Rock legend Bono made a special visit to Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 15, during which the U2 front man discussed Canada's role in foreign aid. On a break from his world tour, Bono met with party leaders, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in the nation's capital - and he just may have found what he's looking for.
“Development assistance, or foreign aid as you call it here, is a really good way of showing who you are to the rest of the world,” the Irish singer told fans and reporters gathered outside the Peace Tower. “I actually want to thank Canada for its generosity, particularly to vulnerable women and children. It’s amazing work that you’re doing. I always say, ‘the world needs more Canadas.’”
Bono has been a longtime activist in the fight against AIDS and poverty in Africa. In 2004, he co-founded the ONE initiative with the mission to eradicate world poverty by the year 2030. The Queen recognized his efforts in 2007 when she presented him with an honorary Knighthood. “People getting out on the streets, getting organized and fighting to eliminate extreme poverty is working, and that’s the mission, because I believe if people understand it and see the successes of it, then they’ll do more of it,” he told reporter Charlie Rose in 2013.
This week’s visit comes more than a decade after Bono first met with Canadian officials, when he sat down with then-Prime Minister Paul Martin in 2004. During this visit, he regarded the country’s humanitarian aid as “really impressive,” but also told the Ottawa Citizen that he will be requesting more help from Stephen Harper’s government. “I’m always going to be asking for more. That’s who I am.”
Following his successful meetings on Parliament Hill, Bono rejoined his band mates on U2’s Innocence and Experience tour, which stops in Montreal on June 16th and 17th and Toronto on July 6th and 7th.