House of Commons
Questions on the Order Paper
Hon. Peter Kent: With regard to the Global Affairs Canada’s international development program and in light of statements made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in March, 2016: (a) has the Department reached a decision regarding the resumption of humanitarian aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), and if so, what is the sum UNRWA should expect to receive; and (b) will the Department have a protocol in place to follow up with the relevant UNRWA representatives to ensure the funds are not mismanaged?
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Lib.):Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the department has made a recommendation regarding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA. No decisions have yet been finalized.
With regard to (b), if Canada were to provide funding to UNRWA, then Global Affairs Canada would apply the same enhanced due diligence measures that are in place for other organizations that implement Canada’s assistance in the West Bank and Gaza. These measures are outlined below.
Mr. James Bezan (Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the second petition I wish to present is signed by many people from across Canada.
Questions on the Order Paper
Hon. Tony Clement: With regard to the Minister of Foreign Affairs’ stated intention to reengage with Iran following the cutting of diplomatic ties in 2012: (a) can the government confirm that officials from Global Affairs Canada have been in contact with officials from the Islamic Republic of Iran with regard to reengaging in diplomatic relations between Canada and Iran; (b) if the answer to (a) is in the affirmative, at what levels are the talks between Canada and Iran being held; (c) is the evaluation or analysis of reopening a Canadian mission in Tehran complete; (d) if the answer to (c) is in the affirmative, what are the details of the evaluation; (e) if the answer to (c) is in the negative, what is the status of the evaluation; (f) has a security audit been conducted on the safety of Canadian personnel in a future mission in Tehran; (g) if the answer to (c) is in the affirmative, what are the expenses so far for the evaluation or analysis mentioned in (c); and (h) if (f) is in the affirmative, what are the expenses so far for the security audit mentioned in (f) and have stakeholders such as Iranian-Canadians been consulted in relation to the reopening of a mission in Tehran?
Hon. Stéphane Dion (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), officials from Global Affairs Canada, GAC, have had preliminary discussions with officials from the Islamic Republic of Iran, as publicly stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This government is committing to re-engaging with Iran in a responsible and step-by-step manner. This is a harder path than the one chosen by the previous government, but it is the best way to make real progress in promoting human rights and protecting Canada’s friends and allies.
With respect to (b) and (e), in processing parliamentary returns, the government applies the principles set out in the Access to Information Act. Information has been withheld on the grounds that the disclosure of certain information could be injurious to the conduct of international affairs.
In response to (c), no. Discussions on re-engagement are at their preliminary stages. There is no precise timeline for the potential re-establishment of a Canadian diplomatic presence in Iran.
Part (d) is not applicable as the answer to (c) is not in the affirmative.
In response to (f), the safety and security of Canadian personnel is of paramount importance and will be a key consideration in any decision to re-establish a Canadian diplomatic presence in Iran. There is no precise timeline for the potential re-establishment of such a presence in Iran.
Part (g) is not applicable as the answer to (c) is not in the affirmative.
Part (h) is not applicable as the answer to (f) is not in the affirmative on the question of a security audit. GAC has not organized consultations on the reopening of a Canadian mission in Tehran.
Projected Order of Business
The House’s projected order of business for this session can be found here. Of note:
- Tuesday, September 20, 2016 – S-201 – Mr Rob Oliphant (Don Valley West) – Genetic Non-Discrimination Act – Second Reading, first time debated.
The Senate is expected to resume sitting on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.
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