Good afternoon, committee. This is meeting number 26 of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development for Wednesday, November 1, 2006.
In our first hour we will consider the main estimates, and in our second hour we will return to our study on democratic development, the committee's major study on Canada's role in international support for democratic development around the world.
In the first hour we're very pleased to have appear before us the Honourable Josée Verner, the Minister of International Cooperation.
Welcome, Minister. It is so good to have you back.
This is the minister's third appearance before our committee.
We also have as witnesses this afternoon, Robert Greenhill, president of the Canadian International Development Agency; Diane Vincent, executive vice-president; and Marc St-Laurent, director of resource management, human resources and corporate services branch.
I should also say we're beginning our study on the main estimates for 2006-07. The minister for the Canadian International Development Agency is here to discuss the votes that fall under her agency, which are votes 30, 35, L40, L45, and L50.
The minister has an opening statement, and I invite her to take the floor.
Thank you, Minister.
Mr. Chair, it's a pleasure for me to appear once again before my colleagues of this committee, this time to talk about the Main Estimates of the Canadian International Development Agency.
I have asked senior officials from CIDA to accompany me here. They are Mr. Robert Greenhill, President; Ms. Diane Vincent, Executive Vice-President; and Mr. Marc St-Laurent, Director, Resource Management.
In the 2006 budget, the government stated its commitment and increased resources allocated to foreign aid by eight percent. It also made a commitment to double the international aid envelope from its 2001-2002 level by 2010-2011. CIDA's Estimates for 2006-2007 reflect that commitment. Relative to 2005-2006, it's proposing a net increase of $198.8 million from CIDA's reference level.
In addition, in the Throne Speech, the government clearly stated its commitment to implement an accountability regime and to make more efficient use of funding that Canada allocates outside the country.
That is why CIDA's plans and priorities for 2006-2007 are focused on improved efficiency of Canadian aid.
Canada is internationally recognized as one of the efficient donors and a responsible manager of resources allocated to development aid. And yet, although the aid granted by Canada produces tangible results, we think that we can, and that we should, do more to maximize the effects of our aid.
The past 10 years have taught us a great deal about what can make aid more efficient. There is now an unprecedented international consensus on the approach to take.
With the lessons we have learned about making aid more efficient, we are implementing a program divided into four parts: a more strategic concentration of our programs; enhanced program delivery; more efficient utilization of the agency's resources; and clear accountability for results, with the 2007 filing of CIDA's first annual report on development results.
We have started to concentrate our resources in countries where needs are great, in countries that can use aid efficiently, in countries where our action can have a decisive effect. In this fiscal year, we will re-examine our approach in order to focus our resources even further.
For example, the Afghanistan and Haiti programs are among the biggest. This reflects the government's commitment to promoting stability and supporting reconstruction in those countries in crisis. Vulnerable states deserve particular attention and concerted cross-government intervention. These countries have problems in the areas of security, stability and poverty reduction. This is as true for their own nationals as it is for Canada and for development cooperation in general.
I would also like to emphasize that Africa is still a major beneficiary of the government's programs. However, we will continue to respond to significant needs elsewhere, whether it be in the Caribbean, Latin America or Asia.
In Afghanistan, together with 59 other countries, Canada is helping the Afghan population rebuild its country. We support the establishment of conditions conducive to sustainable economic well-being, so that the Afghans have the tools they need to invest in their future. Here I'm talking about access to education, health care and credit.
But what have we accomplished thus far?
Canada has assisted 139,000 Afghans, the majority of them women, in obtaining small loans to start up their micro businesses, and to buy tools and farm animals in order to support their families. More than $70 million has been distributed in this way in 18 Afghan provinces. The repayment rate is 98%.
More than 10,000 community development councils have been created in the country. With Canada's support, these councils have carried out approximately 5,000 community projects designed to improve health and hygiene as well as the quality of life of thousands of Afghan families. A number of other projects are under way.
Afghanistan has adopted a new constitution and held presidential and parliamentary elections. Five million children are going to school, one-third of them girls. More than 65,000 land mines have been destroyed since 2002.
We can celebrate these successes and we are proud to contribute to them. In May 2006, the Prime Minister announced that Canada would maintain the level of funding for development in Afghanistan at $100 million a year until 2011.
