Structural adjustment programs in Canada

Most Canadians would be surprised to learn that economists from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) annually visit Canada to dispense advice. We tend to think of the IMF as an institution that prescribes strong medicine, known as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), only to less developed countries. In fact our governments regularly follow the same bitter prescriptions.

In 1990 Prime Minister Brian Mulroney boldly declared that Canada needed to undergo structural adjustment which he promised to deliver through free trade agreements with the US and Mexico and harsh spending cuts. Little changed when the Liberals came to power. Much of the content of Finance Minister Paul Martin’s crucial 1995 budget that slashed our social safety net followed directives that came straight from the IMF.

We work to:

  • monitor and expose conditionalities imposed on countries through debt relief and cancellation, and through the IMF and World Bank's structural adjustment facilities;
  • educate Canadians about the impacts of conditionality;
  • put an end to all conditions in favour of a borrower-lender relationship based on mutually agreed arrangements that help to guarantee respect for shared obligations under international human rights law and probity in public financial management.

General Resources - Conditionality

Canada and conditionality-Related