McLeod Group Blog

MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK AND OTHER CLICHÉS

MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK AND OTHER CLICHÉS

Guest Blog by Ian Smillie, August 1, 2017

A recent op-ed in the Globe and Mail talked about Canadian aid to Haiti. The print edition spoke of “more bang for the buck” and called it a new “Canadian-led approach.” The online edition said, “Canada must do more with less.” However, the subject of the op-ed is about neither of these things.

According to the author of the article, Bjorn Lomborg, Director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, his think-tank did the leading; ...

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Canadian Trade Policy

Canadian Trade Policy

McLeod Group Blog, June 26, 2017

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland’s address on June 6 laid out what was meant to be a bold new vision for Canadian foreign policy in a hostile international environment. However, the speech repeated familiar arguments and promises regarding the Canadian government’s commitment to signing more free trade agreements (FTAs) and to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In the face of Donald Trump’s protectionist rhetoric, Freeland’s speech attempted to position Canada as ...

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Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy: Can GAC Deliver?

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy: Can GAC Deliver?

McLeod Group Blog, June 20, 2017

On June 8, Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau announced Canada’s “first feminist international assistance policy”. It was warmly welcomed by the audience at Global Affairs Canada, composed largely of Canadian civil society organizations that deliver assistance to developing countries. The new policy describes a major focus on gender equality and the rights of women and girls (with a target of 15% of the aid budget, up from 2% currently) and attention to women ...

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Canada’s Foreign Policy Priorities

Canada’s Foreign Policy Priorities

McLeod Group Blog, June 19, 2017

The week of June 5 was likely a milestone in Canada’s foreign policy history with not one, not two, but three major statements on elements of the country’s foreign policy framework. It is fair to say that all three of the statements, on diplomacy, defence and development, were long overdue. The first of the statements was made by Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, delivered in the House of Commons on June 6, and was ...

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Rebuilding trust or doing less with less? Canadian support for development CSOs

Rebuilding trust or doing less with less? Canadian support for development CSOs

McLeod Group Blog, June 5, 2017

As Canadians wait for International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau to release the government’s overdue international assistance strategy, it is interesting to consider the minister’s latest announcement on May 9 of funding for Canadian civil society organizations (CSOs). The occasion was the Global Impact Soirée organized by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, the umbrella entity for Canadian CSOs engaged in development cooperation.

Minister Bibeau announced $100 million dedicated to small and medium-sized Canadian civil society organizations ...

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Will a Development Finance Institute help the poor?

Will a Development Finance Institute help the poor?

McLeod Group Blog, May 15, 2017

On May 5, Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced that Montreal would be the headquarters of Canada’s new Development Finance Institute (DFI). This follows Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s Budget 2017 declaration that the DFI was to be Canada’s new “innovative finance” tool to help investors in developing countries. This step is far from innovative and a poor substitute for increasing foreign aid.

The Trudeau government’s announcement is actually the repackaging of the “Development Finance Initiative” ...

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BUDGET 2017: OLD WINE IN OLD BOTTLES

BUDGET 2017: OLD WINE IN OLD BOTTLES

McLeod Group Blog, March 24, 2017

From an international assistance perspective, Budget 2017 was disappointing, stingy and in some respects hypocritical. It mainly recycled old commitments and failed to provide any new money.

There has been no shortage of pressure to increase the volume of aid. Calls for a significant boost can be found in last year’s International Assistance Review, which generated a large volume of public input, as well as the report of the House of Commons Standing ...

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PUTTING MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTH IS

PUTTING MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTH IS

McLeod Group Blog, March 9, 2017

The federal budget will be delivered on March 22. There is much speculation about the scope the government has for various types of expenditures, given the projected size of the deficit. As Canada attempts to project a positive, engaged, helpful image on the world stage, a key step to take would be to increase our foreign aid budget.

In global rankings of aid donors, Canada is far down the listing, at 0.28% of gross national ...

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CANADA AND THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL: BETTER LUCK THIS TIME?

CANADA AND THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL: BETTER LUCK THIS TIME?

McLeod Group Blog, February 8, 2017

After the Harper government’s disastrous attempt in 2010 to win one of the temporary seats on the United Nations Security Council, the Trudeau government has decided to try again. The next opening is in 2021. Fair questions to ask at this point are: Why are we doing this, and what difference might it make for Canada?

Fifteen months into the mandate of the Liberal government, foreign policy issues have attracted considerable attention on the part of ...

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BEYOND THE MARCH: SUPPORTING WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS GLOBALLY

BEYOND THE MARCH: SUPPORTING WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS GLOBALLY

McLeod Group Blog, January 30, 2017

The organizers expected about 800 people to show up for the Ottawa Women’s March on Saturday, January 21st. Instead, between 6,000 and 8,000 people converged on the Human Rights Monument –women, men, and children, many wearing versions of the now iconic pink pussy hat and carrying clever signs playing on Trump’s vulgar comments about how to treat women. In cities and towns across Canada, people came for many different reasons, but there was a clear ...

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