Statement by Minister Fantino: Canada Day

Canada Day is a day of celebration for all Canadians. Part of what we celebrate is who we are as a people. From delivering food to the hungry, to improving the lives of mothers and children, to responding to humanitarian disasters, Canadians can be truly proud of the support we provide around the world. Our work internationally is one of the truest reflections of the values we all share: generosity, democracy and compassion. And the results speak for themselves.

Canada is working to bridge the gaps in global health, education and food security. For example, Canada has galvanized the international community to invest in stronger health systems for mothers and children, to reduce the burden of disease, and to improve nutrition. In Mozambique, for example, Canadian assistance has helped to train 1,688 doctors and nurses. Canada has also helped to enrol 23 million more girls and boys in school globally and trained more than 413,000 teachers around the world. When children are able to thrive and grow, they can help build prosperous futures for themselves, their families and communities. In times of crisis, such as in Syria and neighbouring countries, Canada is there. We help the most vulnerable to access necessities such as food, shelter and medical care. Over the long term, in places such as Ethiopia, Canada is helping to feed 7.6 million people while addressing the underlying causes of food insecurity through the building of soil conservation structures and tree planting.

Through the new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, we will continue to address poverty alleviation through development assistance and we will continue to provide humanitarian assistance. After all, international assistance is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Our assistance underpins Canada's prosperity by unlocking the economic potential of the developing world and building tomorrow's markets for Canadian trade and investment. Development assistance also safeguards Canadian security by addressing sources of instability and preventing threats before they reach our border. Our assistance abroad promotes Canadian values by helping build governments that respect freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

Today, and every day, we should be thankful for the strong, vibrant and prosperous country that we are fortunate to live in. We can also be proud of the work we are doing for those most in need around the world.

Happy Canada Day!

Julian Fantino
Minister of International Development