Magazine article New Internationalist

Gov't Aid for Mines

Magazine article New Internationalist

Gov't Aid for Mines

Article excerpt

CANADA

He is not widely read or a brilliant public speaker. But Canada's Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has a definite game plan. He wants to take his northern nation down a small government, free market-loving route. And he's succeeding.

The latest blow to the country's Boy Scout image is Harper's remaking of the Canadian government aid agency, CIDA, into a PR body for the mining industry.

Last year, cop-turned-International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino announced that CIDA would channel yet more money to the private sector to promote Canada's economic interests abroad and make poor countries 'trade and investment ready'.

The controversial move has split the NGO community. Last year three major charities, including World Vision, joined forces with CIDA. They accepted millions in public funds to run community development projects linked to Canadian mining companies in Peru, Burkina Faso and Ghana. …

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