Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
NDP Shift on Durban II

Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, CPC): Reid.S@parl.gc.ca   

Mr. Speaker, in 2001 the Liberal government lent Canada’s good name to a world conference against racism in Durban, South Africa, that quickly degenerated into an anti-Semitic hatefest, complete with reported displays of Hitler glorification.
 
Fortunately, our Conservative government has taken a stand and announced that Canada will be boycotting the sequel to Durban. Now we learn that the New Democrats oppose the government’s decision.
 
Would the Secretary of State for Canadian Identity remind Canadians in general, and the NDP in particular, why our government has taken the principled stand that it has taken?
 
Hon. Jason Kenney (Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity), CPC): Kenney.J@parl.gc.ca  
 
Mr. Speaker, after some initial confusion, the Liberal Party members came out in support of our government’s decision to withdraw from the Durban process. I commend them for that.
 
Initially, the member for Outremont, on behalf of the NDP, also expressed support for this government’s principled decision to remove ourselves from this very problematic and historically hateful process, but the NDP members now say that things have changed and they are supporting it. What has changed?
 
Iran, a country dedicated to the destruction of the only Jewish country in the world, is vice-chair. It recently denied observer status to a Canadian Jewish NGO. The organizers have re-invited all of the NGOs who participated in the most extreme and odious promotion of hatred at the last Durban conference.
 
I say to the NDP members, shame on them for supporting this terrible disgrace.