The G8 Summit is wrapping up in Japan, with little progress on poverty, climate change, or the food price crisis, and Canada is partly to blame.

The final commitments of the G8 leaders recycle old promises, and sadly Canada did its best to block bold action.

Are you as disappointed as I am? Take a moment to let the Canadian government know how you feel

While European Leaders pushed for substantive action on climate change, Canada dragged its feet. Our government, along with the US and Japan, led the opposition to immediate action and opposed mid-term targets for greenhouse gas reductions, so the G8 communiqué only talks about a 50% reduction target by 2050, a time when all the current G8 leaders will be long gone.

Unlike Japan, the US and the UK, Canada did not pledge funding for climate change adaptation or clean energy development in poorer nations. These countries are less able to deal with the effects of climate change.

On health, Canada opposed restating a commitment made last year at the G8 for the members to spend $60 billion on health programs for poor and also tried to block any new committments, but fortunately, had to compromise under pressure from other G8 countries. countries.

It worries me to think what might have happened if the Canadian government had got its way.

None of this bodes well for Canada’s international reputation. The spotlight will be on us in two years, when we will host the G8 summit in Huntsville, Ontario. The 2010 meeting will be a momentous occasion, because several of the the key promises made regarding poverty reduction during the historic 2005 summit will be coming due.

Send a message now to the Prime Minister and International Development Minister Bev Oda telling them they need to demonstrate Canada’s leadership on the world stage. Their next opportunity will be at a high level UN meeting on global poverty in New York in September.

Tell them the best way to restore Canada’s reputation in the world’s eyes would be to announce a timetable to increase aid to reach 0.7% of national income UN target within ten years.

Thank you for your support,

Dennis Howlett
Coordinator
Make Poverty History

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