Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Foreign Affairs

Ms. Francine Lalonde (La Pointe-de-l’Île, BQ):   

 Mr. Speaker, negotiations for peace have reached an impasse. President Netanyahu, the new Israeli president, is questioning certain aspects of the peace plan. The roadmap provides for an end to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory and recognition of two states, and the UN advocates the return to the 1967 borders.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirm that recognition of these three points remains essential for long term peace in the Middle East? Is this in fact the Canadian position?
 
Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): 

Mr. Speaker, Canada’s position remains unchanged. Canada believes that expansion of the settlements, including through natural growth, does not help the peace efforts.

I would add that, in addition, the government also feels that not only the terrorist threat but also the refusal by some to recognize Israel’s right to existence and to self defence represent two major obstacles to the peace process.
 
Ms. Francine Lalonde (La Pointe-de-l’Île, BQ): 

Mr. Speaker, Canada chairs the Refugee Working Group. This forum has been inactive for years. What is keeping Canada from using it to put forward a proposal for a realistic settlement on the matter of refugees, which would serve as a basis for negotiations and could bring the two parties together? Why not?

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): 
 Mr. Speaker, in this regard, the Government of Canada has already done a huge amount. Hon. members will recall the international aid Canada provides in this sector. The minister responsible for this aid has been extremely active in this matter. Canada continues to support a policy to permit two states to live in peace and harmony side by side.