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Interventions in the House of Commons
Interventions in Committee
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Hon. Peter Kent - 14:52
Mr. Speaker, since we restored funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, we have been monitoring the organization's activities very closely, and we take all allegations very seriously.
Since Canada has been at the table, the organization has been monitored more and more closely. We are conducting background checks on financial services employees, ensuring that executives and teachers are getting training on the importance of web independence, and reviewing the educational materials. I can assure the House that Canadians' money is being put to good use.
Dean Allison - 14:53
Mr. Speaker, once again, I can assure the House that we are closely monitoring the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. We are also reviewing the educational materials, and we are satisfied with the progress that is being made.
Even the Israeli ministry of defence made a statement regarding this organization. It said:
UNRWA is making efforts to create a balanced, positive curriculum with universal values free from violence and incitement after criticism directed at the agency.
That is from the Israeli ministry of defence.
Hon. Peter Kent - 14:55
Dianne L. Watts - 11:37
Mr. Speaker, we waited two years for that infrastructure bank to be established in order to properly assess its ability to manage funds and put the necessary systems in place to ensure rigorous oversight.
We concluded that this investment will be good for some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. For example, it has funded irrigation and drinking water systems in Indonesia and electrification projects in Bangladesh.
David Yurdiga - 11:39
Dianne L. Watts - 14:51
Mr. Speaker, for two years we looked at how the new Asian infrastructure bank operates. We concluded that it was a good way to fund development projects in the poorest and most vulnerable countries. For example, it has funded a drinking water supply project in Indonesia and an electrification project in Bangladesh.
Karine Trudel - 14:52
Robert Aubin - 14:41
Mr. Speaker, as you know, we conducted a broad consultation last year. Our partners asked us for three things: leadership, good policies and funding.
We have already proven our leadership on several occasions. Just think of the global fund: with our partners, we have managed to amass $13 billion to wipe out AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We were asked for good policies, and $650 billion was committed to sexual and reproductive health. We are congratulated the world over for this. In addition, we are showing leadership in innovative funding.
Randall Garrison - 14:43
Gérard Deltell - 11:38
Mr. Speaker, our government makes a significant contribution of $5 million a year to development assistance and humanitarian aid. Yes, from now on we will be contributing to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. This bank will support development and infrastructure projects that will benefit the poorest and most vulnerable people in that region.
Gérard Deltell - 11:39
Mr. Speaker, our government is proud to make a significant contribution to development and humanitarian aid around the world. My mandate is to refocus Canada’s international assistance to help the poorest and most vulnerable people, and there are many such people in Asia.
This investment bank deals with development projects and infrastructure projects related to energy, for example. These projects will improve the quality of life of the poorest and most vulnerable people.
Cheryl Gallant - 11:40
Anju Dhillon - 14:59
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle for her interest in the matter.
Our government is indeed very concerned by the famine in Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia. We recently announced a contribution of $120 million to provide food, drinking water and health care for the 20 million people suffering from acute malnutrition. We are also insisting that the warring parties ensure full, unhindered access for humanitarian workers.
James Bezan - 15:00
Dean Allison - 11:51
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's interest in the terrible situation that is occurring right now in South Sudan.
In 2016, we allocated $45 million in international aid specifically for South Sudan. We are currently reviewing the various requests for humanitarian aid, particularly for the food crisis in Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, and South Sudan. We will be in a position to contribute even more in the coming weeks.
Dan Albas - 11:53
Linda Lapointe - 15:04
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Rivière-des-Mille-Îles for the opportunity to inform the House that the Prime Minister and I made a very important announcement this morning: we will invest $650 million over three years in sexual and reproductive health in developing countries and fragile states.
This investment will support the sexuality education of girls and boys, family planning, access to contraceptives, access to legal abortion, and the defence of women's rights because women's rights are human rights.
Dianne L. Watts - 15:05
Robert Aubin - 14:58
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his interest in international development.
As everyone knows, my mandate involves refocusing Canada's development assistance on helping the poorest, the most vulnerable, and fragile states. We conducted extensive consultations with 15,000 people from 65 countries. I can assure the House that we are going to have a policy that leverages Canada's strengths and focuses on areas where we can make a real difference. Canadians' money will be put to good use and will provide leverage to seek out additional partnerships. We will engage in development innovation and we will make a big difference while providing meaningful leadership.
Mark Gerretsen - 15:00
Tom Kmiec - 15:01
Mr. Speaker, 15,000 people participated in those consultations and most of them were Canadian. I personally participated in nine consultation sessions and round tables here in Canada. I had help from my parliamentary secretary. Many department officials participated in the round tables. All of our partner organizations participated and contributed. They submitted hundreds of briefs. We mostly heard from Canadians. I am pleased to tell the House that women and girls are going to be the focus of our new policy.
Mario Beaulieu - 15:02
Tom Kmiec - 14:55
Mr. Speaker, I have a clear mandate. It consists of refocusing Canada’s development assistance on helping the poorest and most vulnerable. I can assure the House that our department is working hard to ensure that everything is done properly with respect to all contracts awarded and all assistance given to our international partners. We are making sure that all of our partners are experienced partners and that the funds are used appropriately.
Doug Eyolfson - 14:56
Anita Vandenbeld - 11:58
Mr. Speaker, we believe in the importance of developing local capacity, including developing the capacity of nearby governments. Our government is supporting the towns in developing countries that are welcoming tens of thousands of refugees in order to help them maintain stability in their region.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities project in Jordan will help a dozen municipalities manage their public services including by advancing and involving women in leadership.
Glen Motz - 11:59
Emmanuel Dubourg - 14:57
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Bourassa for his question.
I just got back from Haiti, where I attended the president's inauguration. I also toured two Canadian-sponsored projects, the hospital in Gonaïves and the national police academy. Yesterday, I announced an investment of $92.2 million over five years for five development projects focusing on the health of women and girls, child protection, and access to justice.
Our government is committed to supporting the new Haitian government, and I had an opportunity to talk about this with the new president himself.
Hon. Rob Nicholson - 14:58