Statement made on 24 April 2012 by Senator Claudette Tardif
Hon. Claudette Tardif:
Honourables senators, the 2012 budget presented three weeks ago would reduce government spending on foreign aid by 7.5 per cent over the next three years. Canada's assistance to international organizations is also being reviewed and will be cut.
These cuts are among the largest cuts made in the budget. Spending on international aid, which had already been frozen at the 2010 level, is estimated to represent only 0.29 per cent of this year's gross national product, which is a far cry from Canada's commitment to devote 0.7 per cent of our national income to development assistance.
Canada already ranks among the least generous of developed countries in terms of spending related to foreign aid based on national income. By 2015, this percentage could be even lower.
The government's position recently prompted OXFAM Canada to ask the following question, which I will now ask of the leader: Why is this government balancing its budget at the expense of the most vulnerable people in the world?
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