U2 frontman Bono inspired a sold out Vancouver crowd to pull out their glowing cell phones and give the Canadian Prime Minister’s office a ring Thursday night. He is trying to put pressure on Paul Martin to increase Canadian foreign aid contributions to poverty-stricken nations while on U2’s Vertigo tour.
“I think he’s a great leader for Canada and that he can do what we want him to do, to lead the world out of despair and poverty, this year,” exclaimed Bono in front of thousands of screaming fans in GM Place.
Bono had been an avid international campaigner for world hunger, AIDS, and poverty and is now propagating his message to the Canadians so that Canada will step up its current foreign aid contribution from 0.3% of the GDP to at least 0.7% by 2015.
Despite Bono’s pressure on Martin to do more, Martin has stated “we are very, very good friends,” when referring to their relationship. This relationship stems back to 2003 when Bono demonstrated his support for Martin at the Liberal convention where Martin was appointed the Liberal Party?s next leader.
Martin reiterated that Canada is already an international leader in AIDS and debt relief, but feels that compliance with Bono?s request for an increase in poverty relief from 0.3% to 0.7% of the GDP by the year 2015 is not a realistic attainment.