This tidbit in the Globe and Mail today is remarkable for its complete lack of irony in reporting the latest ramp-up in Canada's orwellian policy of subsidizing Canadian mining multinationals and calling it "foreign aid."
Indeed, this is simply Harper trying to distinguish himself from the platforms of the Liberals (legalize pot) and the NDP (tax pot) in the next election. Since neither of the other parties have anything remotely this clever in their playbooks I think it's fair to call it a home run.
Apparently when Canadian-based (it's a bit of a stretch to call most of these companies "Canadian"; they are domiciled here for a variety of reasons around liability and access to capital markets) operators make billions in some of the most impoverished countries on the planet, they "support thousands of well-paying jobs across this country", which is a bit of a stretch, if not technically a "whopper."
What Dan Gertler's shake-down of First Quantum might have to do with this policy is unknown, but nevertheless Canadian officials seem to believe that it's their duty to spend tax-payer money on "improving the investment climate abroad" for the mining companies.
But why is it called "foreign aid?"