Engineers Without Borders Roundtable

On Saturday, November 26 MPs Irene Mathyssen and Glen Pearson along with Mrs. Mary-Ann Hodge came to the University of Western Ontario to speak with the students.

The first topic which was discussed was termed Environmental Issues. Questions about the Millennium Development Goals, future limitations, and developing countries were all brought to the table.

It was clear that each of the NDP, Liberal and Green parties were all ready to have changes made to our current situation.

After some time, the topic was switched to focus on the Millennium Development Goals in particular. What Canada had managed to achieve thus far, what we hadn't, and why, all of these angles were spoken on. It was clear that there is much we still need to do in the next half a decade but that we had managed to move forward in a number of areas so far.

The last, and maybe most emotional topic was our national aid budget and how it was, and now is, being spent. The students wanted to know what had made Canada feel it could pull out of many countries in Africa and switch its spending to South American nations, who were far less impoverished, after the Development Assistance Accountability Act was instated. Along with this came questions of how CIDA was currently working and the lack of information available to the public about where our taxes were being spent.

In the end many participants felt that they had more new questions than how many they had come to the event with but now they had people to contact who could answer these questions themselves or forward their question on to someone who could.

We appreciate these political leaders making the time to listen to and engage students at UWO in a thoughtful and important discussion.

Tanner Jerreat-Poole, event organizer
Advocacy Team Lead, University of Western Ontario Chapter
Eastern National Advocacy Chapters Lead
Engineers Without Borders Canada
www.ewb.ca/en/whatwedo/canada