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Speak to your candidates about Canada’s role in ending global poverty and hunger

Canadians go to the polls October 21st. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbours, and to speak out on their behalf. There are many important issues at stake in this federal election, and as people of faith we can inform ourselves about which candidates best reflect our values and priorities for our ourselves and our neighbours, both at home and abroad. Now more than ever, it’s important to show them you care!

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At Canadian Foodgrains Bank, we are concerned about how Canada’s international aid and development policies affect the poorest and most vulnerable people in the developing world. We encourage you to ask your candidates about this by calling, writing or meeting them in person. This is an effective way of letting them know what matters to you, and that Canadians expect their parties to take action.

Here are 3 key questions you can ask candidates in your riding to find out where they stand—and to convey your own interests:

Increasing Commitment to effective international aid

1) As a member of parliament, how will you work to reverse the decline in Canada’s aid budget, in order to help developing countries overcome poverty and promote sustainable development? Canada’s aid budget plays a central role in directly supporting the work of ending global poverty and hunger. In the past, Canada has been a leader in responding to the needs of people in the developing world. While Canada’s economy continues to prosper, our contribution of Official Development Assistance (ODA) has declined. We’re less generous as a country than we used to be. In 2018, Canada only contributed 0.28% of Canada’s Gross National Income (GNI) to helping the world’s poorest citizens – below what similar countries give (0.52%) and well below the accepted global target of 0.7% of GNI.

2) As a member of parliament, would you commit to an increase in funding that would provide greater support to small-scale farmers in developing countries? Within the overall aid budget, Canada’s support for some sectors such as emergency response and health has remained strong while support for other sectors has fallen dramatically. Support for agriculture has declined by 35% since 2010. Investments in agricultural development are an important way Canada can improve the lives of women and men, while also meeting other international development priorities. Canada’s investments in women in particular can address many of the barriers to equality that women farmers face, by improving access to resources, strengthening farmers’ voices, enabling agricultural innovation, and helping them adapt to a changing climate.

3) What will your party do to assist the millions of people in developing countries who are already feeling the effects of climate change? The number of extreme weather events in the world has doubled over the past 30 years, with links to a changing climate. Small-scale farmers in developing countries are experiencing changes in their growing season, and increased droughts and floods, making it harder to grow enough food. The greatest impact is felt by women and children. Canada has committed to work with other countries, in doing its fair share to financially help developing countries adapt to climate change.

How do party platforms address these questions?

We’ve pulled some information directly from party platforms for parties that are currently polling above 10% nationally. Click here to see the platform responses.

Write a letter to the editor!

One great way to use your voice during an election campaign is to get published in your local newspaper. Find them online, get their email contact, and send them the letter either by attaching your document or putting it right into the body of your email. Feel free to use our sample letter. Don’t reach for the stars–staying local and small is best and more likely to get published.

Find your candidates on social media and reach out!

Visit elections.ca and consult the Voter Information service to find out who the candidates are in your riding.

Below are some sample tweets and posts:

 

Twitter

As Canadians we aspire to be compassionate and generous. An increased aid budget will enable Canada to achieve its ambitious development goals, esp for women and children. We can and should do more to help end global poverty & hunger! @candidate #MoreAid4Ag


 

Facebook

Did you know that globally, extreme poverty has been cut in half since 1990? At the same time billions of people have also gained access to basic water and sanitation services! Canadian aid has contributed to positive change for millions of people, especially women and girls around the world. I’m proud to live in a country that cares about the world’s most vulnerable people. If you agree, like, share or comment on this post to let @Candidate know! #More Aid4ag @CanadianFoodgrainsBank


 

Instagram

As Canadians we aspire to be compassionate and generous. An increased aid budget will enable Canada to achieve its ambitious development goals, esp for women and children. We can and should do more to help end global poverty & hunger! @candidate #MoreAid4Ag @Foodgrains


Contact us if you need support or if you have further questions! foodjustice@foodgrainsbank.ca

Thank you for taking action and contributing to a better world for all!

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Election Resource