This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Canada’s International Development Minister, Christian Paradis, clarified in a statement issued on Friday that the Harper government does not plans to fund overseas projects that in return allow war rape victims and child brides to obtain abortions. The stance of Harper administration was ambiguous regarding this issue last week, as it announced to support initiatives at the United Nations to tackle sexual violence and forced marriages.
However, Paradis has now straightforwardly announced that the same government policy will be applied as was previously drawn when Canada announced $3-billion for maternal and child health at the 2010 G8 summit in Muskoka. Making announcement at the time, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had unswervingly stated that none of these dollars will go toward abortion services since there are already enough other worthy initiatives to support.
During his speech on Friday, Paradis announced that “we’ve been clear in Muskoka, so you can think the same logic will apply here.” He further added that “there are plenty of measures that can be taken and Muskoka demonstrated that and we’ll follow it in a consistent way with Muskoka.” However, this announcement was contradictory to comments previously made by the president of the Canadian International Development Agency in 2010. Margaret Biggs informed a committee that the agency will continue to fund aid groups who might provide referrals for abortion services. It is noticeable in this perspective that only last year, CIDA was folded into the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.