Irish rock star Bono gave another boost to Paul Martin on Wednesday, sitting at his side while the prime minister talked about what his government is doing for AIDS funding and Africa.
"I'm not here to elect Paul Martin or the Liberal party," said Bono.
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Bono and Martin attended a meeting on AIDS and then held a news conference in Ottawa, along with Aileen Carroll, minister for international cooperation.
Martin promised to contribute $70 million to the Bono-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Martin's pledge doubles Canada's contribution to the fund, which is a new program by the World Health Organization to help countries develop treatment plans and strategies.
Earlier this week, Martin announced an additional $100 million for an international initiative aimed at AIDS treatments.
"Canada is being clever," said Bono.
He said Martin's strategy cuts through the bottleneck and gets "pills into mouths." This week the Liberal government's legislation to provide cheap drugs to developing countries is expected to pass the Senate.
This is the second time the singer for the Irish band U2 has helped Martin get attention for his international initiatives. Bono was the keynote speaker at the Liberal leadership convention in November 2003.