Christmas for the poor

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What I want for Christmas is Canada's cancelation of its cuts on international development.

After freezing foreign aid last year, the Conservatives announced this year they would be cutting the budget of the Canadian International Development Agency's (CIDA) by $319 million over three years.

As we know, this would condemn a countless number of men, women and children to suffering, disease and death. It will also slow down all the efforts we have made up until now in vaccination, access to education and better living for the poorest of the world.

To put numbers in perspective, $319 million over three years is not such a big amount when compared with the $11.5 billion gift the conservative government is giving the rich companies in tax benefit for 2012-2013 and its $12 billion per year extra spending on national security.

(I use the term "foreign aid" to be well understood but, in my mind, it's not aid. It's rather giving back to the poorest of the world a tiny part of what they were stripped of by rich countries over the years, through intimidation, military presence, destabilization, destruction of their infrastructures and freeze and seizure of their assets.)

I am not rich, I did not contribute to Mr. Harper's party and I am not either a creationist. Still, I do hope Mr. Harper won't forget me and the poorest of the world during the Christmas period and will at least cancel its cuts on international development.

Bruno Marquis - Gatineau, QC

Organizations: Canadian International Development Agency

Geographic location: Canada

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