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Federal Liberals Foreign Aid Doesn’t Always Extend to Local Communities First

Earlier this summer, rumours swirled of a fall election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s popularity playing a large factor. The PM’s decision to provide financial aid to foreign countries amid crisis has resulted in the criticism of some citizens. Many believe that funds should first be spent at home before dolling out to those in need.

In June, the Liberal Government promised $100 million in foreign aid to support women in health and care work in “developing countries”. Trudeau’s government said the funds would be dispersed over five years on various global projects to offer relief to women who care for others or were disproportionately hit during the Covid-19 pandemic. At a Paris conference, Trudeau said, “The pandemic has shone a strong light on what women and feminists knew for decades, and that is that child-care services are vital.”

$30 billion will be invested over the five years through Oxfam Canada and International Development to create a national childcare program with lower fees in Canada.

During the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the Liberal government actively aided the Israeli Occupation, despite neutral grounds between Israelis and Palestinians. Trudeau and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu shared calls in early July, and since 2003, the Canadian government has provided more than $100 million into PA security before cutting aid in 2006. In June, Trudeau’s government relisted the following organizations as terrorist groups: Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command.

While foreign aid to countries suffering from war, famine, and disease is often front-page news, not all residents are aware of the nation’s aid to China. In 2020, government statistics communicated that Federal agencies paid out $6.5 billion in foreign aid worldwide - with $14.2 of that total going to China. Opposition MPs have called for a suspension on all funding to China:

“I don’t believe Canadian taxpayers should be sending any money to China. We’re talking about a Communist dictatorial government that abuses human rights, quashes freedoms, violates [the] rights of its citizens and has a very aggressive foreign policy all throughout the region. Even before this pandemic, there were clear signs China is headed in a direction that is not in alignment with Canadian values when it comes to foreign policy.” - Andrew Scheer, 2020

Foreign aid is often necessary and part of Canada’s ethical responsibility to humanity. However, as Trudeau’s government sends aids to countries for reasons other than helping our fellow humans, local communities continue to struggle.

In Canada, many Indigenous communities are without clean water sources, access to efficient medical care, and sufficient educators. First Nations communities like the Neskantaga First Nation in Ontario are without clean water and deal with issues such as E Coli, parasites, and bacteria in the water sources. During his 2015 campaign, Trudeau promised an end to the unsafe water crisis in over 100 communities across the country.

For many Indigenous youth, boil or unsafe water orders have been in effect for their entire lives. Saddle Lake Cree Nation of Alberta has been dealing with water issues for years. A Manitoba community, Shoal Lake 40, the water advisory has been in place since 1997. In April, there were still 52 water advisories in 33 communities. Such a phenomenon is unacceptable.

Nîpîy, Water is life, and 2015 promises are due.

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