India Spending $1.8 BILLION This Year Alone on Moon Project: So Why Did Canada Give Them $64 MILLION in Foreign Aid?

India is VERY determined: it is moving FULL SPEED AHEAD to join, by this September, the United States, Russia and China in achieving a Moon landing.

The Chandrayaan-2 space mission blasted off July 22 from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre to the Moon … 200,000 miles away. It’s stated goal: to land a lunar rover, ostensibly to explore water deposits at the south pole.

India sure needs LOTS of clean water … but not from the Moon!

Its REAL goal is a major EGO trip: a flashy foray into Space to unite its elites and masses in a nationalistic orgy of pride and performance; to pretend it is now a major world power; and, to show its arch-enemy Pakistan it can do what they cannot.

However, according to the World Bank, 21.9% of India’s population …. 275 MILLION people … live BELOW the national “poverty line” … which itself is appalling low … purchasing power of $1.25 US a day.

And an estimated 60% of the country’s 1.3 billion people live on less than $3.10 a day. Let me repeat that: an estimated 60% (that’s 763 MILLION people) of the country’s total 1.3 billion population live on less than $3.10 a day!!!

“Unemployment is high, there are disparities in standards of living, and minorities continue to suffer from a disproportionate lack of basic services, such as elementary education, primary healthcare, or safe drinking water,” reports the European Union’s International Co-operation and Development Agency.

Does that sound to you like a country that should be spending BILLIONS on a space program?

Not to me.

True … India has been making some progress over the past decade, lifting people out of poverty. “India has been the biggest contributor to poverty reduction between 2008 and 2011, with around 140 million or so lifted out of absolute poverty,” according to Wikipedia.

But India still accounts for a staggering one-third of the world’s entire population still living in poverty.

That’s not good enough to justify such a poor country, that regularly collects foreign aid from so many others, spending BILLIONS on any space project.

Canada in 2018 alone provided more than $64 MILLION in Foreign Aid to India; the US gave them $102 Million; and, the European Union (2007-2019) more than 12.8 Billion Euros.

Think of the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars Canada has given to “aid” India over the past decade, while India has spent BILLIONS on its Satish Dhawan Centre and its toys … so it play in the sandbox of space on the Moon with the Big Powers.

India should use ALL of its precious revenues to provide the very basics of life (clean water, housing, health) to ALL of its citizens. … and to help raise more out of extreme poverty.

And Canada should re-direct OUR aid funds to other more deserving needy countries or to struggling communities here at home … where recipients do not waste Billions of dollars.

Instead of rewarding India for wasting money … literally, on Ego-trips.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Free First Alerts of new postings on this Blog are available by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter.)

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34 Responses to India Spending $1.8 BILLION This Year Alone on Moon Project: So Why Did Canada Give Them $64 MILLION in Foreign Aid?

  1. Gene The Bean says:

    I think this topic will get a unanimous AGREE from all your followers here.

    After reading investigative journalism (remember when that used to happen…) reports of some “charities” I have changed my gifting. I no longer give money unless it is absolutely identified as to what it is to be spent on eg: buying goats in Africa. I refuse to pay for the ‘charities’ CEO’s expense account or leased SUV. Way too many are scams, especially the ones that continually advertise. A word to the wise, even the religious affiliated ones just give pennies on the dollar to those in need, the rest goes to overhead and “spreading their message.”

    Canada should continue to be a leader in helping those less fortunate but there needs to be checks and balances. We should also NEVER write a cheque. Say we agree to fund six drinking water wells in Sudan. They say they cost 100K each so their hand is out for 600K – nope. The Sudanese can coordinate everything from labour and transportation, which we can pay for, and all the equipment should be Canadian sourced and shipped there. Canadian reps will meet it and assist to make it happen. Then everyone gets paid. Win Win.

    Just sending money is the same as giving a drug addled homeless person a twenty, another thing I wont do. Buy you a burger or cup of coffee – no problem but I’m not contributing to your addiction.

    India is on track to become the worlds most populous country on the backs of poor rural people who unfortunately don’t know better. There are huge efforts underway to try and slow down the birthrate but as you point out when you have hundreds of millions of dirt poor people, it is difficult to say the least.

    India is a ticking time bomb. They have HUGE issues like lack of clean water, disease, public defecation, birthrate and social dysfunction. They still see women and poor people as inferior (sound familiar???) and the gap between the money and privileged and the working poor just keeps getting bigger (sound familiar again?) .

    Their space program is just an elitist ‘look at me’ exercise.

    Hoping Canada puts its efforts elsewhere and we can proudly put our name on projects and improvements that really make a difference in people lives.

    (Response: I certainly agree that Canada should supervise ..even control … what is done with any aid we provide anywhere, to ensure it does not go into the pockets of the politicians and bureaucrats or their friends and relatives in the country where the “aid” is sent. And ideally, wherever economically efficient, it should be used as much as possible as “credits” to buy goods, equipment made in Canada. But a country … any country … that cannot feed, house MILLIONS of its its own people spends BILLIONS on “Space” … we should cut them off…. spend our money elsewhere. h.o)

  2. BMCQ says:

    Wow, I am actually quite hopeful that ALL contributors might actually agree on this Topic !

    You are 100% correct on all counts here Harvey .

    Yes India has come a long way but they still have to navigate some very choppy waters before they can be considered so called First World .

    One could list dozens of areas where India should and could do better but the question is will they ?

    India must have one of he worst records world wide when it comes to treatment and quality of life of women, we see horrific stories about rape and murder of women of all ages far too often .

    Let’s be honest, we in the west more than likely hear about less than a few pe3rcent of the real atrocities against women .

