It was World Toilet Day on Nov. 19. Water, sanitation and hygiene issues should speak to all of us, but especially to MPs in the Trudeau government and those from the previous Harper administration.
The Liberals are proud of their feminist international assistance policy and their support for gender equality in Canada and abroad. So they should be very concerned that for almost 900 million the only place to go is outside in the bush or in the field, and for women and girls this is particularly dangerous as they are often sexually attacked. Also, one out of three schools in the world have no toilets so girls in particular stop showing up in their teens.
The Conservatives are proud of the maternal, newborn and child health initiative launched at the G8 Muskoka summit in 2010. This initiative has contributed to the fact that the number of children under the age of five dying each year has more than halved.
But mothers are still giving birth in hospitals that have no running water and no toilets. It is not surprising that this poor sanitation leads to a newborn dying every minute and sepsis accounting for 11 per cent of maternal deaths.
I am asking you to challenge all political parties to outdo each other in preparing a Canadian aid policy that addresses these needs as part of their 2019 election platform.