Canada International Development Agency (CIDA) is a government agency that assists developing countries with disasters, food security, education, health, and sustainability. It is now a conduit for selling military equipment.
The Harper government is merging Canada’s foreign aid agency with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
It also plans to leverage billions in spending on military equipment into making Canada an arms exporter.
The two moves, revealed in Thursday’s federal budget, put to sleep any doubts about the government’s desire to use all means possible to advance Canadian business and commercial interests throughout the world.
The government says its decision to roll the Canadian International Development Agency into Foreign Affairs was a reflection of increased “linkages between our foreign policy, development and trade objectives.”
The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will continue to tackle poverty in developing countries, the government said, and there were no immediate signs it was planning to implement new cuts to Canada’s approximately $4.5-billion aid budget.
The government will also retain a minister for development and humanitarian assistance, and said it plans to strengthen the minister’s position by enshrining its roles and responsibilities in law for the first time.
"…hundreds of federal scientists in charge of environmental monitoring are being laid off as part of the 1,500 government professionals affected by Conservative budget cuts.
"Doctors, biologists, chemists are being shown the door. These scientists monitor environmental changes that can threaten the health of Canadians," said MP Hélène LeBlanc…
"Prime Minister Harper has dropped any pretence that he cares about Canada’s natural environment, reducing the federal government’s oversight role to miniscule proportions," said May, who represents British Columbia’s Saanich-Gulf Islands in Parliament."
A young humpback whale died of starvation while entangled in a ghost fishing net. It washed ashore near Vancouver, Canada a few days ago and locals held a funeral for the animal. Officials are trying to identify who owned the lost fishing net. You can see the tail ripped up by the net. Full story and video.
Meanwhile, Canada’s ultra-conservative government is destroying endangered species act and dozens of environmental laws nearly every week with sneaky, backdoor amendments and secret legislation.
How? Regulatory capture. Canadian officials have successfully been bought by oil companies. In exchange, politicians are gutting environmental laws to help oil companies drill more pollutive wells faster and deeper with little to no regulatory oversight.
Follow climate adaptation.
BBC has a dramatic report on the latest Wikileaks cables involving Hilary Clinton, Stephen Harper, and NATO. Northern nations are scrambling to stake claims in fresh batches of unclaimed natural resources such as oil, aluminum, and rubies. The resources are being exposed by melting ice in the Arctic, which is expected to be ice free within a “two years.”
Hilary Clinton (click above for video), pays lip service to climate change then pivots to promote development, mining, and trade in the Arctic. The cables also show that Canadian Prime Minister Harper siding with Russia to object to a NATO presence in the area. Harper is quoted as saying, that, “some European countries without Arctic territories were trying to use Nato to give them “influence in an area ‘where they don’t belong’”.”
British oil company Cairn Energy are in the vanguard of the Arctic oil rush. The company’s commercial director Simon Thomson told (BBC’s) Newsnight “we’re leading the charge”.
Instead of seeing the melting of the Arctic ice cap as a spur to action on climate change, oil companies like Cairn are rushing in to extract the very fossil fuels that caused the melting in the first place
UPDATE: Links fixed