    India would be far better off directing funds into educational programs in schools that would encourage young males to respect women, that would benefit every citizen of India and it would ensure a much more secure future for women and girls .

    I have always found it incredible how India was one of the first countries to have Female Leadership yet they did not make the transition to respect for women as a whole . Very Puzzling .

    While they are at it the Indian Government needs to do something about making Clean Water available to the masses, thee is nothing more important .

    Clean Water, Security and Respect for Women, better education for All, and even more changes to eliminate and finally do away with the Caste System .

    Canada should immediately eliminate any Foreign Aid going to India, how can a “Make Believe Feminist” Like PM Justin allow any amount of Money to be granted to a country that has the Human Rights Record and abuses against Women ?

    Yes, the former Conservative and Liberal Federal Governments were guilty of the same .

    Over the past year or two there was another story about India spending $ Millions on Art of one kind or another, I believe Harvey covered that as well .

    Canadian federal Politicians have a duty to be more transparent about where Canadian Tax Payer Money is being granted, those same Politicians have a responsibility to make sure that countries like India that have Rights Abuses and are Wasteful with wasteful unnecessary Programs are not the Beneficiary of Canadian Funds .

    I am 100% certain that thee are even more glaring examples of Canadian Tax Payer Funds being sent to unworthy countries and causes .

    Canadian Tax Payer Funds should be directed into projects that benefit Senior Pensioners and other wort while beneficiaries like Single Moms trying to escape a bad marriage long before those funds are sent off to India and other similar countries to be squandered on Vanity Projects .

    While we are at it we can also demand an end to the Governor Generals position and Office of Canada, that my friends is even a bigger waste of Canadian Tax Payer Money .

    An MRI Machine Canada costs about $ 1.5 Million in Canada, give or take and depending on how it is equipped .

    A PET Scanner costs about $ 500,000.00 give or take in Canada .

    How much could we do for Seniors, Single Moms, and how many PET Scanners and MRI Machines could we finance across the country for $ 64 Million each year ?

    Time for this to become an Election Issue, let’s see if any of the Campaigning Genius’s of any Party are paying attention to this Blog Topic .

    Canadians need to hear from Politicians on this most important topic, there are a lot more Dollars going to mostly underserving Countries .

    (Response: It’s too bad we don’t have politicians OR media DARING enough to raise this issue. Where are the 200 members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Ottawa? Surely, there must be ONE cheeky enough to at least ask the questions …as I would if I was still there. h.o)

  3. Harry lawson says:

    Harvey,

    I personally say no to any foreign aid until our own house is in order. We have reserves with contaminated water, we have seniors one tax garnishment away from being homeless, we have families having to choose between rent or healthcare . We need to manage our financial resources better ,wether it is funding poverty pimps in the DTES or in another country. Why should we give money to fuel someone’s Cadillac?

    (Response: I don’t actually oppose all foreign aid: we are comparatively a very well off country and we can/should help others in more desperate circumstances. But NOT to nations that WASTE or STEAL their own public funds … and then appeal to us for ours. h.o)

  4. Don says:

    The politicians give away our money so they can virtue signal and strut on the world stage. They don’t care if it is wasted and/or lands up in corrupt hands as long as they can get a photo op.

  5. 13 says:

    Anyone with half a brain can see tge stupidity of giving millions of dollars in aid to India. India is not the only country that recieves Canadian tax dollars .
    Let’s get back to the half brain. Justin Trudeau comes to mind.
    This also clearly illustrates my point from the last blog topic. You can play lie twist and generally be very dishonest using comparisons that are not apples to apples but apples to rotting garbage

  6. R says:

    Motivated for votes in canada?

  7. e.a.f. says:

    if the money goes to the state government of india, it has to stop immediately. However, if the money is being spent by NGOs to provide clean water, we might as well do it because the government of india isn’t, so better people have clean water than die.

    At the rate things are going in the U.S.A., they could wind up looking like India.

    Come to think of it, why the hell are we providing money for clean water in India, we haven’t even provided clean water in Canada, especially those living on reserves. There are reserves which have been using bottled water for 4 decades. Perhaps we can get India to provide clean drinking water to our reserves. fair trade I’d think.

    (Response: The problem with your generous attitude of giving/funding projects is that it ALLOWS lousy governments to ignore their own people/needs … letting us cover their needs … and waste precious funds on space projects, palaces, temples, statues … like the (are you sitting down?) the $480 MILLION Statue of Unity. You can read about that here: https://news.artnet.com/art-world/worlds-tallest-statue-india-1384969. h.o)

  8. DBW says:

    https://news.sky.com/story/fury-over-uks-unjustifiable-98m-foreign-aid-injection-for-india-11489332

    Here you go, Harvey. About a year ago, a British MP was making the same complaints as you are.

    When UK earmarked £98M in foreign aid for India, Tory MP David Davies said “in effect we are sponsoring an India moon launch”

    And to complicate the issue, India actually spends more on foreign aid to other countries than it takes in itself by a factor of almost 4x – £254M in; £912M out.

    It would seem that Canada (and the UK) would be better to skip the middleman and give the money to the countries that India is supporting.

    I am no expert on how foreign aid works. Does Canada buying $10M worth of Canadian wheat from Canadian farmers and sending it to a country count the same as just cutting a cheque for $10M to the same country who might buy wheat from whomever they want.

    When Canada offers to help pay for some project in a developing country can we insist that some of the materials used in the project are Canadian made?

    When it comes to foreign aid what is the balance between straight up generosity and being somewhat self-serving?

    How much of our foreign aid goes to governments vs NGOs?

    On the surface is would appear foolish for Canada to be giving any money to India, but if the money is being used by a legitimate NGO that is helping educate and feed poverty stricken remote areas then I am less likely to complain.

