Altered CIDA Document Scandal: The Bigger Picture

What’s the bigger issue behind the controversy surrounding Canadian Minister of International Cooperation Beverley Oda and her admission to ordering the modification of a Canadian International Development Agency memo? It is the Canadian government’s lack of transparency regarding foreign aid decisions, according to a news analysis by The Globe and Mail.

“A general murkiness around CIDA, from its focus, to its strategy in each country, to how a funding decision gets made, has been its Achilles heel for years,” Campbell Clark, a political writer for The Global and Mail, writes in an analysis of the issue. “Add to that the obscurity about whether a decision is political, and what’s political about it, and it breeds not just suspicion but dysfunctional aid.”

Campbell argues that while Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s defense of Oda that elected officials are in charge of making decisions is valid, the public has the right to know the true nature of these decisions.

“The government should make the decisions on aid, but telling people what they are, political or not, is key to effective aid,” the analysis reads.

Meantime, the Vancouver Sun says the controversy could cost Oda her position in the next shuffle of Harper’s Cabinet.

Read more development aid news.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.