Important Statement from Mount Royal Member of Parliament Irwin Cotler on Conservative Misrepresentations

Recently, Mount Royal Conservative candidate Robert Libman sent a postcard to homes in the Mount Royal riding, which in misrepresenting my quote, falsely implied that I did not support the Liberal Party. He then issued a press release which made the same uninformed and misleading statements.

Let me reaffirm again: I strongly support Anthony Housefather who was my law student, who has been an exemplary Mayor of Côte Saint-Luc, and who is a highly knowledgeable, eloquent, effective and caring candidate who is responsive on all the issues of concern to the Mount Royal riding and beyond. He will be an outstanding Member of Parliament.

I might add – though it hardly needs to be said because it is a matter of record over time – that Justin Trudeau, the Leader of the Liberal Party, has my unequivocal support in matters of domestic and foreign policy.”

Mr. Cotler also released this second detailed statement addressing the Conservative campaign misleading press release

Robert Libman’s release to the effect that “Irwin Cotler admits the Liberal Party failure on the fight against terrorism” – and quoting me that “Harper was the only adult in the room regarding terrorism” – are as uninformed as they are misleading.

First, I have been a strong and persistent critic of Harper’s anti-terrorism law and policy (bill C- 51), including: 1) proposing, on behalf of the Liberal Party, a ten-point critique of bill C-51; 2) joining former prime ministers and others in an express critique of bill C-51’s absence of any oversight mechanism, Charter protections, and the like; and 3) critiquing Harper’s bill C-24 with its wrong-headed – and constitutionally suspect – policy of stripping Canadian citizenship and deporting terrorists back to the arena of terrorism.

Second, in the matter of the policy and position of the multilateral mission against Syria and Iraq – and as one who for years has called for the implementation of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine for the victims in Syria – I was astonished, as I said during the House of Commons debate, that the Prime Minister had effectively turned R2P on its head. Initially, Harper made the Canadian mission in Syria conditional upon the approval of the criminal Assad regime; later, when the mission was extended into Syria, it allowed Assad to continue his criminality with impunity. As I said in the House at the time, “to allow the perpetrator of war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide to green light Canadian intervention is to turn R2P on its head. Assad should be a criminal defendant not a coalition partner”.

Third, the government neither briefed, nor consulted, with Opposition leaders re the multilateral mission, nor did it share the necessary information about the mission’s objectives, costs, command, rules of engagement, etc. so as to allow Parliamentarians to make an informed decision. Both as a matter of process – and on matters of substance – the government’s initiatives were a failure.

Fourth, the Liberal Party’s position on the anti-terrorism bill (C-51) are both protective of the security of Canadians and of their civil liberties. In a word, it is a principled position unlike that of the Harper government which refused any of the proposed Liberal amendments to C-51 – such as a necessary oversight process – and therefore was deficient both as a matter of principle and as a matter of policy. In summary, it is not Justin Trudeau or the Liberal Party that have failed in the fight against terrorism. Rather, Prime Minister Harper’s law and policy – and his “playing the adult in the room” (which is what I literally said, rather than “is the adult in the room”), that has undermined – and continues to undermine – anti-terrorism law and policy with its fear-mongering and divisiveness, and thereby undermines the effective fight against terrorism.”

CSL Councillors denounce the misinformation regarding MP Irwin Cotler

Recently Mount Royal Conservative candidate Robert Libman sent a postcard to homes throughout the riding which used the image of our MP Irwin Cotler without his consent and falsely implied that he supported the Conservative Party. Mr Cotler has unequivocally stated that he considers this use of his words and image as misinformed and misleading. What is true, is that Cotler strongly supports Anthony Housefather and Justin Trudeau.

As Cote Saint Luc City Councillors who have been involved in many elections and who have worked closely with both Mr. Housefather and Mr. Libman, we are quite frankly shocked at the way the Libman campaign has abused the good name of Mr. Cotler and deliberately mislead the constituents of our Mount Royal riding.

It is a disgrace to dishonour and attack the reputation of Irwin Cotler by falsely inferring that he supports Harper for PM. The Conservatives and Robert Libman owe our MP an apology and they need to set the record straight. At this time of his illustrious career as most outspoken humanitarian scholar and most respected MP across Canada, Mr. Cotler deserves to be treated with respect and not have his name tarnished in this way.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, this wrong needs to be addressed and Mr. Libman and his team need to recognize the error of their ways for the sake of Mr. Cotler and the residents of Mount Royal.

Read more:

Cotler says Libman misrepresented his position on ISIS – CJN