Cancellation of Unsustainable Debt

January 5, 2001

The Honourable Paul Martin
Minister of Finance
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Minister:

At its Annual General Meeting in 1999, members of the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) adopted a resolution entitled, “Cancellation of unsustainable debt of less developed countries”, which voiced members’ concern about the effects on the less developed countries of their increasingly unsustainable debt load. The NCWC has supported initiatives (such as the demands of the Canadian Women’s March Against Poverty and Violence) and projects which have shown that it is both economically feasible and socially imperative to cancel the debt owed by highly indebted poor countries. These debts have a particularly negative effect on women.

Accordingly, I am delighted to write to commend you, Mr. Martin, for your recent initiatives. We understand that the declaration of the moratorium begins the process of forgiving the debts of eleven of the world’s poorest countries who have satisfied Canada they will work towards democracy and the alleviation of poverty, and will not use the savings to finance war.

We urge you to continue to work with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to extend and complete the process of debt forgiveness as soon as possible.


Elizabeth Hutchinson
National Council of Women of Canada

cc: The Right Hon. Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister
The Hon. John Manley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Maria Neil, NCWC Convener Economics, President O-C Council of Women