70 Canadian humanitarian and global development organizations call on the Government of Canada to amend the Budget Implementation Act (BIA)

70 Canadian humanitarian and global development organizations call on the Government of Canada to amend the Budget Implementation Act (BIA)

 

May 30th, 2022 (Ottawa) – Cooperation Canada, along with 70 Canadian humanitarian and international development organizations, urges the Government of Canada to amend the Budget Implementation Act (BIA) to reflect the spirit of Bill S-216, the Effective and Accountable Charities Act. Changes to Canada’s charity regime proposed in the BIA released in April 2022 accentuate colonial and paternalistic relationships between charities and the partners that support their charitable objectives, both in Canada and internationally. 

 Initially encouraged by Canada’s commitment in the 2022 federal budget to implement the spirit of Bill S-216, many Canadian charities are disappointed with what is proposed in the BIA. 

 “Canada’s charity regime is outdated, colonial and patriarchal. It needs to change so charities can better support the organizations and movements responding to conflict and crisis, fighting for justice and human rights and investing in sustainable development around the world.  We want to shift power and resources to the communities at the forefront of driving change, and need a charity regime that supports this”, explains Kate Higgins, Cooperation Canada’s CEO. “We welcome the government’s openness to dialogue to address our concerns”, added Higgins. 

 Charities are concerned about integrity and want to preserve public trust. They are committed to the utmost accountability.  But signatories to this letter are concerned that the BIA will make it more difficult for organizations to achieve their charitable purposes by inserting into the legislation a rigid and prescriptive approach to funding non-charities. The new rules proposed in the BIA allowing charities to make ‘qualifying disbursements’ or grants to non-qualified donees make the system more confusing, risky and difficult for registered charities and non-charities to work together and, as a result, may prevent philanthropic and charitable resources from flowing to the communities that need them most. 

 Cooperation Canada called on its civil society partners to sign an open letter calling on the Government of Canada to make immediate changes to the BIA. The changes proposed in the letter would increase the opportunities for partnerships between equity-seeking organizations and Canadian charities here in Canada and around the world, placing more resources in the hands of local partners so charitable funds can have the greatest possible impact. 

 “We need to fix the Budget Implementation Act and modernize Canada’s charity regime so we can unlock more resources and localize and decolonize our work with communities in Canada and around the globe”, said Carelle Mang-Benza, Cooperation Canada’s Policy Lead. 

 

About Cooperation Canada 

Cooperation Canada brings together Canada’s international development and humanitarian organizations and advocates for them by convening sector leaders, influencing policy and building capacity. Together, we work with partners both inside and outside Canada to build a world that’s fair, safe and sustainable for all. 

 

Press Contact 

Gabriel Karasz-Perriau 

Communications Manager 

Cooperation Canada 

gkaraszperriau@cooperation.ca 

(514) 945-0309 

Cooperation Canada’s Statement on the Situation in Ukraine  

Cooperation Canada’s Statement on the Situation in Ukraine  

The world is in intense turmoil. Day after day, the Ukraine crisis sends shocking reminders that peace and stability cannot be taken for granted. We must work collectively to uphold peace, democracy and human rights. Cooperation Canada urges Canada to continue to deploy its feminist leadership in its response to the crisis resulting from the attack on the sovereign territory of Ukraine. We call on Canada to continue to address humanitarian needs, contribute to peace processes, and stand up for democracy and human rights.  

As casualties, suffering, and destruction increase, upholding the principles of International Humanitarian Law remains a top priority. This encompasses safeguarding all civilians, regardless of race, colour, religion or national origin, who are forced to flee or remain in Ukraine, protecting civilian infrastructure, and guaranteeing that humanitarian organizations have unobstructed access to people at risk. With mainly women, children, and the elderly on the move, the needs of those escaping the horrors of war are diverse. There are already distressing reports of human trafficking and Russian soldiers using sexual violence as a weapon of war. Canada must stand firm in its condemnation of such acts and take appropriate action to ensure safety for all.  

The needs of Ukrainians are here and now, but the effects of the crisis are spreading and will be felt in the years to come. Conversely, the dividends of peacebuilding are long-lasting. As Canada articulates its feminist foreign policy, the approach must be comprehensive, coherent, and robust. Humanitarian assistance, peace-building efforts and long-term development funding should draw on Canada’s legacy of championing women as rightful leaders with proper representation at political tables and in consolidating peace and security. Supporting Ukrainian national and local civil society – who are on the frontlines of the humanitarian response to this crisis – is critical.   

