Government Updates

Updates to National Joint Council Travel Directive Announced

Global Affairs Canada has communicated that The Grants and Contributions Management Bureau (SGD) has provided an update on the changes to the National Joint Council Travel Directive issued on July 1, 2017. Following the implementation of the changes, the department received multiple queries from suppliers and recipient organizations related to eligible expenses for non-public servants. The Grants and Contributions Management Bureau (SGD) consulted both within the Government of Canada and externally on the potential options regarding the governing framework for transfer payments (including related contracts). Further to such consultations, under the Grants and Contributions Budget (Vote 10), it was determined that for future financial instruments and where an active financial instrument’s clauses refer to the Travel Directive: 1) incidental allowances will continue to be paid; and 2) a suitable rest period shall not be unreasonably denied.

It is however important to note that the new restrictions impacting public servants (e.g. reduced accommodation and meal allowances starting on the 121st consecutive day of travel status at the same location) must also be applied to non-public servants.

For more information visit the National Joint Council Travel Directive page.

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

Read the full policy and priorities

On Friday June 9th, 2017, after a year of extensive consultation with over 15,000 people in Canada and in 65 countries around the globe, Global Affairs Canada launched the Feminist International Assistance Policy.  “Canada is adopting a feminist international assistance policy to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. This is the most effective approach for Canada to reduce poverty and to build more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world.”

The new policy includes 6 action areas:

  1. Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls
  2. Human Dignity (health and nutrition, education, humanitarian action)
  3. Growth that Works for Everyone
  4. Environment and Climate Action
  5. Inclusive Governance
  6. Peace and Security

The Inter-Council Network Reacts to New Feminist International Assistance Policy

June 12, 2017 – The Inter-Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils for International Cooperation (ICN) commends Global Affairs Canada on the launch of Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy (IAP), launched on 9 June 2017 by the Minister of International Cooperation and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau. A network of eight councils, representing nearly 400 civil society organizations (CSOs) from coast to coast to coast, the ICN appreciates the many elements of the IAP that reflect the voice and recommendations of CSOs and are encouraged by the commitment to a whole of Government approach to key global challenges.

The IAP echoes key recommendation made by the ICN National Submission to the International Assistance Review (IAR) including:

  • Linkages to the Sustainable Development Goals,
  • A human-rights based approach,
  • A focus on the poorest and most vulnerable communities and moving towards a more flexible and responsive definition of geographic engagement,
  • A commitment to take into account the perspective of those who receive assistance, consistent with the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) Accountability Act

Read the full press release


What does it mean to have a feminist approach? Read full FAQ’s

  • Canada’s feminist approach means that we will place gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at the centre of all our efforts. Based on the conviction that all people should enjoy the same fundamental human rights and be given the same opportunities to succeed, Canada will prioritize the investments, partnerships and advocacy efforts that have the greatest potential to close gender gaps, eliminate barriers to gender equality, and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Concentrating Canada’s international assistance on the full empowerment of women and girls is the most effective way for our international assistance to achieve greater impact. Inclusive growth, development, and sustainable peace are not possible unless women and girls are valued and empowered. This means having control over their own lives and bodies, participating fully as decision-makers in their homes and societies, and equally contributing to and benefitting from economic opportunities.
  • Agenda 2030 challenges the global community to once and for all put an end to pervasive gender inequalities, and Canada will rise to this challenge.

What is Canada’s financial contribution?

Canada’s international assistance envelope totals over $5 billion dollars a year. On a global scale, official development assistance (ODA)  accounts for $140 billion dollars annually.  When the needs for achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030 is between $5-7 trillion dollars.  According to numbers presented in a OECD report in April 2017, Canada’s official development assistance shrunk by 4.4% in 2016, and represents only 0.26% of Canada’s GNI.  Read more here. 

As stated by Minister Bibeau, “It is essential that we increase government contributions, but is also especially important to stop up our efforts seek out new partners and new investors.  We need to be more innovative, and even take a few calculated risks with very stringent monitoring.”

