Oh, Canada; the United States’ warmhearted, comfortable neighbor to the north. Quebec’s separatist movement has been gaining support inconsistently over multiple decades. Interesting fact: no Quebecois representative has ever signed the 1982 Canadian Constitution Act. The increasingly popular, yet still divisive, issue has brought about a tangential debate. Should Quebec give its own foreign aid separate from the rest of Canada?
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is based in the national capital in Ottawa and the Prime Minister has no intention of allowing the formation of a new department. The Quebec International Relations Minister claimed that CIDA no longer represents Quebecois ideals and is t0o closely related to the advancement of Canadian economic development.
The issue here begs the question of whether or not foreign aid should be given strictly in order to grow the donor nation’s economy or should aid be allocated with rigid conditions and no regard to benefiting the donor? Ideally, everyone should benefit from aid, which is a real and possible result. By providing even strictly need-based aid, the donor country still receives a benefit.
Aid money can strengthen a middle class, start businesses, and educate scholars, even on the donor side of the equation. Aid then creates a consumer base for advanced products produced in the donor country, opens market access, and brings new innovations and future political stability.
To learn more about how giving helps the United States economy and job market check out Poverty and U.S. Jobs. So, through giving aid we can, and do, benefit not only through altruism but through economic growth as well. This dispute between Quebecois separatists and the Canadian International Development Agency probably won’t bring about the creation of a new donor organization but the conversation itself carries the advantage of making us reflect upon why and how we grant foreign aid.
– Kevin Sullivan