Canada's NDP


Letter to the PM and Minister Joly Asking to Meet After Recent Trip to Palestine and Jordan

January 30, 2024

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada

Office of the Prime Minister

80 Wellington Street

Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

The Honourable Mélanie Joly

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada

House of Commons

Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Prime Minister & Minister Joly,

We write to you today to request an urgent meeting to discuss our recent visit to Jordan and Palestine.

We are deeply concerned by what we witnessed on the ground during our six-day visit, during which we met with Palestinian refugees, aid workers, Canadian consular officials, and progressive Israeli activists.

The situation in the West Bank is profoundly alarming, as settler violence and Israeli forces attacks on Palestinians have massively increased in past months. Nearly 400 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank in 2023, including over 100 children. The expansion of illegal settlements is further contributing to this violence and harming chances of a peaceful resolution to the decades-long occupation.

Although we were unable to visit Gaza due to the horrendous war, we met with families whose loved ones have been killed or injured. For nearly four months, Israeli airstrikes and ground military activities in Gaza have resulted in an average daily death toll of 250 Palestinians, surpassing the daily casualties reported in other major conflicts in recent years. Over 57,000 Palestinians have been injured, with a staggering 1.9 million internally displaced, constituting 85 % of the population.

Two million people in Gaza are in danger of starvation and disease. Gaza is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child.

Days after our return from Jordan and Palestine, the International Court of Justice ordered provisional measures, requiring Canada to increase its efforts to ensure a ceasefire, the release of all hostages, provide humanitarian aid to those in need, and prevent genocide. While an investigation into the 12 former staff who allegedly committed crimes is necessary, we are profoundly alarmed that Canada has chosen to pause funding to UNRWA at this most desperate time of need. This is collective punishment of many innocent people – especially children.

Given both the potential for complicity in genocide and Canada’s Arms Trade Treaty obligations, we again urge Canada to immediately halt all arms transfers to Israel.

What Palestinians need now is solidarity and action from Canada: action for a ceasefire, action for an end to the starvation, action for peace and justice for all.

We hope you will accept our urgent request for a meeting to communicate to you the seriousness of this situation and the need for Canada to change its response to this crisis, meet its international legal obligations, and protect the human rights of the most vulnerable. We look forward to sharing our first- hand experience from the ground with you both.


Heather McPherson, MP

Edmonton Strathcona

NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs

NDP Critic for International Development

Lindsay Mathyssen, MP

London – Fanshawe

NDP Critic for National Defence

Matthew Green, MP

Hamilton Centre

NDP Critic for Ethics

Letter from NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs Regarding the South African Application to the ICJ

The Honourable Mélanie Joly
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Global Affairs Canada

January 9, 2024

Re: South Africa application to International Court of Justice on situation in Gaza

Dear Minister Joly,

I write to you today alarmed at Canada’s continuing inaction in the face of horror in Gaza, and in response to South Africa’s application to bring proceedings against Israel at the International Court of Justice over risk of genocide in Gaza.

Since the horrifying Hamas terrorist attacks of October 7th - the deadliest in Israeli history, killing more than 1,200 civilians - and the beginning of this latest brutal assault on Gaza by Israeli forces, tens of thousands of people have been killed, of whom two-thirds are women and children. Over 57,000 Palestinians have been injured, with 1.9 million internally displaced (85 % of the population).

Netanyahu’s bombing campaign in Gaza is the worst we have seen this century. As I write, some Canadians and their loved ones are still prohibited from leaving Gaza, including the Kouta family of London Ontario.

Friends and family of Canadians are still held hostage, also at risk of being killed in the bombardment and ground offensive. Homes and infrastructure are entirely flattened. Churches and schools are attacked.

Diseases are spreading. Hospitals are not functioning. There is no place safe in Gaza as the bombs continue to fall. Gaza is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. This offensive is not eliminating Hamas, nor is it rescuing hostages; it is destroying an entire population and its means of survival.

Over the past 90 days, a quarter million Canadians have written to us in shock and despair, demanding a ceasefire and real action from your government. New Democrats first called for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages on October 11th. As Canada refused to act, we wrote to the Prime Minister with several proposed actions on November 1st.

In Parliament, in letters, in media, and in person, we have urged your government to demand an immediate ceasefire and release of all hostages, an end to the blockade of Gaza, and unimpeded humanitarian aid; ensure Canadians and their loved ones in Gaza can reach safety in Canada, while respecting the legal right of Gazans to return; give full support to international justice efforts by the ICC and ICJ; end arms sales to Israel and increase efforts to ensure illegal arms do not reach terrorist groups like Hamas; and ban extremist settlers involved in West Bank violence from entering Canada.

Your government has inexplicably failed to take the above actions.

I remind you of Canada’s obligations under the Geneva Conventions to ensure respect for international humanitarian law, and Canada’s treaty obligations to prevent genocide where there is a real risk of it being committed.

