Since the launch of our 2012 Fall Action campaign highlighting our concerns about Canada's new orientations in its international assistance policy, local parish-based Development and Peace groups from across the country have been organizing meetings with their local MPs. The organization's members have used these meetings to highlight the necessity of restoring the needs of the world's poorest and most disadvantaged peoples to the heart of Canadian international assistance policies and strategies in the pursuit of sustainable alternatives to unjust economic, political and social structures.
We wish to thank and congratulate all the people who have worked so hard organizing these meetings, as well as the elected officials from all the political parties who agreed to discuss these issues openly.
We also want to encourage other members and supporters to approach not only their MPs, but religious leaders and friends and family as well, to continue this effort and carry our message even further.
To support you in your meetings, we have developed a Key Talking Points for Discussions document that will help guide you in preparing for your presentations with the people you contact.
After your meetings, we request that you contact the Development and Peace animator in your region and give him/her a report, plus any photos, stories or any other material that could illustrate your discussions.
Thank you in advance for all the time and work you have invested in carrying out this campaign. We remain convinced that an open, respectful and constructive dialogue, carried out with our political representatives and in the local and national networks and groups we are affiliated with, will enable Canadian international aid policies to foster genuine integral human development. Our goal is development practice that ensures that every human being has the right to live a life of fulfillment, to realize their full economic, political, social, cultural and spiritual potential, and to participate in the decisions that mark the road leading towards the building of more just societies.
In December 2012, following on a resolution passed by the Development and Peace National Council, Mr. Patrick Kennedy, National Council President, and Mr. Michael Casey, Executive Director od Development and Peace, jointly addressed a letter to Mr. Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, expressing these concerns in relation to the Government of Canada’s stated policy of using development assistance to promote Canada’s commercial interests abroad and to support corporate partnerships in the resource extraction sector.
We asked Minister Fantino to meet with Development and Peace to share the lessons of our 45 years of experience working with partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and to explore innovative solutions to development challenges that would respect the Canadian Official Development Assistance (ODA) Accountability Act, honouring Canada’s commitment to bringing about a better world and a better future for generations to come.
The Minister replied on February 5, 2013 expressing regrets at being unable to meet with our representatives, and suggested a meeting with senior officials of his department.
Development and Peace Executive Director Michael Casey will meet with CIDA officials at the end of March 2013. We will keep you informed of the progress of our dialogue.