After Don Cherry on Monday questioned the merit of Canadian aid to Haiti, Canada’s aid agency outlined the successes of its $1-billion in assistance since 2006 but at the same time defended its decision to review long-term aid for the Caribbean nation saying Ottawa’s funding “will not be a blank cheque.”
In a statement to be posted to the Canadian International Development Agency on Tuesday afternoon, Minister Julian Fantino said Canada “should not take gratification in the simple transaction of international aid” and said “progress toward a self-sustaining Haitian society has been limited.”
Although the statement outlines key aid successes — ensuring 1.9 million children were vaccinated against polio, measles and rubella, and helping three million Haitians access free healthcare — the agency appears to take issue with the country’s long-term ability to take care of its own people and someday wean off the international dole.
“Our government has a responsibility to maximize the value of Canadian taxpayer dollars,” Mr. Fantino said. “Canada’s assistance will not be a blank cheque. We expect accountability, we expect transparency, and we expect tangible results for those most in need.”
The public dose of tough love for Canada’s top aid recipient comes just a day after Mr. Cherry, the CBC’s high-profile hockey commentator, stirred debate on Twitter when he suggested Ottawa was “nuts” for providing Haiti with $49.5 million last year.
“We nickel and dime our doctors, nurses and veterans plus a million other service,” he wrote. “Yet we can send almost 50 million to Haiti.”
Ottawa defends Haiti funding review after Don Cherry calls $50-million in aid to beleaguered country ‘nuts’ | Canada | News | National Post