Photo: Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press “Justin Trudeau should be ashamed of the way he spent our money to finance this terrorist organization,” Pierre Poilievre told his caucus on Sunday.
The Canadian Press in Ottawa
January 29, 2024
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre promises to cut funding to a UN agency helping Palestinian refugees if he becomes prime minister.
“Justin Trudeau should be ashamed of the way he spent our money to finance this terrorist organization,” he told his caucus on Sunday as several of his MPs repeated the word “shameful”.
In his speech, Mr. Poilievre said he “warned” about “what would happen” if Canada funded the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East -Orient, known under the acronym UNWRA.
“And what happened ? Justin Trudeau funded the same organization whose members helped carry out the genocidal attack of October 7,” he accused, in reference to Hamas' actions against Israel.
On Friday, Canada joined the United States in suspending funding to the agency in response to allegations that some of its employees played a role in the Hamas attack.
The Conservative leader also criticized Mr. Trudeau for funding “terrorists and foreign dictators” under the pretext that it was international “aid”.
“We will cut off the funds sent from this country [Canada] to other places,” Mr. Poilievre promised.
In passing, he reiterated his commitment not to finance the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank “controlled by Beijing”, something Ottawa has not done since last June.
“We should build pipelines and roads in Canada, not in Asia,” he added, drawing applause from his troops.
UNWRA agency director said employees suspected of involvement in Hamas attack have been fired. He did not specify what role they may have played.
The US State Department estimates that 12 employees are accused of involvement.
Canadian International Development Minister Ahmed Hussen said Canada would channel humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza through other agencies until the investigation is complete.
The UN agency says 153 of its employees have died in the war between Israel and Hamas, and that around 13,000 people are still trying to deliver aid to the Strip. Gaza.
UNRWA is the main agency providing aid to the population of Gaza in the context of the humanitarian disaster caused by the Israeli offensive.
The war began when Hamas militants killed around 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages on October 7.
In retaliation, Israel launched a military offensive in the Gaza Strip which, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health, killed more than 26,000 people, including members of the group.