Letter from NDP Trade Critic and NDP Foreign Affairs Critic on Canada's role at the G8 Summit in Germany

Please find enclosed a joint-letter from Peter Julian, NDP Trade Critic and Alexa McDonough, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, to Prime Minister Harper concerning Canada's role at the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany this week; climate change; Africa; and Bill C-293, based on the original NDP Private Member's Bill C-243, which would prevent development aid from being used for military purposes, and ensure that Canada's foreign aid be accountable for spending that focuses on ending poverty and promoting human rights.

Make Poverty History reflects our common perspectives for a better world. Millions of people are calling for change by sending their ‘voices’ to G8 leaders to call for an end to poverty. The heads of state of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, who represent about 65% of the world economy will produce a Summit communiqué which, anti-poverty campaigners believe, needs to include concrete measures to alleviate crushing poverty in the Global South.

Poverty exists because of the choices governments make. It exists because we have:insufficient and ineffective aid; an unjust global trade system; a debt burden for poor countries that is so great that it suffocates any chance of recovery; an unwillingness to invest enough in social development.

From coast to coast to coast, Canadians are standing up in support of the Global Call to Action to help Make Poverty History. The NDP Caucus has been working hard in Parliament and within the Make Poverty History movement to press the government for a meaningful response and commitment to move forward on the campaign's objectives. The NDP believes that people must be put at the center of trade negotiations; that we need trade justice; that more and better aid must be given poor people; and that national efforts to eliminate poverty must be done in a democratic, transparent and accountable way.

The Make Poverty History campaign needs each one of us to continue to strengthen this call and encourage others to get involved.

The NDP believes that Canada’s foreign aid must be focused on ending poverty and promoting human rights, and take into account the perspectives of the poor. The NDP believes in the creation and funding of an independent, international agency for women, as recommended by the High-Level Panel on UN reform and the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The NDP believes it is crucial to work in concert with African government leaders and civil society actors for sustainable development. The NDP believes it is imperative that we re-establish Canada as a moral steward of the environment and our common humanity.

By signing on to the Make Poverty History campaign, you are helping us all continue to press the federal government to take action against poverty and to live up to Canada's pledges to finally Make Poverty History.