    (Response: Using aid “credits” to buy/supply Canadian products/services … where economically feasible … is the best solution to help foreign countries and also Canadians at home. And when that doesn’t fit. I don’t object to providing aid to countries/communities that really need it … and won’t waste it. India clearly could use its own very limited resources in better ways: but it’s sad that Trudeau, Scheer, Singh ALL lack the backbone to say so and take a stand. h.o.)

  9. BMCQ says:

    DBW – 8

    Thanks for posting the Sky News piece, it shows us that thee are more than likely a few Politicians and perhaps Media in other so-called rich nations that want to choose worthwhile recipient countries with no Human Rights transgressions .

    That is all any of us here are asking, Harvey asks the question and was mentioned up the page we will all more than likely agree with him that Canada and Canadians should only support causes/countries that have clean Human Rights Records .

    Then of course we have the UN that accuse Canada of Human Rights Abuses, I suppose we should not be surprised but then that is always the way with the UN .

    The UN tends to prefer to attack mostly Rich mostly White/Western Nations, much like the Climate Change Agenda they push, always attack wealthy nations and re-distribute the wealth in any way they can .

    on the surface I might agree with sending Wheat or other Canadian Food Product to deserving people but in fact the Canadian Agricultural Product whatever it may be always ends up in the hands of the dishonest Politicians or their Minions and it is then sold off to the highest bidder and only those that can afford it receive the product .

    Almost all of those Bastards would see their own families do without if they could enrich their own lives, what a tragedy .

    Then of course the NGO for the most part are no less unscrupulous than the Robber Barron Politicians of which we speak .

    Let’s face it look in our own back yard on the Vancouver DES where a $ 1 Million Dollars a day is squandered much of it being misdirected and in fact stolen by an assortment of Special Interest NGO who really are not required to account for any of it . Correct Jenny Kwan, Townsend, and several more over the past 20 years ?

    It is not only Canadian Tax Payer Money going to countries like India we should question but there are many more undeserving countries receiving Canadian Tax Payer Money and that Aid is not getting to the Needy . A Real Life Tragedy .

    Let us hope that this vexing problem becomes an Election Issue, Canadians and the Poor in Nations like India deserve better .

    I am sure there are nations and NGO that allocate funds properly and get the most dollars and aid they can for the needy but they are few and far between .

    Perhaps one of the biggest concerns with this is the fact that the UN itself cannot be trusted, we are all aware of their Track Record of Human Rights Abuses and the rest .

  10. BMCQ says:

    BTW

    I could be dreaming here but if countries like the UK, the U.S., Canada, and others actually stood in the UN and said that they were not willing to send Charitable Funds to say India unless certain steps were taken to improve the plight of Children and Women the Funds would be directed to other worth while causes .

    Why should we send Funds to African Nations that allow Animal Poaching, Trafficking of Children and Women, Slave Trade of any kind of crime ?

    We need to make the UN and Recipient countries take notice and we need to hold them accountable.

    Thee is a great opportunity for Canadian PM Justin to endear himself to the World by addressing this very thing at the UN, I am sure he will jump at the chance .

    In fact I can see him Rolling Up His Sleeves as I finish typing this .

    Again, let’s hope Voters and more importantly Media ask the Campaigning Politicians about this during this Election Run .

    (Response: Foreign aid SHOULD be based on and tied to PRINCIPLES … not just foreign pressures and domestic voting blocks. h.o)

  11. e.a.f. says:

    Harvey, Its not that I’m generous, its that I know the Indian government will never provide water for the people Canada and other countries do. the Indian government would sooner those people die than spend a nickel on them. the current P.M. is not a nice guy. He has an agenda and that does not include a lot of other citizens in their country.

    Many in the Indian government believe in a caste system and lower castes are not deemed deserving, so if we can help a few kids live, then fine. We will never stop the Indian government from building those phallic symbols to themselves.

    I find it apauling they are spending all that money on a space missions while children die in that country due to simple things they ought not to.

    There will never be an uprising in India to deal with the corruption, the poor are unorganized and if they revert to the methods Ghandi used, the military will simply kill them all and blame it on Pakistan. I have no illusions about the Indian government and their ability to destroy any opposition, with their military. So until there are changes, water for kids, is about the best we can do along with Gates’s foundation which provides other necessities of life.

    We in the West have not put any or if much pressure on the billionaires in India to change their ways. We in the west benefit from the poverty in India, because it provides low cost labour.

    going back into the 1970 and 80s you could see the progress communist china was making, not through nice means, but it did pull itself out of the middle ages. India won’t. They will never have a Mao. As ugly as it all was, the Cultural Revolution, etc. there are times I still think, what if India had had another form of government….. They maybe a democracy, but then so is the U.S.A. and just look at their mess these days.

    (Response: It’s too bad that we have no one in the media (at least so far as I have seen) with the inquisitiveness …or backbone …to ask Trudeau, Scheer, Singh WHY we are providing $64 MILLION to a country that is wasting money so foolishly on a TWO BILLION DOPLLAR Space venture and $400 MILLION statue! Appalling! h.o)

  12. 13 says:

    @eaf7
    So you start out saying no to gov India
    Then you say yes as long as it’s to provide clean water
    Then you argue with yourself that why help India when people in Canada don’t have clean water
    Why can’t you just say that giving a country 64 million when they can afford a space program I’d not spending our tax dollars wisely. No sir not even eaf tax dollars

  13. Art Smith says:

    Hi Harvey, in answer to your question, why do we give $64 million to India, because we are idiots who elect bigger idiots to run the country. Idiots who would never spend a nickel of their own money, but want to virtue signal how concerned they are to the plight of the downtrodden less fortunates of some other country, but don’t give a damn about Canadians who have problems, unless they come from some large voting bloc.

