After months of delay, the third reading of Bill S-219 was begun by Senator Tkatchuk with the support of Senator Carignan and Senator Housakos on June 13th, 2017. However, in subsequent days they did not resume the debate and the final vote is postponed on this bill until after the summer recess of the Parliament.
Based on information we have gathered, the main reason for this continued delay is the stiff and consistent opposition that has been generated against Bill S-219 on behalf of our community in the Senate. This opposition has created uncertainty for the Senators supporting this bill about whether it would receive the required vote.
Since the beginning of the advocacy campaign organized by the Iranian Canadian Congress against S-219, thousands of our community members across Canada have actively participated in raising their concerns and objections to this bill.
Our Policy team has been actively connecting with all 102 Senators to provide them with expert information on how this bill was harmful to both our community and Canada’s economic and political interests. Perhaps for the first time, Canadian Senators heard the voice of our community and recognized the Iranian-Canadian community as a potent political force in the legislative process.
We are pleased to announce that through this advocacy campaign we have been able to convince many Senators to oppose S-219. The postponing of this deeply problematic bill is therefore an early success yielded by our campaign.
Still we have a long road ahead of us in fighting this sanctions bill. The Iranian Canadian Congress, with the indispensible support of the Iranian-Canadian community, will continue this campaign against sanctions on Iran and fight against passage of Bill S-219 in the Senate, or, if needed, in the House of Commons.
The Iranian Canadian Congress reiterates its position that sanctions on Iran will block the path of diplomacy and dialogue, and, as confirmed by Global Affairs Canada, it will hinder the process of re-engagement with Iran, the stated policy of the Canadian government since Oct 2015.