Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Content of Flyer–Speaker’s Ruling

Madam Speaker, the member across the way for Scarborough—Rouge River has said this is a discussion about the contents of the particular ten percenter in question. Of course, the ten percenter in question refers to policy differences on the Middle East. As has been pointed out in the past, there is a vast disagreement between the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party on the question of the Middle East.

 

We mentioned earlier the issue of the Durban II conference. The Prime Minister, under this Conservative government, made the principled decision to pull Canada out of the Durban process before it even began, because it became clear to this government that it was going to be a forum for hatred and meanness. The rest of the world followed this Conservative Prime Minister in making that decision.

 

That was a very sharp distinction from the way the previous Liberal government behaved at the similarly odious Durban I conference, and I will quote what the Victoria Times Colonist said at that time:

 

  The continued presence at the conference of Canada’s secretary of state for multiculturalism no longer serves any useful purpose and, in fact, helps to legitimize what has become a propaganda forum for some of the worst anti-Jewish hatemongering since the Second World War.

 

That was on September 5, 2001.

 

It was clear at that time that this conference was not worthy of Canada’s participation, but the previous Liberal government did the easy thing and stayed at the conference and lent Canada’s legitimacy to it. Our party disagreed with that decision, and Israel and the United States of America took the courageous position of pulling out entirely.

 

The member for Mount Royal has made a very curious claim that Israel wanted Canada to stay at the Durban I conference. I have seen not one shred of evidence that is the case. In fact, it would seem to be explicitly contradicted by the fact that Israel itself pulled out of the conference, and so it would have no reason to advise others to stay behind.

 

I move on now to the subject of the conflict between Hezbollah terrorists and our democratic allies in Israel in the summer of 2006. During that conflict, this Conservative Prime Minister stood with our democratic allies in Israel and backed them up when it was very difficult to do so. By contrast, the current Liberal leader used the occasion to accuse Israel of war crimes. Members of the Liberal caucus marched in the streets with Hezbollah flags blowing in the wind behind them, and one Liberal MP even said it was a good time for Hezbollah to be legalized in this country.

 

That was the position of the Liberal Party. I respect the right of the Liberal Party to take that position. I disagree with it, but it is wrong for the member for Mount Royal to subsequently demand that others be silenced when they point out those facts.

 

On the subject of Hezbollah, I would like to take a moment to recognize the Minister of International Trade, the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla. He is here in the chamber and when he was in the House of Commons as a member of the opposition, he stood and relentlessly called upon the Liberal government to back down and ban Hezbollah as it was a terrorist organization.

 

There was tremendous Liberal resistance to his call.

 

The Liberal Party argued that Hezbollah was a social program and that it needed to remain legal, but because of the relentless efforts of the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla, who is currently serving as the Conservative international trade minister, the Liberals were reversed and Hezbollah was banned.

 

As we continue to look at the record of the Conservative government, we will see that this government has led the way in the global effort to defeat terrorism. Our position has been dramatically different from that of the Liberal Party.

 

These are facts. They are irrefutable as facts. The member for Mount Royal might not like these facts, but he cannot change them and he cannot suppress others from making them known.

 

Therefore, I thank the House for the occasion to speak and I honour the great Canadian tradition of free speech where members of all parties can contribute their point of view.

 

I humbly suggest in conclusion, that as opposed to try to suppress the facts about his party, that the hon. Liberal member for Mount Royal might renounce the positions that his party has taken, and commit that he and his party will start anew on these issues.

 

In that spirit of renewal I think we could all come together.
 

To view the complete debate in the House of Commons click here