LETTER: Canada needs to boost its contributions to Global Fund

Dear editor:

A few short years ago, after having won a Liberal majority government, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced to the world: “Canada is back!”

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He appeared to deliver on that statement by increasing Canada’s contribution to the Global Fund by 24 per cent at the 2016 Replenishment Pledging conference in Montreal.

The Global Fund aims to end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. Replenishment Pledging conferences take place every three years.

The next Replenishment Pledging conference will be held in France on Oct. 10 of this year and indications are that, for the first time in the history of the Global Fund, Canada does not intend to increase its contribution.

Anti-poverty advocacy groups report that based on conversations they have had with federal officials — the government will be flat-lining our contribution due to a “cash crunch” as they head into the fall election campaign.

Is our government prepared to fund an election campaign at the expense of the lives of others?

Perhaps Mr. Trudeau’s 2016 announcement should have been: “Canada is back, but only for the moment.”

Marsha Zalik
North Vancouver

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