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Old 04-21-2005, 06:53 AM   #1
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Attention All Canadians

Send a message to Paul Martin and your MP...go to:

www.makepovertyhistory.ca

and sign the Canadian declaration of the global campaign (ONE.org is for Americans to lobby the US government).

You can bet Bono will have something to say about this next week in Vancouver.

_____________________________________
Martin accused of failing Bono
Policy statement lacks commitment to benchmark figure on foreign aid

Mike Blanchfield, The Ottawa Citizen Wednesday, April 20, 2005, p. A3 <<270335-88326[1].jpg>> PHOTO
CREDIT: Chris Mikula, The Ottawa Citizen Bono made a direct appeal to Paul Martin, urging the prime minister to support boosting Canadian foreign aid to the international benchmark of 0.7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product. He vowed to become Mr. Martin's 'biggest pain in the ass' if he didn't follow through

ARTICLE:
After months of delay and fretful revisions, the Liberals finally
released their vision of Canada's role on the international stage
yesterday, but the document struck a discordant note with many,
including the advocacy group founded by Prime Minister Paul Martin's poverty-fighting, rock star buddy, Bono. "We feel we are on the verge of making poverty history. But, if this is going to happen, it's going to need the true leaders to come forward. And we were really counting on Paul Martin's leadership in taking a real lead here," said Oliver Buston, European director of the advocacy group DATA, which the lead singer of U2 founded to pursue his activist Third World agenda.

The Liberals' international policy statement offered a broad, often
vague blueprint for how Canada's military, foreign service and
commercial interests would, in Mr. Martin's words, "project Canadian values and interests into the world and make a real difference in the lives of its embattled people." Many of the key tenets of the policy, including increasing the size of the military by 8,000 troops, doubling the foreign service and setting up a $100-million annual fund to respond to international crises were old news from the federal budget two months ago.

However, there was more on how the Canadian Forces' command structure would be centralized to make it more responsive to threats on Canadian soil. The Canadian International Development Agency also detailed how it would scale back to 25, from 150, the number of countries receiving two-thirds of foreign aid by 2010.

The 116-page policy paper did not contain a commitment to establish a plan for boosting foreign aid to the international benchmark of 0.7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product by 2015, something Bono urged Mr. Martin to do the night he became Liberal leader in 2003.

That is also a goal Germany, France and Britain have pledged to meet within the next decade, and it was also a recommendation Canadian Finance Minister Ralph Goodale had a hand in when he helped co-write the recent report for Britain's Commission for Africa, which called on all G8 countries to meet that target.

"It's very disappointing. It's bad timing because this is an
absolutely critical moment," Mr. Buston said in an interview from
London. "The commitment to 0.7 per cent is a very Canadian
commitment. It was Lester Pearson that invented the idea."

International Co-operation Minister Aileen Carroll dismissed concerns about the 0.7 target, reiterating the government's commitment to double aid spending by 2010 with yearly eight-per-cent increases.

At that pace, NDP critic Alexa McDonough said, Canada would not reach the 0.7 target until 2035. Mr. Buston said DATA was urging Mr. Martin to change his mind before this summer's G8 summit in Scotland, where helping Africa will be one of two key agenda items.

While non-governmental agencies have denounced the lack of commitment to the 0.7-per-cent target, Bono made a direct appeal to Mr. Martin and the Liberals when he was a featured speaker at their November 2003 leadership convention. He told Liberals he would become Mr. Martin's "biggest pain in the ass" if he didn't follow through to help alleviate world poverty.

The most detailed aspect was the defence review, which gave additional details on how an expanded military, with better equipment and more troops, would become more efficient in building stability on foreign soil as well as protecting Canada in the event of disaster.

"The No. 1 priority of the Canadian Forces will be the defence of
Canada and North America," Defence Minister Bill Graham said.Gen. Rick Hillier, the chief of the defence staff, said he wanted to streamline the Forces' national command structure under a "Canada Command" within the next 18 months. This would involve the creation of full-time integrated task forces and a "special operations group" that would marry JTF2 special forces with army, navy and air force assets. Hillier said the restructuring would help the Forces respond better to crises on Canadian soil, such as the ice storms and floods of recent years, or something worse. The policy statement says Canada faces a real threat of terrorist attack in the post 9/11 world, whether the majority of the population accepts that or not.

"What we did in the ice storm was ad hoc business," Gen. Hillier said, explaining he would establish a full-time "structure where I have one commander, one team, that makes this their daily bread and butter."

The report aligns Canada firmly with the United States on economic and security matters and recognizes the need to engage emerging economic giants such as China, India and Brazil. However, as Conservative foreign affairs critic Stockwell Day pointed out, there is no mention of concerns about China's human rights record in Tibet, or its sabre- rattling against Taiwan. The report calls for doubling the number of diplomats to be stationed abroad, but Foreign Affairs officials conceded yesterday the $42 million earmarked for that in the last budget would only be sufficient to expand the foreign diplomatic corps by 10 per cent.


Other news coverage with links to Bono:

A Bono fide pain as PM backs off aid commitment
http://www.canada.com/search/story....11-86f6a24c3c12>
Mike Blanchfield - National Post - April 19, 2005 GATINEAU, Que. -
Though he does not want a foreign policy full of "empty moralizing," Prime Minister Paul Martin said yesterday Canada cannot afford to...

Martin accused of failing Bono
http://www.canada.com/ottawa/ottawa...ews/story.html?
id=fc32885c-7a41-47af-b1cf-036076b077e1>
Mike Blanchfield - Ottawa Citizen - April 20, 2005 After months of
delay and fretful revisions, the Liberals finally released their vision of Canada's role on the international stage yesterday, but the...

Martin foreign policy falls flat for Bono
http://www.canada.com/calgary/calga...ews/story.html?
id=86b3b36a-35a5-49de-bb01-113f77568a0a>
Mike Blanchfield - Calgary Herald - April 20, 2005 After months of
delay and fretful revisions, the Liberals finally released their vision of Canada's role on the international stage Tuesday, but the document...
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Old 04-21-2005, 08:53 AM   #2
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thanks for the link!
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:11 AM   #3
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it is unfortunate that, among other things, this is one issue unlikely to receive much attention for the foreseeable future.
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:03 AM   #4
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Although I'm not Canadian, I've got six words for Martin . . .Eh, hoser — take off, you knob.
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by kobayashi
it is unfortunate that, among other things, this is one issue unlikely to receive much attention for the foreseeable future.
Particularly from Paul Martin who is well on his way back to private law practice.

But making big noise about it through all the Canadian tour stops will still be a message for his replacement...so sign up people!

Bono said the Ottawa date would either be a giant celebration or an 18,000-strong protest...will be interesting to see how he handles a protest.
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:08 AM   #6
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Sadly, Martin & Co. are the best bets going to help One Campaign's goals. If there is to be a change in government -- which may happen in June -- you can bet the in-coming Conservatives won't give a sh*t about reaching any .7% goals any faster.
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