Trudeau Government Must Act to Help Canadians in Israel

Ottawa, ON — The Honourable Michael Chong, Conservative Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement on the consular and diplomatic failures of the Government of Canada relating to the ongoing situation following this weekend’s terrorist attacks in Israel:
“More than 72 hours after the horrific invasion and terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel, the Government of Canada is still failing to provide timely assistance to Canadians seeking help to leave the country.
“Despite Minister Joly’s public assurances, MPs are hearing too many stories from Canadians who are desperately reaching out to the Government for assistance but having their calls and emails for help left unanswered or unresolved.
“It is the duty of any government to provide assistance to citizens trying to leave a conflict zone. The Prime Minister and his Government are failing at this basic task.
“Other countries like Mexico, Brazil and Poland have sent aircraft to evacuate their citizens that want to leave. Canada has not. The Government has failed to learn the lesson from the fall of Kabul in August 2021, and its inability to provide assistance to Canadians fleeing war zones is part of a concerning pattern.
“What is also concerning is the Government of Canada’s clear failure to properly coordinate with our closest allies during this crisis. Yesterday, the five other NATO members of the G7 issued a joint statement, pledging support for Israel to defend itself and condemning Hamas’ terrorism. Canada was excluded from the statement. The Government should have ensured Canada was part of this effort.
“This too, reflects a pattern under this Government. Canada is increasingly left out of critical defence and security initiatives with our closest allies. One has to conclude that this Government is seen to be an increasingly unreliable partner.
“The Prime Minister must take action to immediately correct these failures. He must immediately order the dispatch of aircraft to evacuate Canadians wanting to leave Israel and he must declare Canada’s support for the joint statement from our allies yesterday.
‘No more excuses. The time for action is now.”