As the public purse is tightening, Western governments are becoming increasingly skeptical of aid programs.
Harper bet that when push came to shove, Canadians would choose to prioritize a modest tax credit ahead of maintaining aid spending.
With today's global movement towards open government and increased transparency, Canada's reluctance to open its aid investments to greater international scrutiny is archaic.
Last week, as G8 development ministers gathered for their meeting in Halifax, the Canadian government tried its best to give us that warm, fuzzy feeling, selling the public the idea that Canada is still a moral leader in combating global poverty. They pointed to their signature child and maternal health-care initiative, trumpeting Canada's steadfast commitment to save the lives of mothers and young children particularly in poverty-stricken Africa.