One way this will be achieved is through Canada’s new Development Finance Institution (DFI), announced in Montreal in 2016.  The DFI will work to leverage commercial investment with the goal of generating inclusive growth.  The DFI is expected to begin entering into deals in January, 2018.  The DFI was a key recommendation by Engineers Without Borders.  Read more about the DFI.

Canadians Are Back(ed)! Government Announces Renewed Partnership with Canadians on Global Cooperation

On May 10, 2017, Minister of International Cooperation and La Francophonie Marie Claude Bibeau announced a new $100 million fund for small and medium-sized organizations at the Canadian Council for International Co-operation’s Global Impact Soirée on 9 May 2017.  This comes after almost three years of discussions with the Inter-Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils for International Cooperation (ICN), and CCIC. The Councils, who represent close to 400 civil society organizations from coast to coast to coast, wholeheartedly welcome the announcement, which expresses and bolsters support for Canadians working on issues of poverty, sustainability, and human rights in a global context.

“Canada made a strong statement about our role in the world today,” remarked Michèle Asselin, Executive Director of  l’Association québécoise des organismes de coopération international. ”From a feminist perspective we have a lot to offer internationally, to help transform the lives of women and girls.”

“This funding will empower Canadians from all regions of our country to deepen partnerships and scale up innovative efforts to help women and girls realize their rights, and to help communities address the most significant issues of our generation, like climate change,” concurs Kimberly Gibbons, Executive Director of the Ontario Council for International Cooperation.

The five-year, $100 million fund will be made available to small and medium-sized  organizations using a two-pillared approach, one for responsive programming, and one for innovation to test ideas that resolve specific development challenges, particularly for initiatives that would support women and girls. According to Heather McPherson, the Executive Director of the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation, “Supporting the efforts of smaller organizations is an important step in leveraging the knowledge, passion, and commitment of everyday Canadians towards our collective responsibility of reducing inequality and ending poverty for the worlds’ most vulnerable populations.”

Dr. Zephania Matanga, Executive Director of the Canadian Multicultural Disability Center, a small-sized organization, and member of the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC), offers his congratulations to Minister Bibeau on providing a wonderful opportunity for small organizations to access resources to participate in the development of marginalized communities. “In Zimbabwe we could provide additional resources for education and healthcare for people with disabilities in rural areas,” states Dr. Matanga. “This will also enable the diaspora to participate in international cooperation.”  According to the MCIC’s Executive Director, Janice Hamilton, “We know from research and experience that Canadians, through small and medium-sized organizations, have strong ties to their local partners overseas, as well as their own communities in Canada.  They not only support the local communities to have access to water and sanitation in Cambodia, to improve maternal health in Afghanistan, and to assist farmers in Peru adapt to climate change, among others, but also share these stories and successes with their fellow Canadians.”

“It is a proud moment,” affirmed Janice, “and proof that government is taking a thoughtful, proactive yet timely approach to change. It is concrete proof behind the claim that Canada is back, she concluded.

Read Minister Bibeau’s Full Speech 

Download a copy of this press release here

For more information on this initiative and the work of the Inter-Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils (ICN) please contact:

Sara Farid

National Coordinator

Inter-Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils

(604) 260 0424

(778) 866 8805




Michael Simpson, Executive Director

British Columbia Council for International Cooperation

Tracey Wallace, Executive Director

Northern Council for Global Cooperation

Heather McPherson, Executive Director

Alberta Council for Global Cooperation

Jacqui Wasacase, Executive Director

Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation

Janice Hamilton, Executive Director

Manitoba Council for International Cooperation

Kimberly Gibbons, Executive Director

Ontario Council for International Cooperation

Michèle Asselin, Directrice générale

l’Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale

Jennifer Sloot, Executive Director

Atlantic Council for International Cooperation




Global Affairs Canada Announces New Funding and Support for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

On March 8, marking International Women’s Day, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie—along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau—announced an investment of $650 million over three years in funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights. As part of its strong commitment to gender equality and a feminist lens, Canada is taking a leadership role
by championing the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls globally.

Read more about this exciting news here.