Hazy, lazy crazy days of summer

Hard to think about an upcoming national election while in the midst of summer

To the editor;

Gosh it is hard to think about an upcoming national election while in the midst of summer. With so many things to see and do, summer trips, barbecues and parties, the beach and reunions, it is the furthest thing from our minds.

However, some of us might find that we have more time on our hands – an excellent opportunity to ask our local MP’s about their party’s platform.  I, for one, want to know which party will commit to getting us closer to the goal of .7% of GNI for international aid spending. Please note that .7 % is less than 1%!  Can we not find it in our hearts and in our pockets to give those less fortunate a hand-up?

Our aid contributions stand at just 0.24% of GNI, and have dropped from $5.65 billion in 2012, to $5 billion in 2013, to $4.2 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, the UK has passed a bill that enshrines in law its commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) on aid every year, making it the first G7 country to meet the UN’s 45-year-old aid spending target. In 2013, only five other countries – Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates – had met or exceeded the 0.7% aid spending target. The Netherlands had consistently met the target, but fell short in 2013. Canada must prioritize international development by committing to increasing our aid spending to .7% of our Gross National Income by the year 2020.

C’mon, pull yourself away from the barbecue or hammock for just a few minutes, or maybe an hour and do a little research so that you are armed for that fall election. Better yet, let your MP know your thoughts while he or she is home enjoying those hazy, lazy crazy days of summer.

Connie Lebeau

Victoria, B.C.