Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
International ban on Iranian oil?

[23 May, 2006]

Hon. Keith Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, Lib.): [Martin.K@parl.gc. ca] “Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, but he must also recognize that this is Hitler’s shadow stalking the earth, that this is the same regime in Iran that has denied the Holocaust and has state sponsored persecution of members of the Baha’i faith. Quite frankly, words are not enough.

“I ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs if, at the very least, he has called in the Iranian ambassador to Canada to express Canada’s disgust over these actions in Iran.”

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC): [MacKay.P@parl. gc.ca] “Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the intent of the question, but to pre-emptively call in somebody and express dismay over an allegation would be nothing short of irresponsible. The Islamic fashion legislation has not become law and we are unaware of the specific content of the draft legislation.

“Surely, as has been expressed by the parliamentary secretary, we would condemn in the strongest possible terms if in fact this were to happen, but we will be following this issue very closely and responding appropriately in a measured way.”

Hon. Keith Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, Lib.): “Mr. Speaker, Canada’s response must be focused, clear, strong and unequivocal. I ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will he bring the matter up at the United Nations Security Council? If this comes to pass, will he then call for an international ban on the purchase of Iranian oil?”

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC): ”Mr. Speaker, if in fact this allegation and this legislation are verified, then certainly we will respond appropriately. Certainly we will take all measures through the United Nations and through other diplomatic means to express Canada’s dismay, along with our international partners.

“It would be nothing short of irresponsible to act precipitously, to do as the hon. member is suggesting, to condemn in the strongest possible terms, to follow all diplomatic means, based on one single solitary factor and that is to verify that it is true. The member knows that has to be the case.”