Politics Aside

Politics Aside

A campaign for Canadian political leaders to unite in support of global poverty reduction.

In a year of partisan mud-slinging and vying for votes ahead of Canada’s 2015 Federal Election, Canadians across the country invited candidates from all parties to put #PoliticsAside and express their support for Canadian leadership towards global poverty reduction.

As polling data showed, the majority of Canadian citizens support our country taking a lead in helping to improve opportunities for people living in the world’s poorest countries. Uniting and amplifying the voice of this Canadian constituency prior to the 2015 election would galvanize the political will for increased Canadian leadership during the 42nd Parliament.

In pursuit of this goal, the #PoliticsAside campaign sought to do two things:

  • Build support amongst decision-makers and future members of the 42nd Parliament for increases in Canada’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) Budget in 2016, by showcasing a high level of support among Canadians.
  • Demonstrate a growing ‘Canadian constituency’ of international development supporters, by coordinating regional education, training, media, and candidate outreach opportunities.

In addition to putting #PoliticsAside in the lead up to the 2015 election, EWB members and Canadians across the country asked the incoming 42nd Parliament to build upon Canada’s previous levels of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the following ways:

  1. Commit to a return to an ODA budget at least on par with the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) average total in the 2016 Federal Budget, (In 2014 Canada spent 0.24% of GNI on ODA vs. an average of 0.29% by other OECD countries).
  2. Enhance the country’s leadership role in addressing global poverty by aspiring to surpass Canada’s 2005 and 2010 official development assistance (ODA) levels of 0.34% of gross national income (GNI) before the end of the 42nd Parliament, as a step toward meeting the United Nations’ target of committing 0.7%.
  3. Commit to maintaining the principal focus of ODA on poverty reduction for the poorest by refocusing on sub-Saharan Africa and increasing funding to the world’s poorest countries.

  • 94% of Canadians say it is important to improve health, education and economic opportunity for world’s poorest.
  • Foreign aid has enabled many significant gains in the fight against global poverty, from decreasing the number of children dying from preventable causes from 17 million in 1990 to 7 million in 2013, to nearly eradicating polio worldwide. But there is much more to do, and greater sustained investment is needed.
  • The majority of Canadians (62%) agree that Canada should be one of the leading countries in providing international development.
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