Archive for the ‘Foreign Affairs’ Category

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

- September 2nd, 2014
Legion event 1

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
DSC03486

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…

North Korea stares at Abbott and Harper (and me)

- April 13th, 2014
Tony Abbott at the DMZ

Australian PM Tony Abbott April 9, 2014 at the DMZ between South and North Korea.

PMHarper at the DMZ

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the DMZ in December, 2009. (PMO Handout)

David Akin at the DMZ

Your correspondent at the DMZ, Dec. 2009. The blue hut that Abbott and Harper were photographed in is over my left shoulder. And that tall building in the background? That, folks, is North Korea.

 

Last week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. Here’s The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Philip Coorey reporting on Abbott’s visit: Read more…

Former AUS PM Gillard rallies the left in Ottawa speech

- March 29th, 2014
Cameraon Gillard Harper

Julia Gillard (2nd from left) was the prime minister of Australia in Nov. 2011 when this pic was snapped (by a Harper PMO photographer though I was standing 10 feet away at the time the pic was snapped) during Remembrance Day Ceremonies in Seoul, South Korea. That’s UK PM David Cameron and IMF President Christine Lagarde in the pic with Gillard and Harper.

Earlier today, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard spoke to the first-ever Progress Summit put on by the Broadbent Summit. Gillard led a left-leaning goverment and the Broadbent Summit is named after Ed Broadbent. (I surely don’t need to tell you who he is.).

Here is the text of the remarks Gillard was to give, provided by the event organizers:

 

In my home town in Australia, Adelaide, it is going to be 32 degrees today but the warmth of the welcome I have received has compensated for the difference between that and the freezing Ottawa air. So I am simply delighted to be here to join you for this important event.

While the weather is so starkly different, Australia and Canada share so much in common.

We are both vibrant liberal democracies in the Westminster tradition, with national and provincial level governments and we share our head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.

Our nations are rich in the resources the world needs and have large scale, efficient agriculture. Our economies are sophisticated and increasingly reliant on knowledge and service industries. We came out of the Global Financial Crisis, less damaged than many other nations in the world, in part because of the superior regulation of our banking and financial sectors.

The life expectancy of our people is more than 80 years, our GDP per capita is over $40,000 dollars and the World Bank puts us both in the top three best places to start a business. As a patriotic Australian please forgive me for pointing out we slightly beat you in each of these measures. All these indices are telling us that Canadians and Australians share the good fortune of living in two of the most prosperous places on the planet. We have the joy that comes with living not only in wealthy nations, but in peace and freedom. Read more…