This history matters. Grateful for Raul putting Barbara Ward Jackson and former Canadian Prime Minister Lester on my radar in the area of International Development and “accountability.” These narratives have been laid out for over 50 years.
“The 1967 celebrations surrounding Canada’s centenary as a nation, particularly Montreal’s Expo 67 and its theme of Man and His World, gave this country greater confidence about its place in the international community. In June, only three weeks before the national birthday, Pearson proposed that Canada establish a research centre for international development, “a new instrument, concentrating more attention and resources on applying technology to the solution of … economic and social problems on a global basis.” Minister of External Affairs Paul Martin Sr brought Maurice Strong to Ottawa in 1966 to manage the external aid program. Later appointed president of the newly created Canadian International Development Agency, Strong’s mandate was to “change the shape of Canada’s aid effort” in such a way that it would include more than direct assistance. From his position at CIDA, Strong would champion the creation of Pearson’s “new instrument” to provide the forward-thinking approaches to international challenges that could not be addressed by way of more conventional programs. After his retirement, Pearson headed the Commission on International Development. Its 1969 report, Partners in Development (The Pearson Report), declared, “Both sides (i.e., the North and the South), have learned that cooperation for development means more than a simple transfer of funds. It means a set of new relationships … founded on mutual understanding and self-respect … [and] … a clear division of responsibilities which meets the needs of both partners.” Pearson’s call for partnership echoed Ward’s call for technical resources “properly deployed” as the best chance for successful development. Pearson’s successor, the Rt. Hon. Pierre Elliott Trudeau — invoking the tenets of justice and fairness that made Canada “a just society” — proposed to establish an “international development research centre.” In this organization, the strengths of research, observation, analysis, and collaboration would replace prescription from afar, and would enable countries being assisted to identify for themselves their development challenges and to mobilize their institutional, financial, and human resources. The parliamentary debate on the bill to establish IDRC attracted all party support. The legislation was symbolically strengthened by the deletion of the words “of Canada” from the proposed name of the new organization. The Centre was to be a different kind of public institution — untainted by party politics, self-governing, an aspect of Canadian foreign policy but that was first “of the world ” and only then “of Canada.” An Act to Establish the International Development Research Centre received royal assent on 13 May 1970.” https://idl-bnc-idrc.dspacedirect.org/bitstream/handle/10625/31730/121541.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y