Monday, July 04, 2005

Live 8, Influence 0

Those world-renowned experts on African politics and macroeconomics, Bob Geldof and Bono, have failed to convince the Canadian government to more than double foreign aid spending to 0.7% of GDP.

"They will make their decision, we will make our decision," Finance Minister Ralph Goodale said yesterday on CTV's Question Period. He said other ways to help Africa include fighting disease and bringing down trade barriers that keep African products from reaching the shelves in developed countries.

Mr. Goodale said Canada cannot promise 0.7 per cent of its GDP to foreign aid by 2015. That would cost up to $41-billion over the next 10 years — a commitment he compared to recent increases in health-care spending and equalization payments.

Canada spends less than 0.3 per cent of its GDP a year on development assistance. Mr. Martin has argued that governments should not set long-term goals for which they cannot be held accountable. But he has pledged to double foreign aid by 2010 over 2003 levels to about $5-billion. He has also pledged to double aid to Africa by 2008 over 2001 levels to $2-billion.

Ralph Goodale may be one of the weakest finance ministers ever, but he has at least enough spine not to let our economic goals be determined by a couple of dilletante millionaire musicians.

Would they listen to the G8 finance ministers' suggestions on bass riffs, synth chords and lyrics?

Source: The Gay & Married

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