Haiti is another country that needs our aid to get back on its feet. It is the poorest country in the Americas. Canada has a lot of experience in Haiti, and, over the years, has earned the trust and friendship of Haitians. Moreover, the sizable Haitian diaspora living in Canada can provide links to help rebuild this country. For decades, Canadian non-governmental organizations, universities and institutions, starting with religious communities in Quebec, have worked in Haiti, where close links have been formed between the two populations. These links, which have been built over the years, constitute today one of the main strengths of Canadian cooperation in Haiti.
I'd now like to turn to two of the priority areas of our international development actions, democratic governance and gender equality. Democratic governance is a crucial issue. In order to lay the groundwork for lasting progress, a society must maintain a climate of peace and security. This is only possible in a democratic society, one built on a foundation of freedom, human rights, the rule of law, justice and the accountability of public institutions. It is for this reason that democratic development will be a vital element of all our bilateral programs.
Gender equality remains in the forefront of our work. This is one aspect of all our areas of intervention. Gender equality is a priority of this government, a priority for CIDA and definitely one of my personal priorities. In many developing countries, experience has shown that in order to reduce poverty, create wealth and safeguard human rights, nothing is more effective than concrete actions that permit women to take advantage of their great potential. That is why we need programs and funding that specifically target support to the economic and social development of women and to reinforce their rights.
During my stay in Mali this summer, I visited a number of CIDA projects that are helping to improve living conditions for women and children. For example, I visited one of the branches of the Nyesigiso savings and investment cooperative system. CIDA provides financial support to this system, which helps Malis, particularly women, improve their means of livelihood and promotes development of the micro-finance sector in Mali. I even opened a personal account at one of the cooperatives to show my support.
The second part of our new agenda is intended to improve the delivery of our aid programs. To support international development, the new government is resolved to involve Canadians across the country. Last June, I launched the new Voluntary Sector Fund. With a $20 million budget, this fund supports development projects implemented by Canadian organizations, in partnership with organizations in developing countries. The Voluntary Sector Fund is aimed at Canadian non-governmental organizations, institutions and associations, in particular diasporic groups. Our Canadian partners work in cooperation with our Southern partners. Together they are carrying out projects and programs whose objectives are consistent with Canada's development priorities, particularly in the areas of poverty reduction and human rights. The purpose of this approach is to increase aid efficiency, particularly by strengthening the capabilities of civil society and enabling local groups to take charge of initiatives.
Mr. Chair, the role of civil society in international development is crucial, and CIDA's experience in the past 40 years has shown this. The partnership between CIDA and non-state stakeholders is a major factor in Canada's contribution to international development. I want to ensure that Canada is the leader is recognizing civil society in the Paris Declaration. We will work together to make this happen.
Our program of work includes working on multilateral effectiveness on key issues such as HIV/AIDS, environmental sustainability, and humanitarian assistance. Canada will continue to work with organizations that are the most effective in achieving these objectives.
The third component of our agenda is aimed at a more efficient use of our resources. We're currently exploring several paths to follow to accomplish this. We will remain on track in the move to untie levels of aid.
We will strive to reduce our level of spending on administration. I will also see to it that CIDA's presence is felt even more in the field.
Lastly, our agenda seeks to strengthen performance measurement and reporting. CIDA and its partners work in some of the worst, most dangerous, and unpredictable environments. Conditions often include armed conflict, famine, infectious disease, extreme poverty, and natural disasters, as well as unpredictability arising from economic instability.
Our ability to assess and manage risk underpins the effectiveness of CIDA's investments. In keeping with the new government's priority on accountability and our aid effectiveness agenda, I will table in 2007 the first annual report on development results. Through this report Canadians will see that the lives of the poor in developing countries have been positively affected through CIDA's support.
The government is also committed to strengthening health systems in developing countries. We will contribute $450 million between 2006 and 2016 to support country-led efforts to strengthen health systems in Africa. This will address major weaknesses today, leading to improved health outcomes in Africa and to concrete progress in terms of meeting the millennium development goals.
A report on Canada and health results is available for your information.
Mr. Chair, in my remarks today I have given the members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development a very brief outline of CIDA's plans and priorities for the current year, including our four-part agenda on how to improve aid effectiveness.
Now I would be pleased to respond to any questions the members of the committee may have.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. I'm going to share my time with my colleague Mr. Martin.
Thank you, minister, Mr. Greenhill, Mr. St-Laurent and Ms. Vincent, for being here with us.
As we only have 10 minutes, I'm going to move right away to questions.
