Mike Schouten, Calgary Herald
Published: Saturday, October 5, 2013
For the last two years Prime Minister Stephen Harper has arrived in New York just in time for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. And both times Harper has found something more important to do. This year, rather than address the General Assembly, the Prime Minister spent his time participating in a panel discussion on the UN’s maternal and child health initiative.
Harper’s interest here is natural. Since partnering with other G8 countries on the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Heath in 2010, Canada has committed over $200 million to help mothers and babies in the world’s developing countries. The Prime Minister reported this week that great strides are being made: “The world is making significant progress in improving the health of women and children in developing countries and reducing the unacceptable mortality rates faced by these vulnerable populations.” This success Harper said is because Canadian funding is going to pay for immunizations, basic health and community services designed to ease the dangers surrounding pregnancy and childbirth.
You would think most Canadians would embrace this charitable use of their tax dollars, but Canada’s commitment has not been without controversy.