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441-02132 (Foreign affairs)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:


  • The Liberal government's so-called 'feminist international assistance policy' has shown a lack of respect for the cultural values and autonomy of women in the developing world by supporting organizations that violate local laws on abortion and push abortion at the expense of international development priorities like clean water, access to basic nutrition, and economic development;

  • The Liberal's approach to international development for women and girls has recently been criticized by the Auditor General for failing to measure results; and

  • The Muskoka Initiative (launched by the previous Conservative government) involved historic investments in the wellbeing of women and girls around the world. The initiative emphasized value for money and ensured that investments were in priorities identified by local women.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, call on the Government of Canada to align international development spending with the approach taken in the Muskoka Initiative, focusing international development dollars on meeting the basic needs of vulnerable women around the world rather than pushing ideological agendas that may conflict with local values in developing countries, and measuring outcomes.

Response by the Minister of International Development

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Anita Vandenbeld

Canada is a global leader in protecting and advancing the health, rights and well-being of the poorest and most vulnerable, with the empowerment of women and girls at the core of Canada’s international assistance policies and programmes. Canada spearheaded the Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn, and Child health (MNCH) during its G8 presidency in 2010, and committed $2.85 billion between 2010 and 2015. In 2015, Canada renewed its support for MNCH by committing an additional $3.5 billion over the 2016 to 2020 period. In 2016-2017, Under the Her Voice Her Choice initiative, Canada committed a further $650 million for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) programming between 2017 and 2020. The added focus on SRHR was informed by consultations with Canadian and international stakeholders, the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), and research evidence published in the 2018 Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on SRHR. Canada’s current commitment, the 10-Year Commitment to Global Health and Rights (10YC), builds on decades of Canadian leadership in global health. Through this commitment, starting this fiscal year (2023-2024), Canada will reach an average of $1.4 billion annually to support women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health around the world, of which $700 million is allocated to comprehensive SRHR. This is Canada’s longest, largest, and most comprehensive global health commitment to date and is a key vehicle for implementing Canada’s FIAP, strengthening health systems post COVID-19, and supporting the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Through the 10YC, Canada continues to advance these priorities, while also promoting a complementary emphasis on comprehensive SRHR that supports country-led efforts to advance the health and rights of women and girls and address the socio-economic and cultural barriers that limit their attainment of gender equality. Through the 10YC, Canada is supporting initiatives such as school meals programs, water and sanitation programming, micronutrient supplementation, community-based nutrition programs, midwifery training, and enhanced neo-natal care. Canada also continues to support large-scale investments to combat infectious diseases and strengthen health systems with key global health players, including the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria ($5.3 billion, 2002-2025) Gavi Vaccine Alliance ($2.3 billion, 2000-2025), and the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents ($630 million, 2015-2025).

Canada is committed to ensuring its interventions in developing countries are locally-informed and led. Canada’s work is built on the value it places on local partnerships, and partners are carefully selected to ensure that government, local organizations and women and youth themselves, are central in the design and delivery of international assistance programming. This approach is consistent with the principles outlined in Canada’s Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (ODAAA), which requires that Canada’s aid responds to local perspectives and priorities. Aligned with the FIAP and ODAAA principles, Canada supports local ownership and works to ensure that all initiatives are grounded in local needs, priorities and contexts, which are the basis for deep and relevant engagement with local communities, including being designed and implemented with and by local partners and aligned with national legislation and country priorities. Within Canada’s global health investments, all efforts are made to ensure that, where appropriate, government, local organizations and beneficiaries, including youth and women’s-rights organizations, are involved throughout the project cycle, from design to evaluation. This ensures that programming remains responsive to local needs, values and priorities.

Under the 10YC Accountability Framework, Canada has committed to publishing annual reports on the 10YC implementation progress, including tracking of funding and results achieved. The inaugural 2020-2021 Report on the 10-Year Commitment is an example of Canada’s commitment to transparency, dialogue and partnership, moving beyond discussions about money committed and spent to a different conversation about using evidence and experience to improve and drive results and impact for communities around the world. The 2021-2022 Report on the 10-Year Commitment was published in December 2023.

Presented to the House of Commons
Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan)
February 8, 2024 (Petition No. 441-02132)
Government response tabled
March 22, 2024
Photo - Garnett Genuis
Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan
Conservative Caucus

40 signatures

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.