This submission analyses the report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (SCFAIT) entitled "Exporting in the Canadian Interest: Reviewing the Export Development Act". Our recommendations are primarily concerned with Chapter 9 of the Report on the Review of the Export Development Act (hereinafter the Gowlings report).
ONE YEAR LATER - What has Canada done about the Tobin Tax Motion? NOT MUCH! Write your MP, the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister before March 23.
On March 23, 1999, an exuberant Parliament passed a motion to "enact a tax on financial transactions in concert with the international community" with all party support by a resounding 164-83 margin. The motion was a strong message from Parliament that the political must regain control of the financial in the interests of the world's common wealth.
One year later, we have little progress to report. While the Canadian motion has sparked debate in Parliaments around the world, there has been little action at home. There have been no public hearings, no follow-up studies, no meetings of experts, in short, no substantive action to move the agenda forward either domestically or internationally.
Canadian organizations and individuals today called for an immediate stop on debt payments coming out of Nicaragua and Honduras.
4 November 1998 - In letters to the heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Finance Minister Paul Martin and External Affairs Minster Lloyd Axworthy, they asked that a freeze on debt payments be enacted for 90 days, in light of the disaster affecting the people in Central America.
Both Nicaragua and Honduras are considered heavily indebted poor countries by the international financial institutions, and pay out millions of dollars each month to outside creditors. Much of this money goes to the IMF, World Bank, and IDB. The two countries sent out US$888 million dollars last year - or $2.43 million per day.
Time is running out for international efforts to resolve the debt crisis
For Release: September 9, 1996
Time is running out for international efforts to resolve the debt crisis facing the poorest countries. At the end of September, Finance Ministers from around the world will gather at the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in hopes of finalizing a plan for debt reduction. At this late date, however, many key issues remain unresolved and the entire initiative could yet collapse.
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have proposed a framework of action to assist in resolving the debt problems of heavily indebted poor countries. In the current formulation of this framework, replenishment of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) has been presented as the centrepiece of the IMF contribution.
The IMF role was described in the brief prepared by IMF and World Bank staff for the April 23, 1996 meeting of the Development Committee:
"The IMF would also be expected to take action that would reduce the present value of its claims on a country, consistent with broad and equitable participation in the framework of this initiative. Various possibilities involving support under the ESAF which might achieve this objective are currently under examination."