Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions this morning. The first is from people in my riding who petition the Government of Canada to protect foreign aid spending.
The undersigned residents wish to bring to the attention of the government that departments have been asked to table plans for savings of 5% to 10% in preparation for the budget and that the Canadian International Development Agency accounts for only 2% of the federal budget, the budget which has been frozen for two years, which they say results in an actual cut of 5% in real terms when measured against inflation.
They indicate that CIDA's work results in substantial improvements in the lives of many of the world's poorest people. It goes toward training teachers in regions with limited education, improving health care and providing access to clean water. Moreover, they say that many non-governmental organizations in the development sector depend on CIDA as a source of funds in order to run their own programs.
The petition is from youth organized through Memorial University of Newfoundland Oxfam group. The petitioners say that while youth are suffering from the recession in Canada, they still support a strong foreign aid budget and call upon government to exempt CIDA from the budget cuts in the new budget to come down.