The ripple effects of the war in Ukraine are hitting those in precarious socio-economic situations harder. As these impacts increase, our attention and financial commitments to alleviating human suffering and addressing other crises cannot decrease. We welcome Budget 2022’s significant support for Ukraine. Nevertheless, it is imperative that resources are not diverted from other global hotspots. Canada must remain steadfast in its support for countries such as Afghanistan and Yemen, among others, and for the crises resulting from conflict, the global COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Canada can lead the way and use its global voice to encourage the international community to do the same.  

Cooperation Canada is encouraged by the increase to international assistance in the 2022 federal budget

Cooperation Canada is encouraged by the increase to international assistance in the 2022 federal budget

 

April 7, 2022 (Ottawa) – As conflict, humanitarian emergencies, COVID-19 and climate change wreak havoc across the globe, Cooperation Canada is encouraged by today’s 2022 federal budget which includes an increase in Canada’s international assistance and a willingness to address barriers to charitable activities in international cooperation. 

This budget demonstrates that the government remains committed to international assistance as an effective way of enhancing health, security, prosperity and human rights around the world. 

“International assistance is a proven tool to support peace, security and equitable and sustainable development,” said Kate Higgins, Cooperation Canada’s CEO. “As the world faces the triple crises of conflict, COVID-19 and climate change, Canadian leadership is vital,” Higgins said. 

The budget sees Canada’s international assistance reach over $8 billion, an increase from $7.6 billion in 2020-21. While no timetable for future spending is provided, it is encouraging that the government is moving forward on its commitments to increase Canada’s international development assistance budget each year in support of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This increase puts us on a path to being in line with our Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) peers.  

Cooperation Canada is thrilled that this budget responds to the repeated calls by the charitable sector to reduce red tape that inhibits charitable activities in Canada and abroad through the government’s support for Bill S-216, The Effective and Accountable Charities Act. Cooperation Canada supports Bill S-216 as proposed. 

“As the world faces multiple crises, we are encouraged by both the increase in Canadian aid and a willingness to make long-awaited reforms to outdated charity legislation that will enable Canadian international development and humanitarian organizations to advance equitable, feminist partnerships around the world,” Higgins adds. 

 

About Cooperation Canada 

Cooperation Canada brings together Canada’s international development and humanitarian organizations and advocates for them by convening sector leaders, influencing policy and building capacity. Together, we work with partners both inside and outside Canada to build a world that’s fair, safe and sustainable for all. 

 

Press Contact 

Gabriel Karasz-Perriau 

Communications Manager 

Cooperation Canada 

gkaraszperriau@cooperation.ca  

(514) 945-0309 

Cooperation Canada is proud to welcome Kate Higgins as its new Chief Executive Officer

Cooperation Canada is proud to welcome Kate Higgins as its new Chief Executive Officer

January 18, 2022 (Ottawa) – The Board of Directors of Cooperation Canada is delighted to announce the appointment of Kate Higgins as its new Chief Executive Officer. Kate will take on her new role on April 4, 2022. 

“We are thrilled with this announcement and look forward to the energy and vision that Kate will bring to this role and to Cooperation Canada’s work to build a fairer, safer and more sustainable world. Kate is a strategic thinker and throughout her career has demonstrated her commitment to the principles of cooperation that Cooperation Canada endorses. We are in the best of hands with Kate at the helm, and look forward to working with her as she leads Cooperation Canada and its talented team into its next exciting phase,” said Eileen Alma and Richard Veenstra, Co-Chairs of Cooperation Canada’s Board of Directors. 

Kate is an accomplished leader and experienced manager, with over fifteen years of experience in international development, civil society, think tanks, and government. She is currently the Deputy Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, where she has led the organization’s work on strategy and communications and spearheaded a number of organizational change initiatives, in addition to serving as Interim Executive Director in 2020. Before joining Oxfam, Kate worked for CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society organizations, where she led strategy development and the organization’s work on data, sustainable development and citizen action. She has held senior policy and research roles at the North-South Institute and the Overseas Development Institute, leading work on chronic poverty, protracted conflict, women’s economic justice and international assistance and building several global, multi-stakeholder initiatives. Kate started her career at the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), working on the Indonesia and Papua New Guinea programs. She has lived and worked in Australia, Canada, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda and has undertaken missions in several other countries. Kate has degrees in economics and development studies from the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney. 

