Letter to Minister Flaherty Re: The Annual Report to Parliament - May 22, 2007

May 22, 2007

The Honourable James Flaherty
Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada
140 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G5

Re: 2006 Annual report to Parliament on the Bretton Woods Institutions

Dear Minister Flaherty:

We would like to firstly congratulate you on the new 2006 Annual Report to Parliament on the Bretton Woods Institutions. We are pleased that some of the concerns we raised in previous meetings with Finance are reflected in the new format and content of the Report.

As in past years, the Halifax Initiative Coalition has developed a report card on this year’s annual report. The report card evaluates the transparency and accountability of Finance Canada to Parliamentarians. It does not assess the performance of the international financial institutions in these areas. We are pleased to enclose a copy for your records.

In general, we are encouraged by the enhanced content and format of this year’s annual report, and see this as a step in the right direction. Finance Canada should be commended for taking this “good faith” initiative. That said, despite identifying broad priorities in the new report, there is still no clear and systematic indication of corresponding goals, objectives and actions for the coming year. This is a major shortcoming, as the report provides no benchmarks against which to evaluate the Government of Canada’s performance in next year’s report or to register changing objectives.

We trust that the government will make every effort to ensure that many of the concerns raised in this year’s report card will be addressed in the next annual report to Parliament. We look forward to engaging with Finance Canada on this issue in the future.


John Mihevc, Chair
Halifax Initiative Coalition

Gerry Barr, President-CEO
Canadian Council for International Co-operation

CC: The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of International Cooperation
Graham Flack, Assistant Deputy Minister, Finance Canada
Samy Watson, Canadian Executive Director to the World Bank
Jonathan Fried, Canadian Executive Director to the International Monetary Fund