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Immediate or lasting? The subtleties of the “ceasefire” requested by Canada

Adrian Wyld La Presse canadienne Le premier ministre, Justin Trudeau, et la ministre des Affaires étrangères, Mélanie Joly, lors d’une conférence de presse en novembre.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly reiterated Wednesday evening that Canada considers the release of hostages held by Hamas as essential for a “lasting ceasefire,” emphasizing the group’s “heinous” crimes. “terrorist”.

The clarification comes after facing criticism from the Quebec government and the leader of the opposition in Ottawa, Pierre Poilievre, but also congratulations from a Hamas official, for Canada's support for a “immediate ceasefire” before the United Nations (UN).

Since Hamas' surprise attack on Israel on October 7 and over the course of the heartbreaking armed conflict that followed, with the toll of civilian casualties continuing to rise, Canada has changed the words it uses to describe the situation in the Middle East. A short glossary of Canada's evolving position.

October 16 — For international law

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau avoids any questions about the legality of Israel's blockade of Gaza, but repeats that Israel has “the right to defend itself,” adding: “in accordance with international law.” Soon after, the New Democratic Party (NDP), the Green Party and members of the Liberal caucus began demanding a ceasefire.

October 24 — For a humanitarian break

“We support the idea of ​​a humanitarian pause,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to journalists from the parliamentary press in Ottawa. The head of the Canadian government then refused to talk about a ceasefire, like his defense minister, Bill Blair, who explained that he had “no expectation that a terrorist organization would respect […] the call for a ceasefire.” -the-fire”.

December 12 — For “efforts” toward a lasting ceasefire

In a joint statement with Australia and New Zealand, Canada supports “the urgent efforts of the international community to achieve a lasting ceasefire.” The letter clarifies that this ceasefire cannot be unilateral: “Hamas must release all hostages. » This new position of Canada is considered equivocal by the oppositions of the Bloc Québécois and the NDP.

December 12 — For an immediate ceasefire

The same day, Canada voted for a non-binding motion before the UN General Assembly that “demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.” The text also mentions respect for international law and the release “of all hostages”. In all, 153 countries voted in favor, 23 abstained and only 10 opposed it, including Israel and the United States.

December 15 — Quebec opposes it

The government of François Legault, in Quebec, is opposed to the Canadian position, reveals Le Devoir. “The hostages must be released so that a ceasefire can be considered,” specifies the office of the Minister of International Relations, Martine Biron. All other parties in the National Assembly are in favor of a ceasefire.

December 18 — Pierre Poilievre opposes

After avoiding taking a position on this issue, the Conservative leader in Ottawa, Pierre Poilievre, reveals in a podcast that he is against the UN motion calling for an immediate ceasefire, under the pretext that this condones the retention of hostages by Hamas. He also criticizes Justin Trudeau for changing his mind on the matter.

December 18 — Hamas congratulates Canada

The Trudeau government receives unsolicited support from Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas official, in a video posted on social media that went unnoticed until December 20. “We welcome this development,” he said, after mentioning the joint statement from Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

December 20 — For a lasting ceasefire (bis)

The Trudeau government repeats that its position is that of a “lasting ceasefire”, without Hamas. “For a ceasefire to be lasting, Hamas must release the hostages,” declared Minister Mélanie Joly on X, recalling the words used in the joint declaration with Australia and New Zealand. The word “immediate” is not there. “There is no role for Hamas in the future of Gaza,” she clarifies. The minister did not respond to the interview request from: Devoir.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116