    (Response: And they get away with it because we have a complacent media … mostly ambulance chasers now or lefty advocacy “journalists” (hear that, The National???) who don’t have the guts to even raise the question with ALL our supposed federal “leaders”. As I said, it’s not a question of cutting off ALL foreign aid, but surely it should not be politically incorrect to ASK tough questions about the hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money we give away … and expect it go to needy nations that are doing their own BEST to solve their problems … and are not wasting BILLIONS on mega-monuments or Ego maniacal silliness. h.o)

  14. e.a.f. says:

    ah, 13 I didn’t suggest giving money to the government of India but rather NGOs. a lot of them do very good work. Clean water provided by soundly run NGOs is the way to go. Yes, lack of clean water is a problem in Canada and Mom always said charity begins at home. Don’t worry if you’re confused by what I wrote, I’m also. Like what do you do? The reason some reserves and non reserve communities in Canada don’t have clean running drinking water, in my opinion, is that political parties of all stripes made a decision to not do it. Don’t see that changing because after 40 yrs. nothing has changed. what it boils down to in my opinion is some of those politicans don’t care about kids, they don’t vote and the adults are so few in number, their votes won’t change anything when it comes to winning an election.

    we need to do better by the children in this country and by the children in other countries, where their own governments won’t help.

    The U.N. is a good idea, but most of the staff are political appointees from countries, who are all trying to protect their own fiefdoms. As to the U.N. saying Canada is racist, yes, I’d go along with that, just look at the lack of drinking water on reserves, less money spend on health and education for Indigenous children, the “secular” act Quebec passed. The rise of alt-right organizations in Canada and the willingness of some key political figures to appear with them. Now of course we are way ahead of whomever is coming in second on that front, but lets not think we walk on water on the “racist portfolio” or caring for kids either here or abroad. If you have a good look at some situations in North America it looks almost as bad as some “third world’ countries.

    I know we’re talking about India and foreign aid but if you look at the pictures of some areas in Baltimore…..the Americans spent trillions in the middle east……….
    what is so funny about some of this, all these countries profess to be such devote persons of some religion or another. Just give me an atheist who cares about kids and whether they live or die.

  15. Gilbert says:

    I completely agree with you, Harvey. India has so many pressing concerns that it should not waste billions of dollars on a space project.

    (Response: Let’s hope someone asks them about that! Although it’s not likely to be Trudeau, Scheer or Singh. h.o)

  16. DBW says:

    The first two commentators figured this would be an easy topic where everybody would agree. And for the most part, I did too.

    But when people toss in things that have nothing to do with your topic (Jenny Kwan! the Governor General!) and others make widely generalized comments about foreign aid, it becomes less easy.

    Should India with all its problems be making moon launches? On the surface it would seem to be a foolish endeavour, but without knowing all of the facts (what do they hope to achieve for example) it becomes more difficult to judge.

    Should Canada be giving millions to India while they are spending money on this project? If the money is going straight to the Indian government, the answer is an easy no. But does that mean no money at all should be spent on India?

    And this is where the whole topic of foreign aid gets complicated at least for me. I have spent the last couple of days trying to get a handle on what is meant by foreign aid. I can’t find a whole lot on Canada except that we spend a lot less than most developed countries per capita. The US despite being the country that spends the most on foreign aid spends even less than Canada per capita and a lot of their foreign aid (about a third) is spent on military type things. The top three countries receiving foreign aid from the US are Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel.

    Foreign Aid takes all sorts of forms – short term humanitarian relief, economic development, training/education programs, health issues.

    So back on topic. Should India be receiving any kind of support from Canada despite its decisions to spend money on moon launches rather than helping its own oppressed people?

    Somebody above mentioned the Gates Foundation and I just happen to be reading Melinda Gates’ book right now. She spends a chapter talking about work her foundation has supported in one of the poorest regions of India trying to decrease infant mortality which can only be done by educating women and raising them out of poverty.

    Should Canada be supporting NGOs that are working there. I would say yes.

    Now I am not suggesting that we just throw money out there without accountability. Canada spends about $5B a year on foreign aid which is a hefty junk of change. We should definitely make sure that it is spent wisely. But when some of the people here suggest that we should be ignoring people because we don’t like what their country is doing kind of defeats the purpose of foreign aid. Sometimes those are the people who need our help the most.

  17. BMCQ says:

    I am well aware his could be cumbersome but it Foreign Aid (for want of a better term) is in fact the Funds Taxed away from Hard Working Canadians of all Income Levels so perhaps it is worth a look .

    Yes Canadians have Parliament and Elected MP’s but perhaps we could and should strike a Federal Committee of Elected MP’s that review All current and future proposed Foreign Aid Initiatives .

    Conditions change in Recipient Countries and in fact Governments change .

    Those Committees with hopefully Bipartisanship Members could put forth proposals and recommendations on various requests or needs from countries in need .

    Those findings can then be debated openly in Parliament and that in turn should be reported by Media which should then guarantee transparency for all .

    we then know who is voting for what and where Aid is earmarked .

    Then of course we have this . What do we do ?

    Venezuela which has the Largest Proven Oil and Gas Reserves in the World desperately requires Foreign Aid including Food, Clothing, Medicine and Medical Care .

    The U.S. and the Red cross amongst others stepped forward immediately and offered and in fact delivered all of those to the Venezuela Border and it was all rejected .

    Personally I would prefer to then see an illegal Air Drop of Food, Medicine, and everything else that may help the people of Venezuela .

