Since last fall, the federal Conservative government has been withdrawing taxpayer funding from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that use their grants to take sides against Israel in the Middle East conflict. Now comes word that last week, Ottawa told the United Nations it would no longer fund the world body’s Palestinian refugee agency. From now on, Canadian aid to Palestinians will be directed to specific projects. We will no longer give lump-sum aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA), since most of that money simply goes straight into the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) general treasury, where it might be used for humanitarian projects or might be used to arm and train terrorists.
This is a bold move for Ottawa, which is the first Western government to cut off funding for UNWRA.
Although UNWRA has long been a biased player in the Arab-Israeli conflict, it is seldom criticized for its incitement of anti-Israeli hatred and violence by Palestinians. It has funded textbooks that deny the right of Israel to exist and paid teachers who call on Palestinian children to push the Jewish state into the sea. It harbours radical Islamists and anti-Semites on its payroll and was even caught in 2004 using its own ambulances to ferry terrorists away from Israeli sites they had just attacked.
[…]Ottawa also announced it would defund Alternatives, a Montreal NGO that two summers ago organized an education camp in Quebec, welcoming “500 motivated militants” from Lebanon, Iraq, “Palestine” and Venezuela.
International Development Minister Bev Oda withdrew $7-million in tax dollars, too, from KAIROS, an “ecumenical partnership” that had adopted a vehemently anti-Israel policy and been at the forefront of boycotts against the importation of Israeli goods and visits by Israeli professors.
Now there is some real leadership on foreign policy, from prime minister Stephen Harper.
Amazingly, Concertacion’s center-left candidate, Eduardo Frei, lost the election… to pro-free-market Sebastian Pinera, a self-made billionaire who vows to expand free markets even more. Following his exuberant 52%-48% victory Sunday, Pinera vowed to make Chile “the best country in the world.”
Saying he meant to be an “entrepreneurial president,” Pinera promised to cut red tape, improve investment, make it easier to hire and fire workers, make bureaucrats accountable and improve the climate for Chileans to start businesses.
He wants to partially privatize state copper giant Codelco to attract investment. He also wants to get tough on crime. Because he’ll have to work with the Concertacion congress, he may not achieve all of it. But given the political winds, he’s sure to achieve some of it.
[…]So instead of the 3%-range economic growth seen lately, Pinera vows to grow in the vicinity of the 7.2% pace Chile racked up in the first heady years after Pinochet’s dictatorship, when economist Milton Friedman’s Chilean Chicago Boys were in charge.
Instead of producing just wine, fruit and fish, Pinera wants new measures to encourage new industries to enrich Chile and its buyers around the world.
Can a billionaire like Pinera lead Chile? His past suggests he won’t rest on his laurels. As a businessman, he liked introducing new things to Chile; during the ’80s he introduced credit cards when these were barely known and made them a fact of life.
He also has a knack for rescuing failing industries and transforming them. In the 1990s he bought Chile’s battered state airline and turned it into LAN Airlines, now South America’s biggest carrier.
Chile’s markets are optimistic. The stock market rose 1% to its highest level ever on news of Pinera’s election.
Although Chile was being run by socialists, they were actually really good on fiscal issues.
I blogged before about how a pro-free-trade economic policy had produced so much economic growth that Chile received an invitation to join the prestigious OECD, an organization of 30 economic super-powers! Well, Chile accepted the invitation – they are the first South American nation to ever be in the OECD!
Chile is the number one place I would like to live if I could choose to live anywhere. But they have these terrible earthquakes! I don’t know what to do about that. I have this crazy idea to live in an earth-sheltered house, just to save money on utilities and to lower maintenance costs, so that I have more time for pets and friends. I wonder if they have those in Chile?
I also like Honduras (#99) and Colombia (#58). I was showing off my Honduras-made shirts today at work to one of the atheist-Democrat guys who is suspicious of free trade. I explained the difference between between foreign investment and foreign aid. I prefer foreign investment. The clothes are well-made, and I like to help poorer nations to grow their economy by trading with them – so that they have jobs they can be proud of. Today, clothes, tomorrow, LCD monitors! My parents were born in a poor country, just like Honduras or Colombia.
It isn’t businesses that hurt the poorest of the poor in these developing countries, it’s eco-socialists who want to restrict development.
And now let’s take a look at an article that provides more detail.
Consider this article by policy analysts Willie Soon and Paul Driessen, in which they argue that environmental extremism hurts developing nations by forcing them to remain in poverty.
