Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Syria / Oral Question

Ms. Hélène Laverdière (Laurier-Sainte-Marie, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, the UN estimates that over 3,500 civilians have been killed in Syria during the government’s crackdown. Today the Security Council is debating sanctions against Syria. For Canada, failure to win a seat on the Security Council is not an excuse for inaction.
Will the government reach out to Russia and China to join others in the international community working to end this regime’s violence against its own people?

Mr. Bob Dechert (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, the campaign of terror and violence against the Syrian people must stop. Canada again calls on President al-Assad to step down immediately.
Canada stands with the Syrian people in their efforts to secure freedom and democracy. Our government will continue to work with our allies to bring diplomatic pressure to the Syrian government, including bringing forth stronger economic sanctions.

Ms. Hélène Laverdière (Laurier-Sainte-Marie, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, we need more than just promises and rhetoric.
The sanctions imposed against Syria in October were supposed to send a strong message to the Bashar al-Assad regime, but Suncor, which is working with the Syrian state oil company on a $1.2 billion project, said that its operations were not affected.
Will the government ensure that the new sanctions against Syria will prevent its friends from doing business as usual when millions of civilians are being killed?

Mr. Bob Dechert (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, Canada has taken decisive action by imposing sanctions that directly target members of the current Syrian regime and those who provide it with support. We are currently working with our allies to bring diplomatic pressure to bear. We will be bringing forth further stronger economic sanctions.