    Yes, then there would be no accountability of where the Aid was allocated but we need to try, people are starving and people are doing without the Basics and Medicine .

    DBW – 16

    As to the Kwan comments . Simply an illustration of what can happen when Dishonest Politicians get their Snouts into the Public Trough .

    I know you are a person of integrity so I now wonder out loud why you have not been as quick to criticize others that post statements that do not quite live up to your high standards .

    Small Ball DBW Small Ball

    Unfortunately no matter how much accountability the Canadian Government attempts to maintain a very hgh percentage of our Foreign Aid Dollars will be miss directed and in fact Stolen .

    I suppose my final thought here would be that if push comes to shove I would rather lose a little as long as some of the Aid gets to the deserving people that are at threat .

    We should consider ourselves very fortunate .

  18. 13 says:

    BMCQ@17
    Your second to last paragraph struck me as a caring and generous way to excuse our Federal government for not hitting the mark when trying to help people in need.
    While I agree 100 % with that sentiment I am saddened that statement could be used to describe just about every file that our current Federal government administers.

  19. DBW says:

    Sorry Harvey, but I need to clarify something for BMCQ because he appears to think I am picking solely on him.

    Yes I should have just ignored your obsession with Jennie Kwan but the bulk of my post was directed at a whole range of comments. I was concerned that people were being too general and not looking at the whole picture. I was concerned at sentiments that we shouldn’t spend any money until we have cleaned up our own problems. I was concerned about comments that suggested foreign aid was just virtue signalling and pandering for votes. Even if there is some truth to that, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be supporting foreign aid.

    Sometimes I look at your topic, Harvey and see that there is plenty of room for agreement. This is one of those topics but I still don’t think we can look at it in completely black and white terms.

    For example. Should India have a space program given all that is wrong with India. Well, in the 1960s, the US with inner cities on fire, with African-Americans living in squalor and Jim Crow laws still in affect in most of the south, with Native Americans stuck on reserves, with white Appalachians living in poverty, and Latino farm workers barely surviving, the US decided to put a man on the moon.

    So as much as I might think it foolish of India for launching a space program, I am not going to be overly critical of them for making that effort.

    Now, should Canada be giving money to India while they are spending billions on a space program. I would say no to that. I am not even sure if they want our money as they now give out more than they take it. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be supporting NGOs and some of the great work they are doing in the region. As Melinda Gates makes clear: it doesn’t take a lot to put one well trained midwife with a decent set of medical equipment into a remote region of India to cut down infant mortality. So before I get too upset at the $64M I want to know how it is being spent.

    Which goes to BMCQ’s government committee to ensure that we are transparent on this issue. No problem. But I would be surprised if that doesn’t already exist. I don’t think a couple of ill-informed bureaucrats are stuck in a basement spinning a wheel ($64M) and tossing darts at a map (India). Whatever oversight committee exists should ensure that money is directed appropriately.

    We are never going to have a perfect system and money will be misdirected/wasted etc. but as BMCQ said at #17 “when push comes to shove I would rather lose a little as long as Aid gets to the deserving people who are at threat”. On that we agree.

    Lastly Harvey, sometimes your blog takes me into the wonderful world of google to gain more information on an issue you raise. I found this interesting.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_development_aid_country_donors

    When you look at the last list you see that European nations spend a much higher % of their gross national income on foreign aid compared for example the US and Canada. So when the US insists that Nato nations spend more money on defense/military will that be at the expense of their foreign aid budget and is that a worthwhile trade off? Topic for another day.

    (Response: Your reference to the US pursuing a Space program while there was poverty in so many inner cities actually draws more attention to how bad things are relatively speaking in India. Comparatively at that time the US was still a “rich” nation … in fact super “rich”. I have seen one stat that says “68.8% of the Indian population lives on less than $2 a day”. That’s 68% of the ENTIRE population!!! Nationwide!!! Not even the most virulent anti-American should compare the WIDESPREAD poverty in India to that of the US: kind of like saying Canada shouldn’t take part in the Space program either …because of problems on the Downtown Eastside. h.o)

  20. 13 says:

    DBW another apples to apples comparison? The USA in the 60s. Yes they had a multitude of problems. Yes they put a man on the moon. My question is how much foreign aid did the USA rec from Canada that year?

  21. Gene The Bean says:

    Response to #19

    Almost every single Indian in rural areas are subsistence farmers and/or farm labourers. They don’t have much – but they don’t need much. Comparing them to others with a ‘first world’ dollar per day comparison is an apples to oranges situation. Hundreds of millions of people just scraping by though is an abomination in 2019.

    DBW has made some truly great ‘on topic’ points here that are too numerous to list, thanks – so not sure why others chose to criticize and attack that. We had a stretch of excellent posts and comment sections, sure hope we aren’t headed (again) back to the gutter…..

  22. BMCQ says:

    Once again I am really impressed with comments on this Blog Topic .

    I may not always agree fully with commentary here but it is gratifying to see that people here seem to actually get it, contributors seem to grasp what is most important, we all basically want prosperity and good quality of life for our fellow residents of this planet .

    Yes I wan Accountability and I want Canada to support Humanitary Programs in other Nations but not at the expense of the Needy in those Nations .

    Again Canadian Tax Payers are under great pressures but at the same time I support Foreign Aid, we just need to monitor where and how much is distributed to various nations .

    Sadly the poor people of India obviously deserve support of Canadian Foreign Aid but they do not get it .

    I find it very difficult to understand how people of power in so many nations like India find it so easy to put themselves ahead of the rest of those simply scraping out a living out of anything they might have .

    It is no wonder so many those of us in the Free World feel so much guilt .

    Charity is something to cherish .

