The candidates in Canada's federal election have to discuss a number of issues, including foreign policy. That means talking about where Canada's foreign aid is going and how much it costs. Recently, Andrew Scheer promised to cut Canada's foreign aid by 25 percent, but after some fact-checking, it seems that his numbers are not exactly correct.

"The Trudeau government sends $2.2 billion of so-called foreign aid to middle- and upper-income countries like Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, China, Iran, Italy, Mexico and Turkey," Scheer said at a press conference, according to the National Post. "Worse still, some of that money is shovelled to repressive regimes that are adversarial if not outright hostile to Canadian interests and values — countries like Iran, North Korea and Russia."

Scheer's statement, after getting fact-checked by CBC News and National Post, isn't entirely accurate. In particular, the $2.2 billion figure seems to be the most misleading. According to the National Post, this number was arrived at by compiling amounts of money provided by Canada to other countries for a number of purposes, and not just what the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development describes as "official development assistance."

For example, Italy did receive $2 million from Canada, but according to CBC, that amount was to help the country after a 2017 earthquake. According to the National Post, it would have been designated as "international security and political affairs."

According to the National Post, some of the money that makes up the Conservatives' $2.2 billion figure is also money given to international organizations such as the World Food Program and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The money given to Russia, for example, was $200,000 in 2018, which was given to a group working to help LGBTQ people who are threatened in certain parts of the world.

Canadians on Twitter began using the hashtag #ScheerWeakness to point out Scheer's claims about foreign aid after revelations that Scheer was never a licensed insurance broker, which he had claimed to be in the past.

"Andrew Scheer lies to Canadians about foreign aid. He lied that he was an insurance broker & thinks nothing of spreading fake news about many issues!!" wrote Twitter user @LorneNystrom.

Twitter user @Speak4Tomorrow wrote, "It is clear that weak  @AndrewScheer's statements about foreign aid having nothing to do with facts, & everything to do with dog-whistle politics. The hallmark of the international Conservative movement."

 

The Canadian federal election will be held on October 21.


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