by Scott Walter, CODE Executive Director

Along with CODE's Director of International Programs, Hila Olyan, and CODE Youth Representative, Stephanie Ferrao — I had the pleasure of attending the parliamentary address of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai as she received her honorary Canadian citizenship on April 12th. I have heard Malala speak before but left feeling more impressed than ever. Her message is clear and concise and spoken with humble conviction and self-assuredness, making it all the more forceful. In fact she couldn’t have been more explicit in terms of what she saw as a fundamental solution to the world’s problems. Education first, education for all!

International Development Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau provided a few comments to The Hill Times following Malala's speech:

“She’s asking us to focus on girls’ education, and we will,” said International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau (Compton-Stanstead, Que.), speaking in the foyer of the House after Ms. Yousafzai’s speech. “Women and girls will be at the heart of the new policy and we strongly believe in education,” she added, speaking about the government’s international assistance policy review, the results of which are expected to be released before the summer. The minister said it’s currently in the “writing phase,” and would not comment on whether the policy will include an increase in funding.

Seems like Minister Bibeau heard her as well. Given the Policy paper is still ‘in the writing phase’, maybe "Malalamania" will have an impact on what it ultimately says about education.

Malala addressing Canadian parliament

Malala visit to Parliament Hill

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Monday, April 24, 2017
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