“I have collaborated with, admired, and celebrated the work of Cooperation Canada for many years. I firmly believe that Cooperation Canada plays a critical role in representing Canada’s international development and humanitarian sector and in pushing for ambitious Canadian engagement in the world. It will be an absolute privilege to lead this organization, and work with the Board of Directors, staff, members and partners to position Cooperation Canada, and our sector, for the future,” said Kate Higgins, Cooperation Canada’s incoming CEO. 

Kate will replace Shannon Kindornay, who is currently serving as the Interim CEO. Shannon will continue as Cooperation Canada’s Chief Operations Officer. Maxime Michel, who replaced Shannon during her parental leave, served as Interim CEO in Shannon’s absence.  

“Cooperation Canada is fortunate to have such a strong management team. The Board of Directors warmly thanks Shannon and Maxime for their dedication, competent management and leadership during the transition,” added Eileen Alma and Richard Veenstra. 

About Cooperation Canada 

Cooperation Canada (formerly the Canadian Council for International Co-operation) brings together Canada’s international development and humanitarian organizations and advocates for them by convening sector leaders, influencing policy and building capacity. Together, we work with partners both inside and outside Canada to build a world that’s fair, safe and sustainable for all.   

Press contact 
Gabriel Karasz-Perriau
Communications Manager
Cooperation Canada
gkaraszperriau@cooperation.ca
(514) 945-0309

Canada’s International Cooperation Sector Celebrates Ambitious Speech from the Throne

Canada’s International Cooperation Sector Celebrates Ambitious Speech from the Throne

November 29, 2021 (Ottawa, ON) – On Tuesday, Mary Simon, Canada’s first indigenous Governor-General, delivered a forward-looking Speech from the Throne designed to move Canada forward, for everyone. Leading the country through the pandemic has not been easy and will only become harder as we move towards our recovery. Rooting difficult decisions in a commitment to “increasing Canada’s foreign assistance budget each year, and investing in sustainable, equitable, and feminist development that benefits the world’s most vulnerable and promotes gender equality” is the best way to support Canadians and build the future we all deserve.

We, as organizations whose members represent the bulk of Canada’s international cooperation sector, celebrate this announcement, and look forward to working with the government to implement this commitment. Working together, we can create a healthier, more equitable and resilient world that benefits everyone.

The pandemic has fractured supply chains, caused inflation to soar, and nearly collapsed our health care system. These are realities the government must address to curb the rising cost of living, and to give our local economy the tools it needs to recover. To do this, the Prime Minister has renewed his commitment to stopping the spread of COVID-19 everywhere.

“The pandemic has had a devastating impact around the world with the largest burden being carried by caregivers, particularly women. Canada’s actions to ensure access to vaccines for all will become a moment in history that we will reflect on with regret or pride,” said Julia Anderson, CEO of the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH). “Global and domestic economic recovery is dependent upon robust supply chains which require thriving local economies. None of this is possible when global health systems are collapsing. Access to life-saving tools in the fight against COVID-19 is essential to kick-starting our recovery and stabilizing trade relations.”

The conditions we create for our global recovery must align with our efforts to protect our planet. Ensuring that communities around the world are empowered with the knowledge and tools needed to protect our biodiversity is crucial to this goal. “Investing in international cooperation is one of the most important tools in the fight against climate change,” states Maxime Michel, Interim CEO of Cooperation Canada. “Low- and middle-income countries are often the first to suffer and feel the impacts most deeply, of the global climate crisis. This commitment to increasing Canada’s official development assistance means that we have an opportunity to act more quickly to ensure that those most impacted by climate change can respond to their own needs.”

“Canada’s International Cooperation sector is always ready to advise and support the Prime Minister and International Development Minister Sajjan as they walk the path towards recovery and equity,” said Michel and Anderson.

-30-

About Cooperation Canada

Cooperation Canada brings together and advocates for Canada’s international development and humanitarian organizations by convening sector leaders, influencing policy and building capacity. Together, we work with partners both inside and outside Canada to build a world that’s fair, safe and sustainable for all.

Cooperation Canada has prepared an alternative mandate letter for the Minister of International Development, which highlights the key global challenges that should require the Minister’s attention during his mandate, in the perspective of the main priorities for making tangible progress of Canadians. Read it here.

 

About Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health

The Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) is comprised of approximately 100 Canadian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academic institutions, health professional associations and individuals partnering to improve health outcomes for women and children in more than 1,000 communities worldwide.

 

For more information:

Maxime Michel

Cooperation Canada

mmichel@cooperation.ca

613-899-8766

Charmaine Crockett

CanWaCH

ccrockett@canwach.ca

613-863-9489