Back to Parliament with Gabriel Cassie 

By: Gabriel Cassie Published: 29/01/2024

What we are looking for in 2024

For parliamentary watchers, this Fall’s sitting was a doozy. From an ill-advised guest leading to the resignation of the Speaker of the House to marathon voting for over 30 hours, the last sitting was packed full. The House of Commons has only just returned from their winter break, and 2024 is poised to be an even more chaotic and politically fraught year than last.

Political parties are beginning to gear-up for the scheduled autumn 2025 election. Policy positions are being crafted, and we are seeing more and more political ads. Already, parties are nominating candidates, and some Members of Parliament (MPs) are announcing that they will not run for another term.

As we inch closer to the election, we can expect the political temperature and tempo to continue rising, with affordability and housing remaining top concerns for Canadians. The governing Liberals are facing and increasingly tough path to reelection in 2025, with recent polls indicating that the Conservatives are enjoying a double-digit lead over them, while the New Democrats remain stuck with support in the high teens.

While the cost of living and affordability remain driving issues here at home, global issues and events demand our attention, too. With increasing conflicts and crises, it is clearer now more than ever that we need a vision for Canada’s role in the world.

Prime Minister Trudeau addresses the House of Commons.

The Government seems to have wandered away from a concrete global vision. While the Government and Prime Minister have been clear that they support a growing Canadian role in the world, Budget 2023 cut Canadian international assistance by 15% in a time of growing global need.

But this year, the Government has an opportunity to get back on track by making Budget 2024 #AChildrensBudget. This must be more than symbolic. We need concrete action that addresses the growing global nutrition crisis, gets kids learning, and ensures children are vaccinated against preventable and life-altering diseases like polio and tuberculosis. In short: Canada must return to its legacy of leadership in international aid for children and #ReachEveryChild.

Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, addresses the House of Commons.

The Conservative Party has not articulated their vision, either. While we have heard bits and pieces, Canadians need clarity on how a Conservative government would manage Canada’s role in the world. The Conservative Party has a longstanding legacy of support for international cooperation to build on. For instance, when Canada hosted the G8 (now G7) in 2011, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper brought world leaders together in Muskoka to catalyze global action to support Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH). These historic investments, totaling over US$7.3 billion from multiple countries, saved millions of lives around the world.

In 2024, we are looking for a few things from parliamentarians and Canada’s political parties:

  • Clarity on their vision for Canada’s global presence;
  • Consistent and long-term investments so that the people who receive Canadian international assistance and those that deliver it have confidence that Canada will be there for the long-haul; and
  • Commitment to increasing Canada’s international assistance to be in line with growing global needs and at par with other G7 countries.

We are looking forward to an exciting and unpredictable session this Spring. You can take action today and tell parliamentarians that you care about how Canada shows up to address global issues by:

  • Writing to your MP to tell them why you care about a world free from poverty and why Canada needs to step-up and #ReachEveryChild.
  • Emailing the Minister of Finance, telling her why you want Canada to invest in #AChildrensBudget this year.
  • Joining our National Call with MP Anita Vandenbeld, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, to hear how you how to create the greatest impact in your engagement with parliamentarians.

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