As in previous years, CIDA considers better health one of its sectoral investment priorities, in its report on plans and priorities for 2006-2007. Could the minister give the committee, through our clerk, detailed information on CIDA's spending on health, by providing overall figures, a full breakdown of expenditures by the geographic programs of Canadian partnerships and multilateral programs? We don't want to have that right away, because we know it will take a very long time to submit those documents to us.
My question is as follows: Part III of the 2006-2007 Estimates doesn't provide details on CIDA's expenditures for fighting malaria. Could the minister provide us with detailed information on CIDA's spending in that area, as regards both new announcements and cuts made in old programs?
I have a second question.
Could the minister explain why CIDA has chosen to support a UNICEF program in Ethiopia knowing that UNICEF admitted publicly their failure in the last five-year program? On the contrary, the International Red Cross program to give away bed nets was very efficient, for example, in Togo, where 100% of children under five years old were covered.
To stop any ambiguity, can you tell the committee if there are negotiations with the Red Cross, after 18 months, to renew a new subvention after the current $26 million fund is finished?
That's my first question. Thank you.
Thank you for being here today, minister.
Ms. Verner, you recalled in your remarks that, in the Throne Speech, the government had confirmed its commitment to establish an accountability scheme and to make more efficient use of the funds that Canada sends abroad. Accountability comes up as a key element among those you address in the 2007 report on development results. In particular, you emphasized the aid that you provide to Afghanistan and Haiti, two countries where the situation is so serious that we're no longer even talking about insecurity. In both countries, Haiti in particular, poverty is rank and events happen against a backdrop of violence and insecurity.
As regards MINUSTAH, we know that the Canadian government sent 100 soldiers there starting in 1995. These are soldiers who were trained here. Fifty of those 100 soldiers were Haitian Canadians. Trained in Regina, they were sent to Haiti.
We had a visit from Mr. Jean Fritz Magny, who was one of those police officers. As you must have seen, in an article published in the October 13 edition of La Presse and in another published in The Montreal Gazette, according to his allegations, those police officers trained in Canada never saw active service there. They were shelved, as you say in good Québécois. However, for years they received their pay, which wasn't very high. It was nevertheless US$140 a month. It's said that, even now, there are soldiers in Haiti receiving money but not working.
Your press attaché, Ms. St-Pierre, said that you had ways of knowing what was going on and that you were going to investigate the money that was specifically invested in that program. It was $2 million. I'd like to know what is going on.
I think those are absolutely the right questions, and the development report of 2007 that the minister made reference to should be providing clear examples of that.
Let me provide three or four examples of what we've been doing under Minister Verner's direction in this regard.
First of all, you'll find here a series of results, which were actually six months of effort within the agency, to ask, of all the money we've been spending on health care, what has actually led to real results, real lives saved, so that we can answer those kinds of legitimate questions? You'll find within it, for example, some of the work we've done with Stop TB, which has saved half a million lives, primarily children, at a cost of $200 per life saved. You'll find examples of how we worked with the Tanzanian researchers in government and with the IDRC to reduce child mortality by 40% through something called the Tanzania essential health interventions project. You'll also find examples of how Canada has played a leadership role in vitamin A and iodine deficiency, in work that is estimated by UNICEF to save millions of children from mental retardation.
The reason we were asked to produce this was...given the government and the minister's focus on accountability, we wanted to actually find out what had been working in the past that we could actually be leveraging and moving forward on.
A second example I would provide is this. The countries mentioned recently of Haiti and Afghanistan, which are difficult countries, are made impossible if we're not committed for the long term to try to make a difference. So there were two key decisions made in the last few months to make a strong $520 million, five-year commitment to Haiti to maintain the leadership so that we can actually be there for the long term and be judged in terms of results.
I would note that as a result of key decisions that we have been directed to move on by Minister Verner, likely this year we will have the highest country concentration that we've had in over a decade.
I think there's a lot more we have to do--you know my views on that--but my sense is that with the approach laid out here, we will be in a measure to be held accountable and will be able to provide you with ongoing answers to those questions.
There will never be a perfect answer. In the private sector one always looks at increasing profits, reducing costs, becoming more innovative. Those three issues always come back again and again. What's important is that you show progress against those goals. My strong commitment is to ensure that we do what we can in our agency to support the policy laid out by Minister Verner, to ensure that there's not only effectiveness in terms of strategic prioritization and program delivery, but clear communication of the results back to you and to the public.
