Canada Cares, and that’s worth celebrating

Canada Cares, and that’s worth celebrating

Written by Nicolas Moyer for The Hill Times

Having worked in international development and humanitarian assistance for the better part of my life, it’s easy for me to understand why some people feel discouraged. Our newspapers and Twitter feeds are filled with stories of extreme poverty, human rights violations, environmental disasters, and international conflicts that seem never-ending. And it’s true that there will always be a need for continued efforts to combat the injustices that exist in our world.

Yet this is no reason to think that nothing is changing. In fact, we have plenty to celebrate.

Life expectancy continues to rise in developing countries. Despite seemingly constant media reports of violence, the fact is that interstate conflict has decreased significantly from past decades. There are more children and adults in school and receiving healthcare than ever before. Under-five child mortality has halved since 1990. We don’t often learn about these notable accomplishments from the daily news, because the results aren’t happening fast enough to make the headlines. But they are happening.

Two years ago, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation asked a research team to poll Canadians on international development and humanitarian assistance. The goal was to find out how Canadians feel about Canadian aid – Canada’s contribution to ending global poverty. The results were beyond encouraging. Two-thirds of Canadians self-identify as supporters of international assistance, and six out of ten Canadians are proud of the leadership role that Canada plays in the world. The majority of Canadians use words like ‘compassionate’, ‘generous’, and ‘outward-looking’ to describe our country. This is a country that aspires to build bridges rather than walls.

We know that international assistance matters to Canadians and aligns with their values. Yet Canada’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), the federal funding that provides support for the world’s poorest countries, has remained stagnant at 0.26% of Gross National Income. The average contribution of OECD countries – Canada’s peer group – is well above Canada’s own, and leaders like the United Kingdom, Germany, and Norway have met the global standard of 0.7% of GNI. Canadians expect Canada to do its part on the world stage. That includes doing its part to help the poorest people in the world.

By investing in inclusive development and humanitarian assistance, Canada will help reduce forced migration and conflict. There is a strong economic case to be made for development assistance, too: a more peaceful and prosperous world is a world with less need to deploy Canadian troops, which is costly in both lives and money. But what is the number one reason that Canadians want Canada to help? Because it’s the right thing to do.

In my work, I have had the privilege of meeting incredible Canadians who choose to spend their time making a positive difference. These are the people we will be recognizing and celebrating at our 29th annual International Development Week flagship event on Tuesday, February 5 at Canada’s National Arts Centre. This event, called ‘Canada Cares’, will invite residents and visitors to the National Capital Region to engage with photo exhibits, film shorts, live performances, and interactive activities showcasing the transformative work being done by Canadians and local partners around the world.

As Canadians, we don’t often take the time to recognize our own accomplishments. So I want to take a moment to say thank you: to our neighbours, our friends, our family members, our coworkers, and to you. Whether you’re volunteering locally or abroad, protesting injustice, writing letters to your MP, creating art to raise awareness, fundraising for a good cause, or teaching your children the value of generosity – thank you for making the world a better place. Together, let’s keep making it better.

Meeting the Climate Challenge: Accelerating the Transition to a Post-Carbon World

Meeting the Climate Challenge: Accelerating the Transition to a Post-Carbon World

Group of 78 Annual Policy Conference
Cartier Place Suite Hotel, Ottawa, September 28-29, 2018

Accumulating evidence shows the world’s ecosystem careening towards ever more unpredictable and disruptive outcomes, even as the global community’s responses become increasingly disjointed and incoherent. If this course is not altered, the global community faces an existential crisis that, similar to the use of nuclear weapons, could spell the end to civilization as we know it, and perhaps of humanity itself.

The aim of the conference is to identify policies, actions and forces to be mobilized to achieve transformation to a fully sustainable society, in every nation state and globally.

Too often, news reports of climate change related disasters in all parts of the world do not make the connection to human causes. Thus much of the global public remains in denial of the serious need to act aggressively both politically and economically.

Yet there are solutions. A small but increasing number of governments are adopting policies and promoting actions to mitigate climate change. Market forces are shifting toward cheaper green energy and other low carbon technologies. Civil society is mobilizing public opinion and advocating constructive government action.

Against this backdrop Canada’s Liberal government has defined itself – and has been widely perceived – as a beacon of hope and positive engagement in sharp contrast to the depressing spectacle of a US government gutting environmental regulations, doubling down on use of fossil fuels and actively sabotaging the modest achievements of the Paris Climate Accord.

While the Canadian government’s language in this drama has changed for the better since the previous government’s “war against science”, the question remains how serious is our government’s commitment to the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Recent projections indicate that Canada will fall well short of meeting its Paris commitments. Some argue that its efforts are incoherent and lack the ambition necessary to make more progress and show leadership on this front.

The conference will examine questions such as:

  • The complex context of the Climate Challenge, nationally and internationally, and the policy framework required to address it.
  • The leadership needed to promote global cooperation in addressing the Climate Crisis in a timely manner.
  • Creating coherence between green public policies and related socio-economic policies such as military and trade agreements.

A conference report will be shared widely and the Group of 78 will work with other organizations to press for changes in government policy and action to implement the conclusions and recommendations.

CCIC announcement on sexual misconduct in the sector

Members of the press are invited to attend an announcement made on behalf of the Steering Committee to Address and Prevent Sexual Misconduct in the international development and humanitarian sector.

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”Media Release – CCIC makes announcement regarding sexual misconduct in the sector – September 19 2018″]

CCIC announces new President-CEO Nicolas Moyer

CCIC announces new President-CEO Nicolas Moyer

CCIC announces new President-CEO Nicolas Moyer

CCIC announces new President-CEO Nicolas Moyer
Former Executive Director of the Humanitarian Coalition to lead the Canadian Council for International Co-operation in its 50th year



The Board of Directors of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) is delighted to announce the appointment of Nicolas Moyer as the new President-CEO in CCIC’s 50th year as Canada’s independent national voice for international development.


“Nicolas brings the passion and clear ability to work with a diverse national membership in a thoughtful and collective fashion. Those of us who have had the pleasure of working with Nicolas in the past can attest to his abilities in this area. I have no doubt that CCIC will be in good hands moving forward.”
Gillian Barth, Chair of the Board of CCIC


As the former Executive Director of the Humanitarian Coalition, Nicolas is passionate about humanitarian and development policy, advocacy, and government relations. Driven by a commitment to social justice, he began his career in international development in Ethiopia. He has founded and led organizations, launched dozens of national multi-platform fundraising and communications campaigns and raised tens of millions of dollars to assist survivors of humanitarian disasters. In 2016, he was named as a top Forty Under 40 recipient by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Business Journal.

Nicolas will be replacing Julia Sánchez in this role, which she has held for seven years since August 2011. Julia announced to the Board her intention to leave the position in December 2017, which allowed for ample time to find her replacement and ensure a smooth and sound transition. Julia will continue to lead the team until Nicolas joins in August 2018.


“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to follow in Julia’s footsteps and to work with CCIC members to advance our shared objectives. It’s a beautiful challenge, with no end of opportunity. My belief in the potential of cross-agency or cross-sector collaboration is deeply rooted. Together I believe we can better tackle the challenges ahead for our sector and create new opportunities to expand our capacity to secure brighter futures for those we seek to help around the globe.”
Nicolas Moyer, incoming President-CEO of CCIC

For more information, please contact CCIC Communications Officer Jessica Ruano by email at and by phone at 613 241 7007 ext 343.