Published November 26, 2005
OTTAWA – Irish rocker Bono says Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin's inability to further increase foreign aid mystifies him, especially when he's facing an election in a country that clearly favors more foreign aid.
"I'm mystified, actually, by the man," the U2 lead singer said at a news conference Friday. "I like him very much, personally.
"I just think that it's a huge opportunity that he's missing out on. This is important to the Canadian people. I think the prime minister will find out if he walks away from the opportunity to (boost foreign aid) he will hear about it in the election. I am absolutely sure of that."
Bono said he was heartened by polls suggesting most Canadians support a boost to foreign aid. He wants Canada to increase foreign contributions to 0.7 percent of its gross domestic product.
That would more than triple the $2.5 billion Canada spends on foreign aid each year.
Speaking in support of the Make Poverty History project, Bono said Canada could easily increase Third World aid because it's the only major industrialized country in a surplus position.
Bono was in Ottawa for a U2 concert but spent the day meeting with politicians.