That's kind of him, but that's not my question. My question concerns value for money, and we aren't able to see that value for money.
We've asked time and time again in the House, and I'm saying to you, as someone who is critical of the government's direction, why are we going towards grants when we know--and you've stated--this is something we don't have a window on?
I'm not talking about who audits the World Bank. I'm talking about giving us a list and value for money, goal orientation with evaluation, of exactly how many schools have been built and showing us how much money has been invested. What we see here--and I see it in the supplementary estimates, which we'll get to another time--that we're going down the same path. We're going through these other agencies we don't have a window on.
So that's my concern. But my question is--and this is maybe to Mr. Greenhill--as someone who is a contributor to the World Bank, we have the right to see the value for money. We have the right to have a list of programs the World Bank invests in and the money we contribute. I'm not seeing that kind of detail, and we need that detail.
Further to that, we're hearing that in Afghanistan this micro-credit is terrific, but there's not enough of it, and it's going into administration. Someone has already asked about how much money the government is receiving, and we're hearing things like 60% is going into administration, but we don't know because we haven't been shown the facts.
What we need here first is less going to grants, and second, a window on development money, because Canadians are deeply worried that the money we quite willingly want to help with reconstruction isn't getting there. We just don't know. That has to change.
Today I will discuss the work of Elections Canada in promoting democratic development internationally, the value-added that we bring—at least in our view—to Canadian efforts in this sphere, and the ways in which our collective efforts can be maximized.
Elections Canada has long played an active role on the world scene, assisting countries in their efforts to establish sound democratic electoral processes. Since 1990, as a matter of fact, we've participated in initiatives in nearly 100 countries—admittedly initiatives of varying magnitudes. By the way, my office, through my predecessor, was also involved on the international scene in Latin America, Chile in particular.
Our activities range from sending a single expert to address one aspect of the electoral process to assembling multi-year, multi-country teams to undertake in-depth and ongoing analysis and assistance, to undertaking observation and accompaniment covering all areas of the electoral process. These initiatives have given us the experience that has proven instrumental in evolving a unique approach to international electoral assistance. Our approach is one of accompanying—therefore my use of the word “accompaniment”—electoral management bodies before, during, and after elections, and of helping them develop and strengthen institutional frameworks, skills, and autonomy, or independence, which are crucial building blocks to electoral democratic development.
This approach is an elastic model that allows for mutual learning. It has enabled us to accomplish a great deal, for instance, with our partners and colleagues at the FEI, the Federal Electoral Institute of Mexico.
The principle of accompaniment guides our international work and was most recently exemplified in two multilateral election monitoring missions in which we worked closely with the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq and the Conseil Électoral Provisoire in Haiti.
The international missions for monitoring Haitian and Iraqi elections, both of which I chaired, are unprecedented examples of the extraordinary level of international cooperation mobilized for those purposes. Each mission was led by a steering committee comprised of executives of electoral management bodies from around the world, who provided expert and independent peer review to both the Iraqi and Haitian electoral management bodies. These missions also passed judgment on the elections, issuing timely reports to the public on the proceedings. We accompanied the Iraqi commission through three electoral events in 2005, the January 30 elections for the transitional national assembly, the October 15 constitutional referendum, as well as the December 15 Council of Representatives elections, the body which is now effectively ruling Iraq.
The value of the IMIE model is best illustrated by what it accomplished after the Iraqi legislative elections last December. In the midst of accusations of fraud against the IECI that threatened to destabilize the situation in Iraq, the mission took the initiative—without consulting anyone—to quickly put together and send a special team of four experts. Two of the experts were chosen by me and two by the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Mr. Amr Moussa. The critical and timely report of the electoral experts, including Doug Rowland, president of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians, and Rafael Lopez-Pintor, a Spanish professor—whom I know well—helped to defuse a volatile situation between the Sunnis and the Shi'ites. We also held a post-mortem meeting with the IECI in March 2006 and discussed the full experience of the IMIE in Iraq, as well as the next steps, and provided advice on building a permanent Iraqi electoral commission, on which we have expertise.
