Friday, June 15, 2007

Peter MacKay Already Has A Portfolio

Maybe it's time for Peter MacKay to start focusing on his portfolio, instead of acting as Intergovernmental Affairs Minister- give Rona some face time. I'm reading the following, thinking to myself, don't you have an international crisis, that threatens to de-stabilize the middle east to keep you busy:
Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said he and others within the federal government talked with MacDonald well into the evening.

He suggested some progress had been made and said talks would likely continue on the weekend.

"We've narrowed it down. Put it that way," he said.
MacKay said he's pleased the "lines of communications remain very open and everyone is committed to finding a resolution,"

The only reference to the crisis in Gaza that I can find from the Canadian government is this stale, terse statement from MacKay, issued two days ago:
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, today made the following statement concerning escalating violence in the Gaza Strip:

“Canada is greatly concerned by the deteriorating security situation and loss of life in the Gaza Strip as well as reports of violence in the West Bank. Canada urges all parties to work together urgently to end the violence and focus their efforts on delivering responsible government and services to the long-suffering Palestinian population.

“We call on key parties to respect international humanitarian law, to protect civilians and to avoid damaging civilian infrastructure. It is especially important that parties work together to ensure safe and unhindered access for humanitarian workers so that they can reach people in need.

“I want to take this opportunity to reiterate Canada’s strong support for President Abbas’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the current situation.”

If you read the myriad of stories on the international response to Hamas' actions in Gaza, you will find forceful positions from many sources, that speak to the importance of the crisis. Strangely absent from the international sampling is Canada, which seems content to release four outdated paragraphs, while the Foreign Affairs Minister occupies himself in an exercise to save his skin.

Will Canada release its aid to support Abbas? Does Canada agree with the European Union, the Americans, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Russia? In other words, Peter MacKay is dropping the ball, while he consumes himself with an issue that has no relationship to his responsibilities as the key figure for Canada on the world stage. Where is Canada?

9 comments:

Steve V said...

To be fair, CTV reported that MacKay spoke with Abbas yesterday, to give Canada's support.

Dana said...

Sometimes Foreign Affairs can be about the province of your birth too!

Alison said...

It has been the Bush administration policy to arm Abbas' supporters against the democratically elected Hamas supporters and thus inadvertently wind up undermining both peace and Abbas.
What would you have Mackay say to this? His best bet is to keep his little head down.

Anonymous said...

Typical of Canada's New Government(TM) aka the Maroon-ey era.
Right on top of things, Canada the new super-power, yadda yadda yadda.
Embarasskink as all get out.

A BCer in Toronto said...

His inactivity on Foreign Affairs aside, Peter is also senior political minister for Nova Scotia, so that's his standing on the issue. Plus the fact if he left it to Rona he'd have no chance at re-election.

Steve V said...

Jeff

Fair point.

Anonymous said...

He probably called "Condi" to get advice and she said speak with the Abbas reps.

Don't know what he'd do without the advice and approval of Condi.

knb said...

BC'er, he is supposed to be the senior minister for Atlantic Canada.

When I see him sitting down with Williams in the same manner, I'll take your point.

Until then, he's saving himself, imo.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that both Peter McKay and Gerald Keddy had letters to the editor in the Halifax Chronicle Herald today. Darn right he's trying to save his hide.