With the New Year comes new beginnings, new goals and new hope. This January resolve to raise your voice for 30 days of advocacy.
By signing-up to the pledge you will receive weekly emails for one month that will give you the tools you need to advocate for increased development assistance funds. You will help influence Canada to commit 0.7% of national income to Official Development Assistance (ODA) by 2020.
Make Poverty History Steering Committee member, Campaign 2000, has written about how the Federal Budget will affect children living in poverty in Canada.
The budget caters mostly to those who are well off, giving them precedence over today’s children and their families. According to Campaign 2000, this budget will further increase the gap between the rich and the rest.
Un nombre croissant de personnes sont touchées par la pauvreté, tant au Canada qu’ailleurs dans le monde. Dans le cadre du budget fédéral de l’année 2012, de nombreux programmes risquent de subir des compressions. La capacité de dépenser du gouvernement est limitée par le déficit financier mais ce dernier ne devrait pas servir d’excuse pour diminuer la contribution qu’apporte le Canada pour aider les personnes touchées par la pauvreté à s’en sortir.
Les personnes vulnérables, au Canada comme ailleurs dans le monde, ont besoin du soutien de toutes et de tous pour lutter contre la pauvreté.
Since the financial crisis of 2008, the number of people affected by poverty has been growing. That’s true both here in Canada and in the world as a whole. Yet Canada’s aid budget was frozen at the 2010 level, which is less than half the 0.7 per cent of our economy which Canada promised to achieve.
Many programs that lend a hand to Canadians living in poverty will face cutbacks in provincial and federal budgets this year. The fiscal deficit has limited governments’ spending capacity, but this shouldn’t diminish Canada’s contribution to helping people work their way out of poverty.
An increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors of up to $600 a year for single seniors and $840 for couples is about the only measure in the federal budget that does anything to reduce poverty. It is only about a third of what is needed to bring all seniors out of poverty. And because it is targeted only to those receiving the maximum GIS amount, it will actually help a relatively small number of people.
There was nothing in this budget to address growing rates of poverty among Aboriginal people, youth and recent immigrants - groups where poverty rates are much higher than among seniors. There was nothing for the one in ten children still living in poverty.
by Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator, Campaign 2000 and Board Member of Make Poverty History
As our governments present their budgets in the next few weeks, it is imperative they address the national social deficit that is affecting every Canadian.
The social and fiscal deficits are related. Poverty and inequality are a drag on economic productivity, undermine our democratic systems and generally reduce our national quality of live. The persistently high rate of poverty in Canada and the growing inequality between rich and poor is not only shameful to Canadians, but is unsustainable.
According to the Alternative Federal Budget 2011, Canada can reduce its federal deficit while still committing to 25% poverty reduction in Canada within 5 years and increasing aid to reach the 0.7% of national income aid target within 10 years.
L’an dernier, le gouvernement fédéral annonçait son intention de geler le budget d’aide publique au développement en 2011, le maintenant au niveau de 2010. Pourtant, malgré huit augmentations annuelles successives de 8 %, nos dépenses d’aide ne représentent que 0,3 % de notre revenu national – soit moins de la moitié du 0,7 % que le Canada a promis de consacrer à l’aide internationale. En gelant le budget d’aide au niveau de 2010, nous amorcerons un recul qui nous éloignera de l’objectif de 0,7 %. Nous devons empêcher cela.
Last year the federal government announced their plan to freeze the aid budget for 2011 at 2010 levels. But after 8 years of 8% annual increases, our aid spending amounts to only 0.3% of our national income – less than half of the 0.7% that Canada has promised to give. If we freeze aid at 2010 levels, we will start moving backwards – away from the 0.7% aid target. We can't let this happen.
The federal government’s announcement that it is ending the annual 8% increase in international aid in 2011, means Canada is reneging on a long-standing promise to assist countries living in poverty.
“If aid is capped or even cut in future budgets, it means we are moving away from a reasonable target that would have met our international obligations”, says Dennis Howlett, National Coordinator of Make Poverty History.
Canada’s position as an international donor is already weak. We rank 16th among 22 donor countries, giving just 0.32% , or less than half of the UN’s aid target.