Thursday, November 29, 2012
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said there would be "consequences" if the resolution passed at the UN general assembly.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said there would be "consequences" if the resolution passed at the UN general assembly.(SN).By Mark Dunn.OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper is considering his options after the United Nations voted Thursday to promote the Palestinian Authority to a non-member, non-voting observer state despite Canada's objections. Harper has said there would be "consequences" if the resolution passed at the UN general assembly, which it did 138-9 with 41 abstentions.
Retaliatory measures could include cutting funding or expelling the Palestinian Authority's representative - measures deeply opposed by the NDP, which also supported the resolution. In 2007, Canada committed $300 million over five years in support of the peace process and of Palestinian reform and development. Canada is also involved in a myriad of other programs from judicial assistance to humanitarian aid. NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said threats and ultimatums "are not the way to do diplomacy." Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae also urged Harper not to impose punitive measures or risk destabilizing the region. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was in New York Thursday to argue Canada's position in a largely symbolic speech, because the outcome of the vote was never in doubt. "This resolution will not advance the cause of peace or spur a return to negotiations," he said. "Will the Palestinian people be better off as a result? No. On the contrary, this unilateral step will harden positions and raise unrealistic expectations while doing nothing to improve the lives of the Palestinian people."Hmmm.....Canada a voice of reason in the Middle Eastern desert.Read the full story here.