In Haiti we accompanied the CEP through the first and second rounds of their presidential and legislative elections in 2006. For the municipal and local elections, and the run-off for the legislative...scheduled for December 3 of this year, Elections Canada has accepted the Haitian government's invitation to continue to accompany the CEP through a longer-term monitoring mission. That initiation was also made by the Canadian government, I should say, through CIDA, so we've accepted the invitation of the Canadian government, as a matter of fact. This mission will provide regular reports to the CEP on developments in the field, as well as electoral experts who will work directly with the Conseil Électoral Provisoire.
Our support for these elections is therefore even more focused on accompaniment, that is to say, helping them along, while still preserving our independence in producing our report on the elections.
Now I'll continue in the other official language.
These are some of the substantial accomplishments we have achieved with the resources I have been able to allocate to our role on the international scene. Obviously, my first priority is administering Canadian elections. The needs of Canadians come first. With more money and people assigned to our international role, we would be able to accomplish much more.
Pure observation is not the best way to deploy Elections Canada resources. Our strength lies in providing electoral support that addresses the longer process of democratization. We do this by working to build the capacity and the independence of electoral management bodies — by helping to design, development, implement and strengthen electoral commissions, while respecting the cultures and histories from which they emanate.
Elections may appear simple, especially in Canada, but they are not simple in Canada and, certainly, they are not simple abroad. Elections involve the intersection of different political forces, and managing that process is very complex. Not surprisingly, electoral assistance is also complex work.
The terms of your inquiry include examining ways in which non-governmental organizations and government bodies can best contribute to democratic assistance globally. It is useful to reiterate that Elections Canada is an independent agency of Parliament. This independence provides us with credibility and effectiveness on the international scene.
There has been a recognition on the part of CIDA and DFAIT of the importance of getting those who are involved in democratic development to exchange information and coordinate efforts. The Democracy Council is beginning to facilitate this. Other witnesses who have appeared before you have spoken about this.
The risks involved when Canada is the only, or the foremost, country engaged in assisting countries where democracy is fragile have been underlined by Ms. Alexa McDonough in her comments on October 4. That's what we did in Irak; that's what we did and are continuing to do in Haiti. These are the risks, whether Canada is acting alone or is leading international missions. And I believe that assisting developing democracies is a riskier endeavour today than it was 10 or 15 years ago, at the start of the post-Cold War era. But today we have a better understanding of the risks involved. There have been failures in the past, there will be failures in the future.
I understand the committee is considering a number of ideas for increasing the efficacy and profile of Canadian democracy promotion. It is important to have coherent and well-considered approaches. The growing interest in supporting political parties, for example, needs to be considered carefully. I even have some observations to make, if that is of interest to you.
Finally, democracy promotion is challenged by the growing perception in some parts of the world that democracy is not bearing fruit in terms of improving the day-to-day lives of the people. Setbacks will occur, but this does not mean we give up.
In my view, there is no alternative to democracy. What is needed is support for the entire process of democracy building and for the system as a whole, based on each country's values, history and culture. That moreover is our international trademark, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Chairman, in elaborating on my remarks, Elections Canada I think has an opportunity to make a real contribution to the process. I'll use a relatively concrete example. The Nigerian electoral commission came here recently. They were interested in knowing how they can make an election happen. They're caught with this. They get a lot of advice from people who go there, but they don't get the knowledge from people who actually deliver elections.
I've heard this from many countries. When we initially went to Haiti, people were saying that at least we deliver the goods in our country and that they're able to talk to us and get something meaningful. Cameroon came. They were trying to establish--I don't know how far they've gone--how it works. They want to know how an independent body becomes independent, what makes it maintain its independence, and how to relate to Parliament and to government. Through exploring this, we're able to provide assistance to them.
I agree that there may be varying degrees of independence, but there has to be a minimum. There has to be a minimum that's acceptable. And by the way, we look at that before we involve ourselves in other countries. We may be asked to help a particular country, but we'll want to make sure of that. For example, in Haiti, the Conseil Électoral Provisoire was set up in such a way that there is the requisite amount of independence. We did the same thing for the Iraqi elections.
I wouldn't want to go into a country because it's on the list of 25, but the electoral commission is all warped and it's not going to work. I wouldn't want to do that, because there's no point. It's not going to get us anywhere unless the mandate is to change it.
I don't know if I'm answering your question in a way that makes sense to you. I hope I am.
But that is where the strength comes in. Reputation comes from the ability to deliver, and at the same time the ability to advise and to relate, based on their culture and based on the forces that are in play in that community.
