 2017 are now out. What do they tell us about global trends and Canadian foreign aid?
Globally, official development assistance (ODA) from traditional donors has held steady. The total amount, US$147 billion, is down slightly …READ MORE
by Stephen Brown and Hunter McGill
If you watched Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s budget speech in the House of Commons yesterday, you had to be paying close attention to catch the one sentence that refers to foreign aid: “We will …READ MORE
“I would love to increase the aid budget,” admitted Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Liberal Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Minister of International Development, speaking at a recent conference organized by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation. But, she argued, …READ MORE
Shifting from petty and mean to sunny ways, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has done a remarkable job of changing the tone of Canada’s international engagement. When it comes to foreign aid, however, the rhetoric has not been matched by action. …READ MORE
In the early 2000s, Western donors finally recognized that they were partly to blame for foreign aid’s often disappointing results. The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, adopted in 2005, was the result of that soul-searching.
The Declaration was based …READ MORE
Providing foreign aid is only one among many things that countries like Canada can do to promote international development. Official development assistance (ODA) on its own is not sufficient to help developing countries radically improve the lot of their poor …READ MORE
In its first five months in office, the Liberal government has captured the world’s attention, never losing an opportunity to proclaim that “Canada is back.” In a blog a few months ago, the McLeod Group lamented the new government’s lack …READ MORE
The current migration crisis poses a threat to foreign aid. By that, I certainly do not mean that the refugees and asylum seekers themselves are dangerous, but rather how Western governments respond to the crisis is already having a negative …READ MORE
A decade of Conservative rule has had a profound impact on Canadian foreign aid — and mostly for the worst.
With respect to aid level, we are back where we started. The Harper government initially embraced the Liberals’ goal of
The French version of this essay was published on the Huffington Post Québec blog Un seul monde on January 8, 2015.
When the Harper government abolished the Canadian International Development Agency and transferred its functions to the newly renamed Department …READ MORE
By Rieky Stuart and Stephen Brown
Published on the McLeod Group Blog, June 10, 2014
The Canadian government’s recent Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Summit in Toronto has not lacked for cheerleaders, especially NGOs receiving funding under the …READ MORE
While global foreign aid reached an all-time high in 2013, the Canadian government’s contributions fell by over 11%. Among the 28 industrialized countries belonging to the Development Assistance Committee, only debt-ridden Portugal cut aid more drastically than Canada. Not …READ MORE
In July 2013, when the government abolished the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and transferred its functions to the newly renamed Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), it did so mainly in the name of policy coherence. The …READ MORE
Many supporters of DFAIT’s recently announced takeover of CIDA are invoking spurious arguments. More fundamentally, most commentators are missing the crucial point that this new arrangement will do little or nothing to fix the actual problems with Canadian foreign aid. …READ MORE
Published in Embassy Magazine, September 19, 2012
Canada’s contributions to reducing global poverty are rarely a priority topic for debate in the House of Commons. Foreign aid is an important tool for supporting international development, but it will likely …READ MORE
Media commentary has been remarkably lenient regarding Bev Oda’s record at the end of her five-year stint as Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation. Coverage has by and large ignored how, under her watch, the government systematically undermined both the fundamental …READ MORE
Transitional justice is trendy. After a civil war or political transition, the new government will often announce one or more of a variety of mechanisms for dealing with the past, such as a special tribunal or a truth commission.
What …READ MORE
In a blog post yesterday, my colleague Natalie Brender rejected a recent Ottawa Citizen column’s condemnations of the use of CIDA funds to subsidize Canadian mining companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects in mining-affected communities in developing countries.
The crux …READ MORE