Will this week’s vote on Parliament Hill change Canada’s relationship with Israel? The NDP’s foreign affairs critic introduced the controversial motion

Heather McPherson
The NDP's foreign affairs critic Heather McPherson, (Edmonton-Strathcona) introduced a motion to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons to hold hearings on how Canada can foster peace between Israel and Palestine (her words) in light of recent violence and deaths of children. (House of Commons photo.)

On Tuesday May 16, the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs and International Development Committee adopted a motion introduced by the NDP’s Heather McPherson, a vocal critic of the Israeli government. Her motion—which passed with the support of four Liberal MPs, the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois—will now see the committee hold hearings on how Canada can foster peace between Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, in light of the recent upswing in violence that has killed at least 89 Palestinians and 14 Israelis.

McPherson’s views have sparked deep concern from some Jewish MPs and Jewish advocacy organizations, who fear the hearings will give a platform to Israel-bashing and pound a wedge between Jewish and Muslim groups in Canada. Others, like JSpace Canada and the New Israel Fund of Canada support the hearings. The Canadian government hasn’t held hearings on its policies on Israel and the Palestinian crisis for years. (Ottawa still supports a two-state solution and sends millions in financial support to the region, mostly earmarked for Palestinians.)

On today’s The CJN Daily, we get the behind-the-scenes story of how this motion came about and hear reaction from Ya’ara Saks, Liberal MP for York Centre and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development; Melissa Lantsman, MP for Thornhill and deputy leader of the Conservative Party of Canada; and Shimon Koffler Fogel, the CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

What we talked about


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.