Spread the love

Outrage in Commons after heavily amended motion

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, believes that the NDP motion is “flawless”, but that it remains “important”.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) motion, which was to force all federal MPs to take a position on the recognition of the State of Palestine, was heavily amended by the Liberals a few minutes before the scheduled voting time on Monday evening.

The original motion, which called on the government to “officially recognize the State of Palestine”, was eventually amended to ask it to work “toward the establishment of the State of Palestine in the framework of a negotiated two-state solution.”

Other parts of the text have been nuanced; for example, the government is asked to “reaffirm that the settlements are illegal under international law,” while the original text called for “advocating an end to the decades-long occupation of the Palestinian territories.” All changes were accepted by the NDP.

The numerous last-minute changes aroused the indignation of several elected officials in the House of Commons, with MPs denouncing a violation of their parliamentary privilege.

Deputies deplored the fact that the original motion had been debated for many hours on Monday, only to be modified by around fifteen amendments in the evening, after the debates had taken place.

“The very elaborate amendments which have just been introduced could not be debated. There was no notice. […] This infringes on the privileges of members to be able to debate the very motion on which we are called to vote! », chanted liberal MP Marco Mendicino.

The numerous amendments adopted were only read in English to the deputies. Bloc Québécois MP Denis Trudel intervened in the House to mention that, without a French version, it was impossible for the party to position itself on the new version of the text.

Also read

  • Canada votes for ceasefire in Gaza at UN
  • Ottawa awaits “irrefutable evidence” before speaking of genocide in Gaza
  • The two-state solution is only possible on paper

“It’s one to midnight [before the vote] and the motion is completely changed. This is not a small amendment. That’s 14 substantive amendments to the main motion. “Several do not even fall within the scope of the motion,” argued Conservative parliamentary leader Andrew Scheer, who proposed moving the vote to the next day.

After a thirty-minute break to ease tensions, the vice-president of the House of Commons, Chris d'Entremont, decided to continue the vote on Monday evening.

The amended motion was finally adopted with 204 for and 117 against. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc all supported it.

Increasing divisions

Earlier in the day, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, considered that the original motion was not “flawless”. She was evasive about the position that the Prime Minister's Office would take.

“We cannot change government policy on the basis of an opposition motion,” she said.

Several deputies were already divided on the question. Liberal MP Salma Zahid had already indicated her intention to support the motion, unlike her colleague Anthony Housefather, who said the motion called for a list of measures “hostile to Israel”.

The Bloc Québécois and the Green Party of Canada both said they would support the original motion during debates in the House during the day on Monday. The conservatives planned to oppose it.

Currently, 139 of the 193 member states of the United Nations recognize the State of Palestine. Canada is not one of them.

Amendments made to the motion

That the motion be amended as follows:

a) in paragraph (ii), by adding the word “being” after the word “victims” in the English version;

b) by replacing, in paragraph (iii), the following: “Hamas, a terrorist organization recognized by Canada, still holds more than 100 hostages, and its attacks carried out on October 7, 2023 killed nearly 1,200 Israelis,” ;

c) in paragraph (iv), by replacing the words “millions” with the words “1.7 million”;

(d) by adding, after paragraph (vi), the following new paragraph: “all States, including Israel, have the right to defend themselves and, in doing so, Israel must respect international humanitarian law, and the cost to paying to defeat Hamas cannot be the constant suffering of all Palestinian civilians” ;

e) by replacing paragraph (viii) with the following: “increasing extremist settler violence against Palestinians and reports of Palestinian communities being forcibly evicted of their lands in the West Bank” ;

f) by replacing, in paragraph a), the following: “to demand an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages and the laying down of arms by Hamas”;

(g) by replacing paragraph (b) with the following: “to cease the approval and transfer of further arms exports to Israel to ensure compliance with Canada's arms export regime and to redouble efforts to put an end to the illegal arms trade, including arms destined for Hamas” ;

h) by replacing, in paragraph (c), the following: “to ensure continued funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to respond to urgent humanitarian needs , to participate in the internal investigation and the independent review process of the United Nations, and to ensure the implementation of the long-term governance reforms and the necessary accountability measures” ;< /p>

i) in paragraph d), by deleting the words “, and to support the work of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court”;

j) by adding, after paragraph d), the following new paragraph: “to support the work of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court”;

k) by replacing paragraph (f) with the following: “to ensure that Canadians stuck in Gaza can return safely to Canada and to expand access to the visa program temporary resident » ;

l) by replacing, in paragraph g), the following: “to impose sanctions on extremist settlers and to maintain sanctions against Hamas leaders”;

(m) by replacing paragraph (h) with the following: “to reaffirm that settlements are illegal under international law and that settlements and settler violence constitute serious obstacles to a negotiated two-State solution, and to advocate for an end to the decades-long occupation of the Palestinian territories” ;

n) by replacing, in paragraph i), the following: “to work with international partners to actively pursue the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including including with a view to the establishment of the State of Palestine as part of a negotiated two-state solution, and to maintain Canada's position that Israel has the right to exist and live in peace and security with its neighbors”.

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