Archive for the ‘Foreign Affairs’ Category

A test for Trudeau? Canada’s Liberals split on Iraq combat mission

- October 8th, 2014
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Liberal leader Justin Trudeau (C) stands to vote against a government motion to participate in U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State militants operating in Iraq, The motion passed 157 to 134. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Justin Trudeau is facing the first serious test of his leadership of Canada’s Liberals in the wake of a parliamentary vote to send Canadian fighter jets to Iraq.

Trudeau and most Liberal MPs voted agains the idea.

But Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, a former justice minister and a globally recognized human rights defender, abstained from the vote, saying in a statement that his “principled absention”, as he called it, was a result of his recognition that military intervention against Islamic terrorists in Iraq and Syria is required but that the Harper government’s proposal lacked “clarity.”

Cotler, former Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion and former Liberal cabinet ministers Lawrence MacAulay and Mauril Bélanger were also absent from Tuesday night’s vote. Read more…

Asked and answered: Trudeau’s Iraq questions and Harper’s answers

- October 3rd, 2014

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On Wednesday, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party distributed a list of what it called the “Prime Minister’s Unanswered Questions On Iraq.”  Let’s look at those questions and see if any were answered by Prime Minister Stephen Harper today in the House of Commons. (Short answer:  Answers were provided for most) Read more…

Transcript: LPC hopeful Andrew Leslie quizzed on Israel-Hamas — by CPC staffer?

- September 2nd, 2014
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In this picture, provided by the federal Liberal Party, Lt Gen (ret’d) Andrew Leslie, hopeful of winning the Liberal nomination in Ottawa-Orleans, speaks about the Israel-Hamas conflict with a woman who the Liberals say is a Conservative Parliament Hill staffer, Alexandra Constantinidis

Late last week, a recording was forwarded through a third party to the Ottawa Sun and and to my newsroom in Sun Media’s parliamentary bureau. The recording, about five minutes long, contained a conversation from Aug. 19 between Lt. Gen (Ret’d) Andrew Leslie and, at the time we received it, an unidentified woman. In the process of verifying that circumstances and content of this conversation we contacted Leslie and the office of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. Leslie also made a recording of this same conversation and, on Tuesday, provided us with his transcript of conversation. His transcript matches the transcript we made from the first recording we received. The Liberals also identified the woman having the conversation with Leslie as the Parliament Hill assistant to Calgary West Conservative MP Rob Anders, Alexandra Constantinidis. Attempts to reach Constantinidis Tuesday to confirm she is the other participant in this conversation were unsuccessful. (Constantinidis’ Facebook page indicates she is a student at Mount Royal University and may well have returned to Calgary to start classes this fall there.)

The circumstances of this rather odd conversation? A public discussion that occurred at the end of a roundtable Leslie held on veterans affairs at a Royal Canadian Legion in his riding of Ottawa-Orleans on Aug. 19. Leslie, who was appointed by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to co-chair the Liberal Party’s Council of International Affairs Advisors, is seeking the Liberal nomination in Ottawa-Orleans. The conversation was recorded by both parties. Read more…

Baird to UN: Are you kidding me?

- July 22nd, 2014
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird

OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird speaks about the failed ceasefire between Israel and Hamas during a news conference in Ottawa July 15, 2014. (REUTERS/Blair Gable)

The Times of Israel reported this week:

A United Nations agency that last week found rockets in a Gaza school operating under its auspices has handed that weaponry over to Hamas, Israeli officials said Sunday, accusing the organization of actively helping the terrorist organization potentially attack Israeli civilians. Read more…

By phone, Harper and Netanyahu speak about the Hamas rocket attacks

- July 19th, 2014
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JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Israel earlier this year. (DAVID AKIN/QMI)

Earlier today, Canada’s Prime MInister Stephen Harper spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Here is the ‘read-out’ from the Harper’s office:
—- Read more…