Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s tweet pledging $50 million for an international NGO has caused a huge backlash on social media with thousands of people arguing the money would be better spent on programs for Canadians in need.
On Sunday, Trudeau tweeted to South African comedian and host of “The Daily Show” Trevor Noah that Canada would pledge $50 million to Education Cannot Wait, an organization that funds education for children affected by conflicts, natural disasters and other crises.
Trudeau thanked Noah for celebrating Nelson Mandela’s legacy at the Global Citizen festival, an initiative aimed at ending extreme poverty by 2030, and said he was sorry he couldn’t attend the festival in person.
“But how about Canada pledges $50M to @EduCannotWait to support education for women & girls around the world? Work for you? Let’s do it,” Trudeau tweeted.
Hey @Trevornoah – thanks for everything you’re doing to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy at the @GlblCtzn festival. Sorry I can’t be with you – but how about Canada pledges $50M to @EduCannotWait to support education for women & girls around the world? Work for you? Let’s do it.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 2, 2018
Reaction on Twitter was swift.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer accused Trudeau of pledging $50 in a tweet to impress a TV personality.
“Taxpayers need a defender not somebody who throws their money around to be popular with celebrities,” Sheer tweeted. “This is how deficits become massive and permanent.”
Pledging $50 million in a tweet to impress a TV personality?
Taxpayers need a defender not somebody who throws their money around to be popular with celebrities.
This is how deficits become massive and permanent. https://t.co/lBdAtzH0eX
— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) December 3, 2018
More than twenty thousand people chimed in, saying the money would be better spent on a range of needs in Canada – from supporting Canadian war veterans, job creation programs for oil industry workers laid off in Alberta to paying down Canada’s ballooning debt.
Thousands of others supported Trudeau, saying the money will go to a very worthy cause that the majority of Canadians support.
With files from The Canadian Press