The Hill Times
July 24, 2006
Liberal MP Bryon Wilfert (Richmond Hill, Ont.) said the Conservatives may be playing to their traditional supporters. "I don’t know, but I found that we enjoyed support from both people in the Jewish community and Muslim community and I think many people appreciate the good auspices that the people of Canada had in the region," he said. "What’s now happened is that we basically had, in my view, a significant shift. And that shift means that we won’t be able to really play any effective role in the future. Maybe that’s something he wants, maybe he doesn’t want us to play an effective role."
In his opinion, Mr. Wilfert said Mr. Harper will have a difficult time gaining support in urban areas with large Muslim populations. "Well, if he’s trying to get support in the larger urban areas, this is probably not going to be helpful," he said. "Certainly in the GTA, where you see a large Muslim community, as an example, and Montreal. The fact is that rightly or wrongly, there are new Canadians who come to Canada from all parts of the world who are more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, less so to Israel. There may be various reasons for that, but I would think that Canada, as all countries must do, must exert its foreign policy in its national interest."
Canada has to think about where Canada has come from and where it’s going and whether the policy directions are in the best interest of the country, Mr. Wilfert said. "We have to exert what we believe is the best interest of this country," he said. "A policy that previous governments have had over the years, I think has served us well in that particular region. That’s what I think Canadians, regardless of what faith they believe or where they come from, have supported in the main. That’s why I’m concerned."