Canada has frozen its aid funding at 5 billion Canadian dollars (around USD4.8 billion) as this year’s Winter Olympics host announced an increase in sports funding by about USD15.5 billion, political commentator John Geddes wrote in an opinion blog at Macleans.ca over the weekend.
Geddes noted that the Canadian aid budget placed the country “near the bottom of the heap” of aid funding among wealthy countries, even while Canadians were at a high in sharing “a sense of obligation” because of the Haiti quake.
In contrast, the government allotted an additional USD5.8 million to develop medal-prospect athletes and earmarked USD10 million to train amateur athletes.
“And here’s the part that should make us all ashamed. The government probably called it right, in terms of the popular reaction. Had sports funding not gotten a boost, there would certainly have been a heated outcry. Making aid spending the single biggest target of restraint has been met mostly with cold indifference,” Geddes wrote.