December 3rd, 2007
The Honorable Stéphane Dion
Federal Liberal Leader and Leader of the Official Opposition
House of Commons
Dear Mr. Dion,
On behalf of the National Council on Canada Arab Relations I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being our guest at our gala dinner held in Montreal on Friday November 23, 2007. The Keynote speech that you delivered was very well received by all in attendance.
We would like to commend you for taking a morally unassailable position by insisting that all Canadians are equal before the law, even those we do not agree with. We also agree that it is in the interest of Canada that our government work through multilateral organizations, including the United Nations, and that international law should direct Canada’s foreign policy.
This was a refreshing statement by the leader of Canada’s Official Opposition, considering the government’s movement away from respect for international law in favour of policies inspired by dogma and partisanship.
I wanted to share with you some feedback regarding your speech that I received from several of our members. Some in attendance remarked that they intended to write commentaries and letters to editors about your speech, others indicated a considerable satisfaction with the tone and tenure of your address. In general, NCCAR received very good feedback regarding your speech.
We have taken note of several significant statements that you made including: the fact that you stated that the Occupied Territories must be vacated by Israel, and that you support the establishment of “an independent, territorially contiguous and viable Palestinian state.” We trust you understand that Israel’s continued expansion of its colonization de-facto prevents a two-state solution, and must be reversed urgently.
We have appreciated your passionate words on the environment and your awareness of the water shortage in the Middle East, as well as your expressed intentions of Canada’s need to help with regards to this issue.
As you stated, we need to ban cluster bombs, and Canada could take the lead on this issue just as Mr. Axworthy led the international community in banning landmines. We also noted your position on Afghanistan and your principled stand on Canada’s role in the world.
These are some of the policies and positions that the National Council and our various constituencies are supportive of. Therefore, we look forward to seeing them become part of a Liberal Foreign Policy Platform.
President / Présidente
National Council on Canada Arab Relations / Conseil national des relations canado-arabes
63 Sparks, Suite 301
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5A6