For Immediate Release
June 3, 2008
Better Aid Bill Receives Royal Assent
OTTAWA – It was with great pleasure that Liberal MP John McKay on May 29, 2008 could witness his Private Member’s Bill, Bill C-293, receive the signature of the Honourable Marie Deschamps, Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, in her capacity as Deputy of the Governor General as part of the formal process of Royal Assent. Hereby Bill C-293 became an Act of Parliament and part of the law of Canada.
Bill C-293 is aimed at creating a legislated mandate for Canadian Official Development Assistance, requiring foreign aid to focus on poverty reduction and the promotion of human rights. It also requires Canadian aid flow to respect the priorities of its beneficiaries — the people living in poverty around the world. Finally, it requires better, and more timely reporting on results.
The notice of the passing of Bill C-293 by the House of Commons on May 9, 2008 after a two-year long journey through the parliamentary system was received with excitement from Canadians all over the country. Gerry Barr, CEO and president of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, a coalition of almost 100 Canadian voluntary sector organizations involved in international development, is pleased that the bill is now becoming law: “It’s a great day for foreign aid. Canada is plainly on its way to a rights-based approach to development. Reporting on aid spending will be twice as fast and more comprehensive. Aid will be more accountable. And its purpose is clear: poverty reduction, taking account of the perspectives of those who are actually living in poverty and the promotion of international human rights standards. John McKay has done a great job on this really important bill. It will improve the quality of Canada’s aid, and that will mean an improved life for countless people around the world”.
Office of Hon. John McKay, P.C., M.P.