For Immediate Release
July 13, 2017
Ottawa, ON – Today, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) revoked a directive stating that Israeli goods cannot be labeled as “made in Israel” if they are produced beyond the pre-1967 armistice line. The directive was sent to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and was communicated by the LCBO to sacramental wine vendors in a letter asking them to “discontinue any importations or sales” of certain wines pending resolution of the matter.
In revoking the directive, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed that it will not require these wineries to relabel their goods.
In response, David J. Cape, CIJA Chair, stated:
“We commend the Government of Canada for quickly revoking this directive which is at odds with Canada’s policy. Like many in our community, we were alarmed that this decision was taken. Such guidelines undermine the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement that has benefited Canadians for twenty years. It also sought to impose a unique, punitive standard on Israelis that the Government has consistently rejected. We thank the Government of Canada for its rapid action in resolving this matter, and for reaffirming the strength of the Canada-Israel relationship.”
- CIJA learned about the directive on July 11th and immediately contacted key staff in the offices of the Minister of International Trade and Global Affairs Canada. We learned that the directive, which is at odds with government policy, was mistakenly issued at the bureaucratic level with no direction from political staff or the Minister.
- The Government of Canada has taken a clear position that it rejects efforts to single out Israel by differentiating between products based on the pre-1967 armistice line. When asked about a similar initiative at the EU, Prime Minister Trudeau said that he does not support such policies and added: “I continue to be worried by initiatives that single out Israel above others.” (iPolitics, November 12, 2015)
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The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)