Video: Joly asked if Canada's position on ceasefire has changed 'because you’re losing Muslim donors?'

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Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister evaded a question from The Globe and Mail reporter on Tuesday about why the government’s position on a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas War has changed.

The exchange took place in the foyer at the House of Commons after a brief statement by the Minister. Political reporter Marieke Walsh asked: “Is the only reason why you’re calling for a ceasefire because you’re losing Muslim support and donors in Canada? What is the change on the ground in Israel that changes your government’s position so dramatically from a week ago?”

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The Minister replied: “I’ve just answered that question,” adding: “I think that the fact that you mentioned the humanitarian pause happened was important.”

She continued: “Following the humanitarian pause ending, and the resumption of violence, of course we took stock of what was happening. And we saw that there’s been just more thousands of deaths happening in Gaza. And we think that hostages that are still in Gaza held by a terrorist organization, which is Hamas, need to be released.”

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She concluded: “I’ve been having so many diplomatic conversations and tough conversations with the Israeli government, with also the Palestinian authority over the weekend, and also with many members from either the Western countries or Arab League countries. And at one point what we need to all agree upon is the need for a lasting peace.”

At issue is Canada’s decision Tuesday to vote in favour of a UN resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire – a resolution that does not mention the role of Hamas in the conflict. Additionally, Canada released a joint statement with Australia and New Zealand on the same day, condemning Hamas but also calling for progress toward a sustainable ceasefire.

The question also follows the news last week that a network representing influential Canadian Muslim donors to the Liberal Party of Canada had pulled out of the Laurier Club, the upper tier of donors, over concerns that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had not yet called for a ceasefire in the conflict.

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