Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Foreign Affairs

Hon. Bob Rae (Toronto Centre, Lib.):
 
Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
 
When she visited Israel, Ms. Clinton stated clearly that the United States was still in favour of two states representing Israel and Palestine.
 
I would like to know whether that is still Canada’s policy.
 
Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC):
 
Mr. Speaker, I want to reassure my hon. colleague. I also want to congratulate him, because I saw that he was Canada’s ambassador in Syria. He travelled to Damascus and reiterated Canada’s policy on the Middle East, which is that we support two sovereign states living side by side in peace and harmony.
 
[English]
 
Hon. Bob Rae (Toronto Centre, Lib.): 
 
Mr. Speaker, in that light, I would like to ask the minister this. Compared to the United Kingdom, which has increased its budget for diplomacy and for public diplomacy, and the United States, which has increased its budget for the state department and for public diplomacy, how can he explain why only Canada is going in the opposite direction and is preventing our diplomats from doing their job and carrying out the policies that he claims to support on behalf of the Government of Canada?
 
Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): 
 
Mr. Speaker, I am sure my hon. colleague, who has just come back from Syria, has been in a position to realize that Canadian diplomacy is alive and thriving. Our budgets are there. Our people, our ambassadors and our diplomats are doing exactly what they are supposed to do. Our policies are being carried out in the rightful and strong manner in terms of governance issues, in terms of freedom, in terms of the rule of law and in terms of human rights.
 
That is the position this government holds to and that is what we will continue to do.