In Iraq, there were three basic communities. All three were represented on the Iraqi electoral commission. That gave us a feeling that things were there. The legal mandate was clear that they were independent. At the end, we also made recommendations about the number of people that they should have full-time on a commission. They have eight now. We felt that this was too many. We suggested there may be another way of structuring it or keeping the same structure, but with commissioners who are not there all the time. It makes it very difficult for a chief executive to carry out his or her tasks under such circumstances.
This is where the expertise comes in. It's not a straight transposition of the Canadian electoral system, as you can well imagine. I don't have commissioners overlooking my work. I have the procedures and House affairs committee, principally, doing that work. I have Parliament looking at how I behave and how I perform my tasks.
It's relatively easy to transpose ourselves into other cultures and to discuss ways they could improve their system and enhance and maintain their independence.
Mr. Chairman, the efforts that we deploy are made through the electoral body that is there, in light of its mandate to educate the public about the electoral process. That's something that we do in Canada through our outreach programs and our different advertising for an election. Obviously, what we look for and what we encourage is for the electoral body to get its expertise from within its own country and to reach out to its own citizens in ways that makes sense to them.
I'm pleased to hear your comments about the participation rates—not that I'm pleased about the participation rates, but I am about hearing your comments about them—because they do highlight what I consider to be practically unfair expectations on the part of the international community about how quickly democracy will install itself after an election. Initially, a lot of people—I'm not saying members of the committee, but a lot of people in the world—thought that because there was an election there, democracy is there. We saw this in Latin America, and my remarks were about the Latin Americans thinking that democracy doesn't work because they're not seeing the change in their lives. In my view, it's not that democracy doesn't work, it's that the democratic system or the democratic actors or undemocratic actors who are there are not helping the situation evolve. That is the real problem, not democracy. There is no alternative to democracy.
Your point is well taken about the fact that it will take several generations and that more has to be done in the schools. But that is much longer-term and something that I'm not sure the electoral body is best placed to handle in that country.
I think the educational system in those countries is there. If we had a holistic approach to democratic approaches and to democratic development, we could start to address in a very significant way, at primary school and at high school, the flaws that need to be addressed in the electoral system or in the education system concerning elections.
I'll make one further comment. The participation rate of 30% for the second round was better than anything they've ever achieved on the second round in Haiti. In terms relative to Haiti, that's significant progress. In terms of comparing it to the 60% turnout from the first round, it does indicate that there is a problem, and this is the question to which your colleague was alluding a little while back.
No matter how well you explain it, the people perceive that the important elections were for the president and were not for the others. That is because there's a concept that the authority will be vested with the president. This is why the municipal elections and local elections turn out to be so important in Haiti. In essence, as Mr. Bernard was saying before this committee, they will set about a countervailing power base at the local level, so that everything does not flow from the presidency. Perhaps that will have added value for the democratic process in Haiti.
Mr. Chair, as regards a compendium of the thoughts of Elections Canada, or of the Chief Electoral Officer, regarding the international scene, I'll check to see whether we have anything on that subject. I have had occasion to make speeches on the international scene, and I would be pleased to provide you with such a document as soon as possible.
Second, as regards budgetary conditions, we can also inform you on that, but I can tell you that Elections Canada's efforts on the three voting rounds in Haiti have cost a little more than $9 million. The cost for what we were able to accomplish in Irak was nearly $2 million. We could submit more accurate figures to you in the case of other major missions in which we have taken part.
However, I'd like to add, with regard to my earlier remark, that, ultimately, when we have a majority government and I can deploy resources, out of our core budget, I do so. However, we can't respond to that kind of request out of our budget when we're dealing with a minority government or when a country in particular is asking for too much. I can't do that, and I can't hire experts from outside Elections Canada out of my budget because, in that case, I need the support of other government agencies. However, if we can afford to do it without impoverishing ourselves or Canadian voters, we do so. That can happen.
However, I'm going to cite the example of Nigeria. Its delegation, which recently visited us, asked me as they were leaving the country, if I could immediately provide them with planning experts, who would go with them on their flight back. That's what their country needs: people who know how to plan. That's a particular problem they're dealing with. But, no, I couldn't do that because of the Canadian government's minority situation.
I would need additional funding, and it isn't always easy to go and see CIDA to tell it that Nigeria needs a person and that it's going to cost $25,000. That's not always easy because CIDA has its own needs. So it's not always easy for us to meet all demands.