Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Pro-Israel Shift?

[2 December, 2004]

Mr. Derek Lee (Scarborough-Rouge River, Lib.): [ Lee.D@parl.gc.ca] Mr. Speaker, recent voting at the United Nations and statements by Ambassador Allan Rock may have left an impression that Canada has changed its longstanding policy toward the Middle East. Some say it may show a pro-Israeli shift. Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs indicate to the House the significance of these votes?

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): [ Pettigrew.P@parl.gc.ca ] Mr. Speaker, our longstanding policy toward the Middle East has not changed. It continues to be fair-minded and based on principles. Again, we review each resolution with a view to ensuring that our voting position is consistent with our policy. Our approach with these 22 resolutions is to assess them on their merits. This year we have decided to change our vote on three of them.

Tomorrow we will vote in support of a resolution that, among other things, is calling on Israel to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, because we believe that this would be a good step toward.