Vancouver — Prime Minister Paul Martin was booed at a sold-out rock show by thousands who have sided with U2's Bono, a rock star who won't let Canada beg off the fight to end poverty.
Bono has been speaking out against the embattled leader for breaking a promise to raise Canada's spending on foreign aid. But at his first Canadian show of the Vertigo tour in Vancouver on Thursday, he asked the crowds not to give up on Mr. Martin yet.
“I think we're going to figure this thing out. 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.”
Bono, a long-time crusader for the relief of Third World debt, challenged Mr. Martin to deliver on a promise to raise Canada's spending on foreign aid to 0.7 per cent of the gross domestic product by 2015.
He flashed a phone number on the jumbo screens above the stage asking people to call the Prime Minister and give him the strength to write the cheque he now says Canada can't afford.