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The Upstream Journal

A magazine on social justice since 1975

Posts Tagged / ottawa

  • Jan 01 / 2014
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Journal

African countries take a hit in federal budget says Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Excerpts from the CCPA’s Alternative Federal Budget 2013:

“Despite sometimes marginal increases in wealth, income is concentrated among a more wealthy minority and many people live precariously on the margins of poverty. Globalization and free trade may have brought with it growth in some parts of the world, but it certainly has not been equitable neither between countries and regions, nor within them.

Against this backdrop, Budget 2012 delivered a punishing message to the world’s poor. Between FY2011–12 and FY2014–15, Canadian aid is set to decrease by 7.6%, from $5 billion in 2011 to $4.66 billion in 2014–15.

Between 2011–12 and 2012–13 alone, it is estimated that Canada’s ODA will drop by almost $320 million, assuming no additional supplementary estimates in 2012–13. This is equivalent to the Canadian International. Continue Reading

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  • Jan 01 / 2012
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Journal

Charities say lack of CIDA support and delays in funding are damaging international development efforts

25% of organizations say people are suffering and dying as programs scale back or close

Almost half of the 113 organizations that responded to a survey by the Canadian Council for International Cooperation say that delays and accompanying lack of project financing are slowing down or stopping project work in developing countries. 25% of those surveyed say that people are suffering or dying because urgently needed community development and health initiatives are not being provided.

42% say they have to restructure other programs, alter their overall budget, or draw on financial reserves to continue operating.

35% of organizations say funding delays have meant layoffs, delays in hiring, low morale, and employees quitting due to organizational uncertainty because of delays in getting CIDA funding commitments.
Almost 60% of organizations say their projects are being scaled back, shut down, or losing momentum and continuity, and 30% say that their international partners are in limbo while they wait for a decision from CIDA. Continue Reading

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  • Mar 10 / 2010
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Journal

Canada resists expansion of economic, social and cultural rights mechanism

The United Nations has created a new international mechanism through the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Optional Protocol (OP) aims to enable those whose economic, social and cultural rights are violated to seek justice if they are denied a remedy in their countries. The OP was opened for signature and ratification in September 2009. Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan. India, Egypt and Saudi Arabia oppose the OP. Countries from the poorer regions of Africa and the Americas are the most supportive of it.

Here are two perspectives, for and against, the Canadian government position.

Dana Cryderman (DC) is a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Bruce Porter (BP) is a member of the Steering Committee of the International NGO Coalition for an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and Director of the Social Rights Advocacy Centre, Toronto. (BP) Continue Reading

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  • Nov 01 / 2009
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Journal

The Better Aid Bill – Has it Changed Anything?

In an effort to ensure that Canada’s foreign aid will be well spent, the Official Development Assistance (ODA) Accountability Act was introduced to Parliament in May 2006. In 2008 it passed the third reading and became law, but John MacKay, the Liberal MP who introduced the bill, is not convinced it is being implemented effectively.
“The government has made it clear that it is going to pay lip service to this bill. This puts the government in confrontation with the unanimous will of parliament,” he said.

The Act lays out three criteria for ODA: that it contribute to poverty reduction, take into account the perspectives of the poor, and be consistent with Canada’s human rights obligations. Continue Reading

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