Government Ministers will show their true colours with today’s vote on Palestine motion: CJPME

Montreal, March 18, 2024 — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is urging all Members of Parliament to vote ‘Yes’ on today’s NDP Opposition Day motion on Palestine, which includes measures for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an arms embargo on Israel. Over 30,000 Canadians have emailed their MP in support of today’s motion using CJPME’s email tool, with at least 20,000 more participating in similar campaigns. CJPME urges Parliament to respond to the calls from civil society and public opinion by voting for measures that would help to end the violence and uphold Palestinian human rights.

“After 5 months of Israel’s brutal genocidal war and siege on Gaza, Parliament finally has an opportunity to say how Canada should respond to this catastrophe,” said Thomas Woodley, President of CJPME. “While Canadians have demonstrated across the country every week for an end to the carnage, their MPs have not yet had to show where they stand. Today’s vote is a historic test for all MPs on perhaps the most significant international issue of the day. Many Canadian voters will keenly remember where their MP stood on this vote when it comes to future election campaigns,” added Woodley.

Today’s critical Opposition Day motion, moved by the NDP, calls on Canada to take concrete measures in support of Palestinian human rights. The motion, which will be voted on by all MPs, brings forward important policy recommendations that reflect a broad consensus of civil society, labour, human rights, and humanitarian organizations in Canada. Such measures include demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, suspending all trade in military arms and technology with Israel, advocating for an end to the occupation of the Palestinian territories, and recognizing the State of Palestine.

CJPME notes that many of the measures in the NDP Opposition Day motion are consistent with, or would build on, the Canadian government’s existing commitments regarding Gaza. For example, Canada has already called for a ceasefire, although today’s motion would back up that sentiment with specific policies to compel an end to the violence. Canada has also reportedly ‘paused’ military exports to Israel, although today’s motion goes further in calling for a formal embargo on all military trade. Further, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has promised to sanction extremist Israeli settlers, but has yet to take any action; today’s motion would recommit the government to that policy, while also extending sanctions to genocidal Israeli leaders.

“It would be the height of hypocrisy for government Ministers to vote against proposals that they already claim to support,” said Woodley. “If our Cabinet Ministers truly believe in a sustainable ceasefire and a two-state solution they must vote yes. Canadians have been asking whether the Cabinet is on the side of genocide or justice. Today’s vote by government ministers will make that abundantly clear.”

About CJPME – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is a non-profit and secular organization bringing together men and women of all backgrounds who labour to see justice and peace take root again in the Middle East. Its mission is to empower decision-makers to view all sides with fairness and to promote the equitable and sustainable development of the region.

For more information, please contact Michael Bueckert, VP CJPME, 613-315-7947

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East

The whole or parts of this press release can be reproduced without permission.

– 30 –