Global Affairs Canada states its position that Bill S-219 (Non-Nuclear Sanctions Against Iran Act) would hinder the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Iran.
The Iranian Canadian Congress has expressed its concerns about Bill S-219 since the bill was first introduced to the Senate. We have explained how Bill S-219 would harm Iranian-Canadians, Canada’s economic interests, and Canada’s standing in the world.
We have also consistently asserted that this bill directly contradicts the Government’s stated intention to re-engage with Iran by placing legislative and diplomatic hurdles before this process. In a recent letter to members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Global Affairs Canada has agreed with our position regarding S-219.
In this letter from Assistant Deputy Minister for Europe, Middle East and Maghreb Alex Bugailiskis, Global Affairs states its position that Bill S-219 would hinder the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Iran.
"From the perspective of Global Affairs Canada, Bill S-219 would likely hinder the reestablishment of "normal" diplomatic relations with Iran for two reasons: 1) It would constrain the discretion and therefore the capacity of the Government to re-engage with Iran, and, 2) Iran would likely respond negatively to its introduction."
Ms. Bugailiskis also asserts that
“Ultimately, Bill S-219 would therefore limit the capacity of the Government of Canada to pursue and eventually conclude a complex process to re-establish diplomatic ties with Iran.”
It is therefore clear that Bill S-219 would effectively bar re-engagement with Iran and perpetuate the failed and harmful policies of the previous government with respect to Iran.
Unfortunately some of the members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee ignored the opinion of Global Affairs Canada and other expert advice provided against S-219 and voted for the bill*.
With the opposition already formed in the Senate against S-219 we have a golden opportunity to block this bill at the Senate Chamber. Currently we are contacting all Honourable Senators to once again ask them to take into account all evidence and expert advice provided in opposition to the bill and vote against Bill S-219 when it comes for a vote at the Senate Chamber. We need all supporters of peace and diplomacy to help us and take action against these proposed sanctions on Iran. In the next few days we will issue an announcement about next steps that can be taken by community members.
If you’d like to support our advocacy campaign, please consider donating to the ICC or joining us as a member: www.iccongress.ca/fundraising
* The following honourable senators voted against the motion introduced by Senator Woo for the Committee to recommend the Senate not to proceed with bill S-219: Raynell Andreychuk, Percy E. Downe, Leo Housakos, Thanh Hai Ngo, Victor Oh, Marc Gold, David M. Wells, Lynn Beyak. Note that Senator Downe and Senator Gold both mentioned that they are against the bill but did not support Senator Woo’s motion. For more info please watch the following video of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on March 29, 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz9lBD3s8S4