There were three important developments in Ottawa this week that have significant implications for our community.
BDS Motion in the House of Commons.
Federal parliamentarians passed a motion on Monday tabled by Conservative MPs Michelle Rempel and Tony Clement that called on the House of Commons to reject BDS and on the government to condemn attempts by Canadian groups to promote this hateful and divisive campaign. The Liberals, Conservatives, and NDP all reiterated their longstanding and unequivocal opposition to BDS and restated their commitment to friendship with Israel. This all-party consensus is an important victory for our community in the fight against BDS.
The motion passed 229 to 51, with 11 abstentions and 42 members absent. Even though 51 MPs voted against the motion, it is important to note that almost all who spoke on the issue during the debate spoke out against BDS. As advocates, we would be well served to thank our Parliamentarians who nearly unanimously condemned BDS notwithstanding the minority who voted against the motion. You can review the transcript of the debate here and you can email MPs using this format: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Physician-Assisted Dying (PAD).
Today, Parliament’s Special Joint Committee on PAD presented a report detailing the conclusions and recommendations for government resulting from its month-long study. CIJA submitted a written brief to the committee and to the Federal and Provincial / Territorial panels advising government on the issue. Our submission was informed by the feedback we received from experts and community members during our national consultations. Our interventions have focused primarily on three points:
- Safeguarding informed consent and ensuring no one is coerced into ending their life against their will
- Safeguarding the right of healthcare providers to refuse to participate in PAD for reasons of conscience
- Securing the orientation of PAD as one end-of-life care option among many, including universal access to palliative care
As a next step, the Minister of Justice will prepare legislation that will be tabled in the House of Commons. We welcome your feedback, which will inform our engagement with the Minister on this important issue. Please share your thoughts here.
There have been reports that the Government of Canada is considering reinstating funds for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). CIJA has engaged our interlocutors in government on this issue, reminding them of the valid reasons why Canadian aid for Palestinians has been directed away from UNRWA’s general fund. Read Shimon Fogel’s Op-ed which clearly outlines our position on the subject.
I would be grateful if you shared this message with your family and friends and asked them to add their email address to our community list.
David J. Cape, Chair