Canadian Manufacturing

UN seat not top priority, Scheer says after unveiling foreign aid policy

The Conservatives are pledging to decrease foreign aid spending by 25%

October 2, 2019  The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he believes it is more important to help out Canadians at home than seek a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Canada is campaigning for one of two seats for a two-year term that would begin in 2021, but it faces a tough fight from Norway and Ireland.

The Conservatives are pledging to decrease foreign aid spending by 25 per cent. The plan includes cutting out funding for countries they consider to be hostile regimes, or as having too much money to need the help.

Asked whether that would negatively affect the ability of Canada to secure the UN seat it is seeking, Scheer said he was confident allies would recognize the country’s contributions, including through its military efforts, around the world.

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At the same time, he suggested securing the spot at the UN table would not be a priority for a Conservative government.

“It’s more important to me that I help Canadians get ahead than curry favour at the United Nations,” Scheer said Tuesday in Toronto.

The UN vote will take place next June.

Meanwhile, Jagmeet Singh’s love affair with British Columbia continues Monday. The NDP leader is spending an eighth straight day campaigning in the province, where his party has some of its best chances to pick up seats if it can benefit from multi-way split votes.

Singh is due to have breakfast with families to promote his $10-billion plan for universal child care.

The other leaders are letting him have the place to himself Monday, all focusing their efforts in Ontario.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is spending a second day on gun-control policy, meeting with mayors from Toronto’s suburbs. Scheer made his foreign policy announcement at a lakefront hotel on Toronto’s exhibition grounds.

Green Leader Elizabeth May will talk about her party’s policy on post-secondary education at Ryerson University before heading to Montreal for an evening rally, and People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier is planning several small-scale appearances with candidates in southwestern Ontario.