Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (FAAE)

The committee met twice this week, on Tuesday, December 6th and on Thursday, December 8th.  On Tuesday, the committee heard witnesses from Développement international Desjardins (financial services in the developing world), Micronutrient Initiative (projects for salt iodization, Vitamin A distribution, and more), and Teck Resources Ltd. (zinc for combating diarrhea, mental retardation, and stunted growth).  On Thursday, witnesses were from Brandaid Project (marketing goods Haitian artisans produce) and Results Canada (teaming with other organizations on poverty reduction).

On Thursday, Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, NDP)  moved that the committee spend at least one public session on Canada’s stance at the February UN Arms Control Treaty Negotiations {details here}.  It was agreed that the debate on the motion be adjourned to consideration of committee business. After the witnesses spoke and responded to questions, the meeting was suspended and resumed sitting in camera to consider said committee business. It is speculated by many that the motion was negatived in camera. Link: “Lost In Camera’ Link to the Minutes.

At both meetings, opposition members expressed concern about the general government funding freeze.  In response, Lois Brown (Newmarket–Aurora, CPC) pointed out that the current government has doubled aid to Africa.

On Tuesday, Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour, Lib.), noted that the committee’s original plan for what to study in these current meetings was Canada’s role regarding Africa in the 21st century.  He added that Tuesday was the third session on what the study topic has become the role of the private sector in achieving Canada’s international development interest, with all witnesses thus far suggested by the government.  The Chair stated these matters would be discussed on Thursday.  The public portion of Thursday’s meeting ended early; the last part of the meeting was held in camera, to discuss committee business.