Eco-colonialism keeps Africans “traditional” and “indigenous,” by insisting that modern technologies are harmful and not “sustainable” in Africa.
Abundant, reliable, affordable electricity could power homes, offices, factories, schools and hospitals, create jobs, bring clean running water, and generate health and prosperity. But Rainforest Action Network and other pressure groups oppose coal and natural gas electricity generation on the grounds of climate change, and hydroelectric and nuclear power for other ideological reasons. They promote wind turbines and solar panels that provide electricity unreliably and in amounts too small to meet any but the most rudimentary needs.
Biotechnology could produce bumper crops that overcome droughts, floods, insects, viruses, and even global warming and cooling. But Greenpeace and Sierra Club oppose this precision hybrid-making technology, and instead promote land and labor-intensive subsistence farming.
DDT and insecticides could slash malaria rates that Al Gore and other climate alarmists falsely claim are rising because of global warming. But Pesticide Action Network and other activists stridently oppose their use, and the European Parliament recently imposed new pesticide restrictions that will further restrict African access to life-saving chemicals.
This is important, because a lot of well-meaning, uninformed Christians are taken in by environmentalist rhetoric about saving the planet. We need to do good not just feel good while actually doing harm.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today travelled to Afghanistan, where he visited with Canadian Forces and civilian personnel stationed in Kandahar.
“From the very first day of the Afghan mission the men and women of the Canadian Forces and civilian officials, have served courageously and selflessly to help the people of Afghanistan build a better future,” said the Prime Minister. “Over the course of this mission our men and women in Afghanistan have made incredible sacrifices to defend our values and our interests. It is an honour for me to meet with them, to thank them, and to let them know that their country supports them. They make us very proud.”
Look, the Canadian general even put him to work as a field artillery spotter. (Photo credit:THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan are guided by the Afghanistan Compact, which includes a five-year framework for coordinating the work of the Afghan government and its international partners, outlining specific outcomes related to security, governance and development with benchmarks and delivery schedules.
For example, a new Afghan constitution has restored the rule of law and respect for the human rights of all Afghan citizens, including women and children. The Afghan people now vote, women and girls have rights, and children are going to school.
The biggest threat to rebuilding is continued violence and threats from the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In fact, terrorism is a clear and present threat to global peace and security, and terrorists used Afghanistan as a base of operations during the seven-year Taliban regime. In the interest of collective security, Canada and its international partners share a duty to help ensure that terrorism cannot take root again in Afghanistan.
And Canada is busy spending money on things like this:
The Prime Minister announced that the Government of Canada is deepening its partnership with UNICEF and the Afghan Ministry of Education to invest in improved learning centres, construct new schools for 18,000 children in Kandahar, and provide funding for a 10-month literacy course for 2,500 women in the region.
“Investing in education is vital to improving human rights and, in particular, the rights of women in Afghanistan,” said the Prime Minister. “My message to the people of Afghanistan, and to our international partners is clear. Canada will do its part.”
The Prime Minister also visited Kandahar’s Dahla Dam project on the Arghandab River. Eighty percent of Kandahar’s population lives along the Dahla irrigation system. The Government of Canada is investing up to $50 million over three years to repair the dam and improve its surrounding irrigation system while helping train local farmers in new water management and crop production techniques.
“Canada’s Afghan mission is more than just a security operation. It is also about making a real difference in the quality of life for thousands of Afghan families,” said the Prime Minister. “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to see, first hand, the kind of meaningful contribution Canadians are making to Afghanistan’s future.”
Hmmmn. Obama is spending a lot of money, too. I wonder what the trillions of dollars he spent on his special interest groups is accomplishing? Well, Warner Todd Huston at Stop the ACLU managed to track down some of it.
If we need no other example of why government can’t “stimulate” an economy, we have but to look at the use to which the city of Akron, Ohio wants to put some of its “stimulus” money. Akron, it seems, wants to spend some of that money for suicide prevention. Oh, not a general suicide prevention program that might at least employ people. No, Akron wants to build a fence on a bridge that seems to emit a siren call for jumpers to prevent them from killing themselves.
Akron’s All-American Bridge, a “Y” shaped structure that serves as a main artery into the city, has been a platform for suicide jumpers for so long now that area residents have nicknamed it the suicide bridge. Consequently, city officials have proposed using more than one million dollars of the city’s “stimulus” money to erect a fence that will help prevent people from being able to use the span as a means to an end.
There’s other stuff we could do with that money you know. Like making the rest of the world freer and reducing threats from terrorists to the homeland.