    (Response: There is more democracy taking place here … and better exchange of ideas and information …than on many MSM “professional” sites, services and blogs. And what better proof that “decision-makers” are watching us than the fact I now receive e-mails from some government ministries and other agencies inviting me to press conferences and minster’s visits etc. Of course, I don’t go … I’m retired! h.o)

  23. SB says:

    Canada’s government should not spend 1 time on foreign until we have no poverty issues here we haves seniors who need better care working poor who could use help and much more that can be done charity should start at home .

    (Response: I disagree. We will NEVER totally solve all our poverty problems …and as bad as we have it, there are other people in other countries who literally are dying for lack of food etc or from dirty water etc. I have no objection to Canada helping where we can …generously …as long as the recipients (countries and organizations and people) are not squandering their own funds or stealing ours. h.o)

  24. SB says:

    Response to you Harvey.
    Then qualify projects to help and even then home should be first no we may never eliminate some issues but we sure as he’ll can do better how about free university education free medical dental at home might help I still think we need to fix issues in Canada before we fix India.

  25. BMCQ says:

    SB – 24

    Unfortunately we always seem to have those in our society that make bad choices, Drugs, Crime of mant kinds, and those that are just lazy . Then there are those that have legitimate challenges and we need to help them all .

    We must however hold Drug Addicted Individuals to account and they need to be apprehended and guided through detox and rehab so they can begin to live normal lives .

    We must break the back of enabling Poverty Pimps including Politicians who have turned Poverty into an Industry for themselves .

    Addressing that would long term save tax payers money and save lives . We would then be in a position to do more for Seniors .

    That along with more transparency on Foreign Aid would hopefully ensure that Tax Payers would know where their Tax Dollars were going .

    The most vexing thing about Harvey’s Topic here is we do not hear enough from Media and Opposition Politicians, this needs to be an Election Issue .

    As it was suggested up the page and now by you India does not deserve our Foreign Aid, unfortunately the General Peasant Class of India and other similar countries does need and fresher energy our help, what do we do ?

    As to Free University Education In Canada ?

    Firstly we need to find Efficiencies, then we need to cut out Arts and Humanities Courses. Then we need to get Teachers back to Teaching instead of Navel Gazing for much of their week .

    There is absolutely NO reason why Four Year Degrees cannot be completed in Three Years, we need a total review on how University Education and Degrees are completed .

    Universities and how they function are becoming nothing less than a Flim Flam Racket, no better than a Shell Game .

    Time for big changes .

    I am in the Bay Area for two days and as most aware the Homeless Catastrophe is as bad here as YVR except the weather is better so there are any more Homeless .

    It is quite sickening to see Tax Payer Money from Canada and thevU.S. going to India for their Space Program when we have so much tragedy in our own backyards, who could really argue with you ?

    Someone suggested we send only funds to specific projects in India or others but that will not work as they will just play that Shell Game with the Funds you have earmarked for clean water .

    Women are treated worse in India than almost any Industrialized Nation we need to have the UN Demand more from India, they need to get their own house in order before they attempt a Moon Shot .

    Western and other Free World Nations need to call India out on this, all of it .

  26. DBW says:

    I have probably spent more time researching this topic than any other of your topics Harvey so I hope you don’t mind if I pass along more of my findings.

    In your headline you asked a specific question: Why did Canada give India $64M in foreign aid?

    Unfortunately I can’t find anything specific to Canada but people in the UK are struggling with the same question and here is the government response.

    “The UK no longer gives any money to the Government of India.

    More than half of the projected £98 million will be invested in Indian enterprises, while the rest funds technical expertise. Together these help develop new markets, whilst creating jobs for some of India’s poorest and marginalised people.

    At the same time, this will also help create jobs for UK businesses, and generate a return for the UK. This is a win for the UK and a win for India.”

    https://dfidnews.blog.gov.uk/2018/12/27/uk-aid-to-india-uk-no-longer-gives-any-money-to-indian-government/

    Now I am not going to argue that this is absolutely the full and honest truth but if so

    – no money to the Indian government
    – projects will benefit British firms and increase British jobs while creating jobs for India’s most marginalized people.

    If that is how Canada is spending its foreign aid in India would that be a satisfactory use of the $64M?

    While I couldn’t find anything specific to Canada I did find this site which I found cumbersome to navigate but I did check out India and the $64M spent there.

    http://cidpnsi.ca/canadas-foreign-aid-2012-2/

    If you click on India and then “details” you will get a vague idea of where some of the money goes.

    There are some bilateral arrangements; in fact one involves just Alberta and another Manitoba. Not sure what they involve but perhaps sharing expertise on hydro electricity or pipelines.

    But about 75% of the money goes to what is called multilateral which is money given to large agencies like the UN, IMF and the World Bank but might include NGOs although I am not sure.

    I know there isn’t a lot of information to conclude anything definitively but it doesn’t look like any money is going to the Indian government

    I also researched the Indian space program. And while I am not convinced that it is the best use of its resources, the program is more than just some vanity project. The technology and expertise gained from this work can be used in other areas. In fact, India set some kind of record for putting the most satellites into space using one rocket. Now other countries are asking India to put satellites into space when the US or Russia had been the go to countries.

    I am not sure if that is a good return on India’s investment but I am also not sure if it isn’t. As India transitions from a developing to a developed country we have to accept some of the decisions they make.

    And one of those decisions is actually refusing direct aid to India. They did not accept any money for flood relief last year. They are developing their own foreign aid program so they can be equal to first world countries.

    Sorry for being lengthy but this is a complicated topic. I am going to go out on a limb and try to see how much common ground we have here.

    If Canada is sending money to the Indian government (and I doubt if they are considering India’s past refusals) then it should stop.

