Transcript: LPC hopeful Andrew Leslie quizzed on Israel-Hamas — by CPC staffer?

Legion event 1
In this picture, provided by the federal Liberal Party, Lt Gen (ret’d) Andrew Leslie, hopeful of winning the Liberal nomination in Ottawa-Orleans, speaks about the Israel-Hamas conflict with a woman who the Liberals say is a Conservative Parliament Hill staffer, Alexandra Constantinidis

Late last week, a recording was forwarded through a third party to the Ottawa Sun and and to my newsroom in Sun Media’s parliamentary bureau. The recording, about five minutes long, contained a conversation from Aug. 19 between Lt. Gen (Ret’d) Andrew Leslie and, at the time we received it, an unidentified woman. In the process of verifying that circumstances and content of this conversation we contacted Leslie and the office of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. Leslie also made a recording of this same conversation and, on Tuesday, provided us with his transcript of conversation. His transcript matches the transcript we made from the first recording we received. The Liberals also identified the woman having the conversation with Leslie as the Parliament Hill assistant to Calgary West Conservative MP Rob Anders, Alexandra Constantinidis. Attempts to reach Constantinidis Tuesday to confirm she is the other participant in this conversation were unsuccessful. (Constantinidis’ Facebook page indicates she is a student at Mount Royal University and may well have returned to Calgary to start classes this fall there.)

The circumstances of this rather odd conversation? A public discussion that occurred at the end of a roundtable Leslie held on veterans affairs at a Royal Canadian Legion in his riding of Ottawa-Orleans on Aug. 19. Leslie, who was appointed by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to co-chair the Liberal Party’s Council of International Affairs Advisors, is seeking the Liberal nomination in Ottawa-Orleans. The conversation was recorded by both parties. Continue reading Transcript: LPC hopeful Andrew Leslie quizzed on Israel-Hamas — by CPC staffer?

Baird to UN: Are you kidding me?

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird
OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird speaks about the failed ceasefire between Israel and Hamas during a news conference in Ottawa July 15, 2014. (REUTERS/Blair Gable)

The Times of Israel reported this week:

A United Nations agency that last week found rockets in a Gaza school operating under its auspices has handed that weaponry over to Hamas, Israeli officials said Sunday, accusing the organization of actively helping the terrorist organization potentially attack Israeli civilians. Continue reading Baird to UN: Are you kidding me?

By phone, Harper and Netanyahu speak about the Hamas rocket attacks

JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Israel earlier this year. (DAVID AKIN/QMI)

Earlier today, Canada’s Prime MInister Stephen Harper spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Here is the ‘read-out’ from the Harper’s office:
—- Continue reading By phone, Harper and Netanyahu speak about the Hamas rocket attacks

Israel ambassador says Ottawa City Hall art show "glorifies terror"

The current exhibition at the Karsh-Masson Gallery at City of Ottawa features an exhibit by Palestinian-born artist Rehab Nazzal. The exhibit has been strongly condemned by Rafael Barak, Israel’s Ambassador to Canada. [An article at  MuslimLink profiles Nazzal and the exhibition] Here is the press release issued this morning by the Embassy of Israel:

Exhibit at Ottawa City Hall Glorifies Terror

Ottawa, Canada – May 23, 2014: An exhibit at Ottawa’s City Hall Karsh-Masson Art Gallery reflects a culture of hate and incitement that contradicts the values of Canada as a guardian of peace and champion against terror. Although the exhibit claims to present “portraits of lost artists, activists, writers and leaders,” this deceitful description is cover for what is a “who’s who” of international terrorists: suicide bombers, masterminds of massacres, terrorist operatives and the hijackers of planes, buses, and schools. Many of those glorified are individuals connected to organizations that appear on Canada’s official list of terrorist entities. Continue reading Israel ambassador says Ottawa City Hall art show "glorifies terror"

Text of Harper's speech to the Knesset

Canadian Prime MInister Stephen Harper speaks to the Knesset

The following is a text of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech to the Knesset, delivered at approximately 6:30 pm Jerusalem time on Monday January 20, 2014. The following has been adapted from a prepared text distributed to reporters ahead of the speech. The actual speech, as a result, may differ slightly from you see here.

Moreover, I have removed French-language sections of the speech that largely repeated adjacent English-language sections. Any formatting or grammar error are also likely mine introduced in the editing process.



And thank you for inviting me to visit this remarkable country, and especially for this opportunity to address the Knesset. Continue reading Text of Harper's speech to the Knesset

VIDEO: Netanyahu welcomes Harper to Israel

This video was shot by and distributed by the office of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In it, you’ll see the full text of Netanyahu’s effusive praise for Harper — his speech is about 3 minutes — and Harper’s very brief remarks, including an anecdote about the absence of his kids on this trip. Continue reading VIDEO: Netanyahu welcomes Harper to Israel

Harper's monster-sized delegation: 21 rabbis and a priest

COLOGNE, Germany – Prime Minister Stephen Harper is set to arrive for his first-ever visit to Israel Sunday afternoon leading a monster-sized delegation that includes 21 rabbis.

Harper left Ottawa Saturday night with his red, white, and blue Royal Canadian Air Force jet crammed with what is easily the largest delegation he has ever had for an overseas trip.

The plane landed here to refuel before continuing on to Tel Aviv. Continue reading Harper's monster-sized delegation: 21 rabbis and a priest

From the diplomats' union, a highly qualified welcome to Canada's new envoy to Israel

Vivian Bercovici and John Baird
Canada’s new ambassador to Israel Vivian Bercovici, left, is introduced to reporters by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, right in Ottawa Wednesday. (DAVID AKIN/QMI Agency)

For the plum job of Canada’s Ambassador to Ireland, the Harper government tapped former Conservative MP (and all around nice guy) Loyala Hearn. To represent Canada at UNESCO in Paris, former Conservative cabinet minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn could console himself that his defeat at the polls opened the door to that post. Lawrence Cannon was also among the most senior members of Harper’s cabinet — until the voters in his riding of Pontiac decided they’d rather be represented by New Democrat Mathieu Ravignat. And so Cannon was consoled with the job of Ambassador to France. Continue reading From the diplomats' union, a highly qualified welcome to Canada's new envoy to Israel

Canada names partisan as new Israel ambassador

Vivian Bercovici, Canada's Ambassador to Israel

On the eve of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first-ever visit to Israel, Canada has named a new ambassador to that country whose appointment is sure to please Harper’s hosts.

The new ambassador to Israel, Toronto lawyer Vivian Bercovici (above), has had a monthly column in The Toronto Star that would please most small-c conservatives anywhere when it comes to her positions on Israel and the Middle East.

“My interest in Israel and the region goes back a long way,” Bercovici told reporters. Bercovici, who is Jewish, studied at York University and at the University of Toronto but she also spent two years at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in the early 1980s. “Now is a very important time in the region, as important as ever and I’m very honoured to be appointed to take on this role. I know that this government’s principled stands on various fronts is warmly welcomed and appreciated by both the Israeli government and the Israeli people. ” Continue reading Canada names partisan as new Israel ambassador