Conservative critic accuses Liberals of deploying 'childish diplomacy' at the UN
The Canadian government's decision this week to support a pro-Palestinian UN resolution in hopes of sending U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a message amounted to "childish diplomacy," said Conservative MP Erin O'Toole.
Canada voted for a UN resolution in support of Palestinians' right to self-determination and ending "the Israeli occupation that began in 1967." It was a sudden departure from the position Canadian governments — Liberal and Conservative alike — have held for more than a decade.
Canadian officials, including ambassador to the United Nations Marc-André Blanchard, said the decision to support the UN resolution was intended to send the message that Canada does not agree with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's suggestion this week that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories do not violate international law.
O'Toole said that's a poor rationale for changing course on an established foreign policy position.
"If they're saying this vote was some sort of repudiation of the actions of Secretary Pompeo, that's childish diplomacy," he told The House on Thursday.
"If we have an issue with what the Trump administration is doing, pick up the phone and call them. That's what allies do."
O'Toole's former boss Stephen Harper took to Twitter to attack the move.
But Nour El Kadri, president of the Canadian Arab Federation, welcomed the decision and said it brings Canada in line with allies such as the United Kingdom and Germany.
"We're glad to see that Mr. Trudeau has started to shift. This is only in tandem with what the leaders of the free world are doing," he told The House on Thursday.