    Bilateral aid to India that ultimately helps both countries is OK.

    Money given to legitimate organizations that work with the most vulnerable of India’s regions is also OK.

    Thanks for the topic Harvey. It’s good to give my brain some exercise.

    (Response: We certainly agree on how vague the Canadian site is; I found it too, but really found it fuzzy, even when you click on “details”. Maybe purposefully? As for justifying aid IF it goes to those who need it badly, and does not go to the Indian government directly, I get that …but don’t think that’s good enough. For example, let’s say you knew a neighbour who’s kids were very poorly housed in a cold, badly leaking apartment, very poorly dressed in old, torn castaway clothing, very poorly fed, even starving on occasion, while their mother and/or father spent tens of thousands of dollars on booze, parties, jewelry, high fashion clothing or luxurious trips for themselves … is it the best long-term solution for you ..and I ..to just keep stepping in feed and care for the kids? No. The parents MUST be exposed, denounced, chastised and be forced to STOP WASTING their money on frivolous self-indulgences … and that’s what Canada …and the rest of the donor nations …MUST do in the case of India (and other aid-squandering nations). Just keeping on giving …and/or even increasing the amount …does nothing to solve the underlying problem… the terrible waste of her own funds by Mother India. h.o)

  27. BMCQ says:

    Indeed this subject and the debate about Foreign Aid from and to any country needs more discussion and more transparency .

    It is more than obvious the citizens of donating Nations for one reason or another are not anywhere as near understanding of the allocation of Foreign Aid Funds as they should be .

    Then again the Leadership/Politicians of Donating Nations are also not informed about the allocation of funds, simply want to feel good about Foreign Aid, or want to look good to the UN, should we be surprised ?

    Credit to the UK to recognize the faults of General Foreign Aid-to the INDIAN Government but can UK Officials properly carry out a vetting process on any given NGO ?

    I agree this is a very interesting subject and there can be many pitfalls .

    The Canada Foreign Map really makes me wonder just what the real percentage of Foreign Aid actually gets to the needy Peasant Class in any given recipient country .

    I honestly hate to think about how little that might be .

    I hope so .

  28. e.a.f. says:

    #25, if we waited for countries to get their “houses in order” before they had a moon shot, Russia and the U.S.A would still be earth bound. Life in America was not pleasant nor was their house in order, regarding women. there was segregation just about every where, really it was 1969. remember the times well.

    Women who were raped were “raped” again by the Justice system. the women were on trial, not the men who raped them. Most women wouldn’t even go to the police. then there was the no small issue of domestic violence.

    In no way am I suggesting things aren’t bad in India, but try to remember what it was like in North America for women in the 1950, 60, 70. We just weren’t as open about it. Want to know how many Moms fell down the stairs in those days? That is how they explained their black eyes

    Oh, and lets not forget all the sexual assaults and harassment in the RCMP of women and all the rapes in the armed forces……….

  29. 13 says:

    I shudder to think of how we can expect our Federal government to ensure our tax dollars are spent wisely in the nations we try to help.
    Either we give the auditor generals office the power to stop funding of any gov program it sees as wasteful or as someone suggested we direct the aid to go to orgs that have a proven track record .

  30. 13 says:

    @eaf 28
    Once again you have taken the opportunity to carry on your narrative in the face of facts.
    The premise of this topic is Canada providing aid to India while it can afford a space program.
    How much aid did we provide to the USA in 1969

  31. BMCQ says:

    e.a.f. – 28

    Please inform me, just exactly how much Foreign Aid was the U.S. and the Soviet Union receiving from Canada and other countries .

    All countries have and had Human Rights abuses and problems and it is most difficult for other countries and say the UN to demand change without pressure by boycott, isolationism, tariffs, or other persuasion and that is what should happen in the case of India or other similar situations .

    The Countries all mentioned can do what they chose with their own money but the whole Blog Topic here is about should Canada be sending Foreign Aid to India, is it not ?

    As to the Ridiculously Unbelievably Dishonest and Pandering Vote Getting Payouts to Former RCMP Employees by the PM Justin Government without any Proven Convictions of only simple Allegations ?

    Absolutely Disgusting !

    That Decision Taints the whole of the RCMP and as a Canadian I am ashamed of the Canadian Government, surely we can and should be better. Are we not ?

    What kind of a Democratic Country hands down awards on Allegations we may not know are true ?

    I don’t know about the rest of you here but this Disgusting Decision by the Liberal Government is an Insult to all Canadians but especially the RCMP and in one quick stroke of a pen Canadian PM Justin has Shamed, Vilified, and Convicted ALL RCMP Members in His “Kangaroo Court” just so he can once again make a silly juvenile headline in Media right across the country .

    Interestingly enough even Opinion Columnists are afraid to push back on this atrocity .

    Yes, sure, just step up, sign on the dotted line, say you were harassed and await your Chequers from PM Justin, why not, it is free Money is it not ?

    And hey, that Cheque is not even deemed earned income .

    How Shameful !

    And here I was being so critical of India and the Transgressions of that Government .

  32. DBW says:

    Still searching, Harvey.

    I found this interesting, even though it has nothing to do with India specifically.

    In some cases, Canada gives money straight to the people who need it.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-aid-cash-transfer-global-affairs-1.4900918

    And I found this site from the government of Canada.

    https://www.international.gc.ca/gac-amc/publications/odaaa-lrmado/sria-rsai-2016-17.aspx?lang=eng#7

    It isn’t particularly friendly to navigate. There is a section on major recipients of foreign aid. India was 12th on the list, but I could only find brief write ups on the top three – Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Jordan.

