UPDATE: The Liberal Party of Canada was re-elected to a minority government. To see the full results of the federal election please visit www.elections.ca.
As we watch with sorrow and fatigue the events unfolding in Afghanistan, Canadians are reminded of the preciousness and fragility of democracy. It is why we must not take anything for granted when it comes to protecting and strengthening our own democracy.
On Monday, September 20th, Canadians will go to the polls to elect our next federal government. Opinion surveys suggest it is a very close race. While international development has not garnered the attention it deserves, issues affecting women and equality have, including climate change, vaccination, and gun control.
We thought it may be helpful to you in your own deliberation before voting to share relevant highlights (from Crossroads’ perspective) from the platforms of each of the main, national political parties. We encourage you to read the platforms in detail.
- The Liberal Party will increase Canada’s international development assistance every year towards 2030 to realize the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
- Continue to build on Canada’s historic support for education so the world’s most marginalized children have access to the inclusive, equitable and quality education they need and deserve, including new funding for girls’ and refugees’ education.
- Double their funding to grassroots women’s rights organizations and continue to make significant investments in comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services as well as the global care economy.
- Support women leaders and feminist groups who are leading efforts to promote peace and protect the rights of women and vulnerable groups, including new funding through the Women’s Voice and Leadership program.
- The Conservative Party will introduce accountability to international development assistance, prioritizing the economic performance and growth of Canada’s development partners. They will reform, not reduce, international development assistance – maintaining current aid levels while increasing the effectiveness of Canadian aid and expanding engagement with the Canadian development sector, the private sector, and diaspora communities.
- They will reform onerous “Direction and Control” regulation, ensuring accountability for spending without requiring projects in developing countries to be directly controlled by Canadian charities. This change will allow Canadian organizations to develop respectful partnerships with organizations working on the ground in developing countries and reduce aid dependency by transferring administrative and control functions to empower local people and organizations.
- As part of their efforts to advance justice, they will place a significant focus on combating extremism, human trafficking and the use of child soldiers, and abolishing all forms of modern-day slavery.
- Partner with and scale local civil society to deliver leadership, integrity, and teamwork skills to young people.
- The Green Party will focus on articulating a plan to meet Canada’s commitment to achieve the target of 0.7% of GDP to ODA by 2030.
- Mobilize Canada’s fair share of international climate finance, calculated at approximately $1.84 billion per year to 2025, and lead negotiations towards the achievement of a post-2025 international climate finance target.
- Focus on agriculture sectors that provide for adaptation and food sovereignty through both subsistence farming and domestic commercial farming methods that are in keeping with green, environmentally sound and gender equality principles.
- Mandate and equip Canadian missions abroad to expand partnerships among civil society organizations centred on the promotion of human rights, resilience, scientific cooperation and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
New Democratic Party
- The New Democratic Party is committed to boosting Canada’s international development assistance, with the goal of contributing 0.7 percent of the Gross National Income to international aid.
- They believe Canada must also do its fair share to help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, including alleviating poverty, ensuring decent work, protecting the rights of Indigenous communities and supporting global peace and justice.
- New Democrats will ensure that long-term strategies are in place to strengthen health systems in developing countries; Canada should contribute more to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to end these epidemics and support health care systems in developing countries.
- Upholding the rights of women and girls will always be central to New Democrat foreign policy, and they will step up efforts to promote gender equality abroad with a strong feminist international agenda to promote rights and security and access to education for women and girls, including ensuring that women have a seat at the peace table. They will also hold Canadian companies to a high standard of corporate social responsibility at home and abroad – and ensure they meet it.
Crossroads International hopes to hit the ground running once the election is over, so we can advocate strongly for international volunteer cooperation policies, gender equality, poverty reduction and shifting power in global development. Don’t forget, Election Day is Monday, September 20th. Everything you need to know about when, where, and how to vote is available here: Ways to vote – Elections Canada.