Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Funding for PA

[Translation]

Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil-Pierre-Boucher, BQ): St-Hilaire.C@parl.gc.ca

"Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Canada greeted the new emergency Palestinian government sworn in by President Mahmoud Abbas, who said that his primary objective was to have the embargo lifted on international aid.

Yesterday, the minister promised to respond to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinians. Does he intend to put his money where his mouth is and reinstate financial assistance directly from Canada to the Palestinian Authority?"

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC): MacKay.P@parl.gc.ca

"Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for her question. Indeed, our government supports the Palestinian people.

[English]

We, of course, will be working with the international community as well, as we have in the past, to see that funding flows to the Palestinians.

This has been a very tumultuous time. We commend the efforts of the president and the new prime minister. We look forward to working with them. I had the opportunity to speak with both of them on the weekend to indicate Canada’s support and our ongoing willingness to send the necessary resources so they can get on with dealing with this humanitarian crisis."

[Translation]

Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil-Pierre-Boucher, BQ):

"Mr. Speaker, just a few months ago, the government refused to meet with a Palestinian minister who was visiting Canada and who was not linked to Hamas.

Now that the minister has changed his position on the Palestinian Authority, can he assure us that in future, Palestinian ministers visiting Canada will be received by this government? "

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC):

"Mr. Speaker, the government has not changed its position. The conditions of the Palestinian Authority have changed.

[English]

This government has been consistent in its position. When it comes to the issue of terrorism, we do not deal directly with terrorist organizations, even if they form part of a unity government, as was the case in the Palestinian territories.

What we will do is work directly with leaders like President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad who is now in place. This will allow Canada to do much more with respect to our obligations with the Palestinians."