    Virtually all of the aid to Jordan revolves around helping with the refugees that have flooded into that country. I only point that out for those on here that have suggested that we shouldn’t have any foreign aid program at all. As far as I can tell, Jordan is one of the good guys in the Middle East and is deserving of support in helping Syrian refugees.

    A huge chunk of our money also goes to disaster relief. Even the most hard-hearted will likely
    support money to countries suffering from earthquakes and hurricanes.

    Whether you agree or disagree with the Indian space program, I don’t think it fair to characterize it as a vanity project. The US space program did much more than just let Neil Armstrong wander around on the moon for a couple of minutes. It has helped with defense, communication, climate as well as advancing other technologies.

    I doubt that we would be complaining nearly as much if India were putting the money into hydro electricity or other economic drivers (and I bet they do anyway) because we understand the benefits of those projects. To be clear, I am agnostic about their space program, but if they seem to think it worthwhile who are we to argue.

    But I really do wish I could find what Canada actually spends its money on when it comes to India. It would certainly make this discussion easier.

    (Response: What about India’s spending $400 Million US on a STATUE?? See it here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/world/asia/india-worlds-tallest-statue.html Ridiculous waste of money! Clearly any country that does that should be able to take care of their own. Use our $64 Million to assist even more poor here at home or in well deserving communities overseas. What message/lesson does it send if they WASTE like they do …and we just keep giving?? h.o)

  33. BMCQ says:

    We did touch on the India Statue on the Harvey Blog sometime earlier this year but I could not locate it .

    As to Jordan ?

    We also touched on JORDAN and King Abdullah who is perhaps one of the greatest, most courageous, generous, and caring Leaders World Wide .

    At that time I suggested Canada give more and I also suggested that other World Leaders call out Saudi, Emerites, Kuwait, Iran, other Arab Nations along with China, and some of the others at the UN and demand that those wealthy nations provide JORDAN with Foreign Aid to feed, clothe, house, and educate deserving Refugees who are there through no fault of their own .

    Countries like Canada-and others might consider providing Funds to Israel Medical Charities that provide Medical Care and much more for Syrian Refugees that Cross over into Israel under threat or worse and then death so they may acquire medical care and more .

    Both of those are much better bets than India .

    King Abdullah should be recognized at the UN Assembly for his great Humanitarian Efforts .

    Again , let us hope that this very thing becomes an Election Issue, Canadians need to hear more from Politicians on this .

    Well done and very informative .

    (Response: For some reason, Canada gave CHINA $9 Million in Foreign Aid last year. But if we cut that off …they’d probably kidnap another couple of Canadians! h.o)

  34. e.a.f. says:

    BMCQ, at one level its why bother responding to your tirade regarding what went on in the RCMP. Well you may not know, but many of us do. the allegations, well if you have enough of them they make a fact, as an old lawyer used to tell me. Remember that line about where there is smoke there is usually fire.

    It may have been in Trudeau and every politicians and senior RCMP officer to have simply settled. It wasn’t just allegations. there are people who talked about it. You think 300 people filed a class action law suite because it was going to be fun or get “some money”. They actually have to come forward and apply. That means re living the experience. Doubt you ever had co worker grab you in an elevator and shove his hands down your clothes. Who were you going to report it to, his friend, the manager.

    Have you ever had a good look at the what was then a young woman, who started this and what she looked like after it was finished. That was stress.

    I decided to respond because some of us know about work place harassment and work place sexual assault, etc. Its not a myth. it exists and it exists in masses. perhaps not in your company, but you go into large corporations, government offices, the military.

    Trudeau by signing this agreement made it all go away in one fell swoop and it saved this country if not hundreds of millions but probably into the billions. If each of these cases had to be proven in court, we don’t have enough Judges in this country to hear all the cases. Each case could have dragged on for years.

    You have given a great defense of the RCMP. At another blog where they’re discussing the RCMP, its a little different and as I wrote there, in one detachment of 10 men, back in the late 70s, 8 said they hit their wives, one said no, and one said not your business. If this is what goes on in the privacy of their own homes, what do you think goes on in the work place. Obviously you didn’t have a female friend, daughter, sister who married into the RCMP. The 1970s, 80s, were not good times for women or the LBGTQ in the work force. things have improved, but still there is work to be done.

    going back decades there were studies which concluded women who were married to “peace officers” were more likely to be physically assaulted than women who weren’t married to cops.

    There are and were a lot of good RCMP officers, there are also and were an awful lot of bad ones, in my opinion. they abused their authority, were predators, racists, the list goes on. Trudeau didn’t settle with the employees because he isn’t tough enough, he settled because he knew the truth and that was going be very expensive not just an international embarrassment. If you think I’m lying, just do a search on police officers and domestic abuse. Its some read.

    I’ve concluded you’re not keen on the federal Liberals. I’m not keen on them either, but Trudeau did the right thing. Having done some work in the area of sexual and personal harassment, I know its rampant. Just look at the latest study out of the British Parliament. Pigs are pigs regardless of what country they live in. After fighting for decades Canada is one of those countries which has made headway in the field. Now that the RCMP has unionized, workers will be able to file grievances and go to arbitration to settle these issues and these huge class actions may no longer be necessary.

    Don’t know how old you are but back in the 1970s in a lot of places of employment women were considered good for two things, fucking and filing.

    Did you think those woman at the Georgia are the only ones in the country alleging sexual harassment and assault, its all over the place,

    so in the end, yes, Canada has some disgusting history regarding racism, etc. Just check with the Indigenous people in this country. You do remember the residential schools do you not?

    It simply goes against the grain to let these types of comments go by. the best thing which could happened to RCMP is to expose it all, but that will never happen.

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