CCIC has sent the following letter to the Leaders’ Debate Commission asking for questions on Canada’s foreign policy and international development efforts to be included in the leaders’ debates that will take place on the week of October 7. This letter was endorsed by CCIC members listed below. If you are a member and would like to add your signature, click here.


September 24, 2019

The Right Honourable David Johnston
Leaders’ Debates Commission
155 Queen St., Suite 301 Ottawa ON. K1P 6L1

Dear Mr. Johnston,

The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC), Canada’s national association
representing Canadian organizations working globally in sustainable development and humanitarian
assistance, and its undersigned members are writing to ask the Leaders’ Debate Commission to
include questions on Canada’s foreign policy and international development efforts during the
leaders’ debates the week of October 7.

Canadians care about their country’s global reputation and are rightfully proud of all that Canada
and Canadians have accomplished through its diplomacy, military, trade, and development
engagements. From the Suez to Syria and from acid rain to anti-personnel landmines, Canada has a
strong tradition of constructive and impactful global engagement. Today’s rapidly changing world
will require continued agility and resolve by our elected government if Canada is to both influence
global change and adapt to it.

The Canadian population knows the importance of international assistance as part of this
engagement. A recent survey by Nanos and the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) found that:

• 71% of Canadians agree we have a moral obligation to help people in developing countries.

• 90% see international aid as contributing to greater global stability and peace.

• 90% agree that when developing countries are stable places to work and live, we all benefit.

• 81% agree that Canada should do its fair share to help other countries.

Canadians understand that Canada does best when the rest of the world does well. Yet they also
substantially overestimate Canada’s international assistance – with Canada’s Official Development
Assistance now representing a near-all-time low relative to Gross National Income. This represents
the continuation of declining investment in international assistance over decades.

Canadians have a right to know how their leaders will lead, abroad just as at home. The leaders’
debates can play an important role in this regard. I trust our appeal will be taken into
consideration. I would welcome an opportunity to discuss this matter further with you and members
of your Advisory Board if appropriate.


President and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC)



List of signatory organizations:

Alberta Council for Global Cooperation
Amnesty International Canada
Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI)
Atlantic Council for International Cooperation
British Columbia Council for International Cooperation
Camfed Canada
Canadan Foodgrains Bank
Canadian Christian Relief and Development Association
Canadian Feed The Children
Canadian Lutheran World Relief
Climate Action Network Canada
CoDevelopment Canada
Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada
Crossroads International
Cuso International
Développement international Desjardins
Grandmothers Advocacy Network
Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD)
Islamic Relief Canada
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
L’Oeuvre Léger
Manitoba Council for International Cooperation
MCC Canada
Northern Council for Global Cooperation
Nutrition International
Operation Eyesight Universal
Plan International Canada
Right To Play
The Hunger Project
USC Canada
Veterinarians without Borders / Vétérinaires sans frontières
WaterAid Canada
World University Service of Canada
World Vision Canada