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Dear Andrew Scheer, global generosity is a two-way street

As a resident of Mississauga, I am alarmed by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s plan to cut Canada’s international assistance budget by 25 per cent.

Canada didn’t write a blank cheque to Italy; we assisted with the rescue and recovery following an earthquake in 2017. Canada has benefited from the generosity of Australia, New Zealand and Mexico during last year’s wildfires in British Columbia. Global generosity is a two-way street.

Canada needs a strong foreign policy that includes defence and development. We cannot retreat from leadership and we shouldn’t abandon our allies. France, Germany and the U.K. are all increasing their investments in aid. Where’s Canada?

I care about Canada’s role in ending poverty. I want Scheer and my local candidate, Dipika Damerla, to know that helping people in need, both at home and abroad, should never become a partisan issue. It’s a good investment in peace, security and economic development. Anything less is a retreat from leadership.