ActionAid CEO: Canada on a Mission to Silence Aid Critics

    Canadia’s government is on a mission to silence its critics within the international development sector, ActionAid CEO Joanna Kerr alleges in an interview with the Globe & Mail.

    Bev Oda, the country’s minister for international cooperation, dislikes critics, Kerr said, and that is why funding for women’s organizations has been shrinking over the years.

    “If you want a maternal health initiative that’s going to work in these countries, you need people to hold their governments to account,” Kerr told Globe and Mail. “But there is an ideology within this government that we don’t support organizations that support advocacy.”

    When asked for the lack of public objection to foreign funding cuts, Kerr said the Canadian public is not aware about the issue.

    “People don’t know about it because it’s so hard for NGOs to speak out, because they get their funding cut,” she said. “That’s what’s been going on. If your mandate is to help people around the world, you’re not going to rock the boat.”

    Kerr said she can speak about the so-called censorship by Ottawa because she’s an independent, alluding to those representing groups that do not receive Canadian government funding.

    About the author

    • Eliza Villarino

      Eliza Villarino is an associate editor for Devex and leads the company's news team in Manila. She played a critical role in conceptualizing the Development Newswire. Prior to joining Devex in 2004, she has already published articles and news briefs for Internet media organizations and for the Institute for Ethics and Economic Policy at Fordham University in New York. She earned her bachelor's in political science and master's in public affairs from the University of the Philippines. Eliza is a member of Mensa Philippines.