The 2023 federal budget will be tabled on 28 March, 2023. Advocates and organizations in international cooperation, and members of Cooperation Canada especially, have been working publicly and behind the scenes to send the following message to Minister Freeland and the government:
We must show the rest of the world that it can continue to count on Canada and keep the promise to increase our international assistance contributions, going beyond last year’s $8.15 billion envelope and committing to reach $10 billion by 2025.
This message has been consistently conveyed to Members of Parliament, Senators, senior bureaucrats and their teams in Cooperation Canada’s pre-budget submission, in background documents prepared for International Development Week in February 2023, in Kate Higgins’ testimony at the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade Senate hearing, and more recently in an Open Letter to Minister Freeland signed by 77 Canadian aid organizations.
A positive demonstration of collaboration across organizations, mirroring of the sector cohesion, was the cross-partisan political support displayed at the Parliamentary reception held on February 8th, when the Parliamentary Secretary of the Minister of International Development invited fellow members of Parliament from the Conservative Party, New Democratic Party, and Bloc Quebecois to share the stage with her and voice their views on the importance of Canada’s international engagement.
Beyond political optics, our sector remains determined to pursue advocacy efforts in the lead up to the budget announcement. Several media pieces are being released to ensure that the public is aware of the rationale and impact of Canada’s engagement in global issues, including through Canadian civil society organizations.
For more on media articles, see:
- Canada’s leading international aid groups urge Ottawa to increase foreign assistance contributions – The Globe and Mail
- Les organismes d’aide étrangère demandent plus de contributions du Canada | Le Devoir
Foreign aid is not a handout. It is an investment in the type of world we all want to see, a statement in favor of the right of every person to live in dignity in safe and healthy environments. Foreign aid contributes to promoting that right in Canada and above. By asking for a predictable, three-year budget increase to reach $10 billion by 2025, our sector is calling on the government to do what is both right and smart.