All violators of human rights and international law must be held to account. This includes all non-state armed actors who have committed atrocities or called for the destruction of Israel such as the terrorist group Hamas. It also includes actions committed by the government and military of the State of Israel.

Last week, South Africa initiated proceedings in respect of events in Gaza before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. In its 84-page application, South Africa argues Israel’s offensive in Gaza is a violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention, to which both it and Israel are signatories. South Africa’s application also condemns Hamas’s atrocities and hostage-taking and argues that ‘’no armed attack on a State’s territory no matter how serious—even an attack involving atrocity crimes—can (…) provide any possible justification for, or defence to, breaches” of the Genocide Convention.

This is a crucial time for Canada to uphold the principles of international justice. The ICJ will hold an urgent hearing on this matter on January 11th and 12th. Legal experts have said there is a high possibility that the court could impose provisional measures on Israel as early as late January.

I am asking you today not to intervene in opposition to this case, and to support the decision of the Court.

France has already publicly committed to supporting the Court’s decision and I urge Canada to make the same commitment.

Over the past several years, your government has opposed international justice efforts regarding the situation on Israel-Palestine while intervening in favor of cases against
Myanmar, Syria, Iran and Russia. In July, Canada shockingly asked the ICJ to drop an advisory opinion on the occupation and annexation of Palestinian territories, and Canada continues to oppose the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction in the region.

In November, Canada joined with other countries to support Gambia’s application on genocide against Myanmar.

It is important to note that Canada’s joint declaration states that evidence of genocide can include “a violent military operation triggering the forced displacement of members of the targeted group” and can also include “subjecting a group of people to a subsistence diet, systematic expulsion from homes and the induction of essential medical services below minimum requirement.” Canada’s joint declaration also argued that the scale of deaths in this situation is “merely a starting point” in considering the intent of atrocities, and “the determination of a State’s intention to destroy a group is not contingent upon the number of people killed.”

Canada should apply the same understanding of genocide to any situation in which these facts might occur. Further, Canada has the responsibility and obligation under international law to prevent genocide wherever it may occur, and by any signatory to the Genocide Convention. Per the ICJ, this obligation to prevent genocide exists whenever the risk of genocide is serious and applies even in the absence of a legal determination that genocide has been committed.

Moreover, experts caution that if the ICJ eventually finds that genocide was committed in Gaza, that Canada, and any other states supplying military weapons and technology to Israel, would be viewed as complicit. I once again urge you to respond to the NDP’s call to immediately end all military exports to Israel and to work harder to end illegal arms transfers to Hamas.

This is a pivotal moment for Canadian foreign policy. The choices that you will make in the next weeks will show whether Canada stands for justice for all people, or whether we pick and choose whose rights matter. If Canada truly supports a rules-based international legal order, then I urge you not to oppose as the International Court of Justice does its essential work in this case.

Heather McPherson, M.P.

Edmonton Strathcona NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs

December 4, 2023

NDP calls for special immigration measures to evacuate family members of Canadians and permanent residents in Gaza

OTTAWA — On Monday, the NDP called on the Liberals to immediately enact special immigration measures to facilitate the evacuation of extended family members of Canadians and permanent residents in Gaza, as the humanitarian crisis there worsens.
Joined by community organizations and family members desperate to bring their loved ones to safety, the NDP also renewed their call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Israel-Palestine to save lives.
“Canadians with loved ones in Gaza have spent many sleepless nights worrying about their families. They’ve endured distress in the past eight weeks watching the humanitarian crisis worsen in Gaza,” said NDP critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Jenny Kwan. “The Liberal government must step in and ensure loved ones are reunited with their families here in Canada, away from the violence and threat to their lives. The Australian government has already enacted special immigration measures for those seeking to depart Gaza. Canada must do the same.”
The NDP made the call in an open letter to the Minister of Immigration and the Minister of Foreign affairs. There are two million people that remain trapped in Gaza, trying to survive amid the most unbearable and inhumane conditions. The NDP says there needs to be urgent action to save these lives.
“I have received numerous calls from Canadians worried sick about their relatives in Gaza,” said NDP MP Matthew Green (Hamilton Centre). “This Liberal government must act to ensure people have peace of mind and know that their loved ones are close by and safe. Many Canadians have already lost family members to this violence. The bare minimum this government can do is save those they can now.”
The NDP's open letter can be read here.

For more information, please contact:
NDP Media Centre: 613-222-2351 or
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MP Mathyssen's Letter to PM Trudeau Again Asking for a Ceasefire with Letters from Constituents

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister of Canada

Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Friday December 1, 2023

Dear Prime Minister,

It has been over one month since my NDP colleagues and I wrote to you, as an entire caucus, to ask you to call for a full ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

We have not heard back from you.

My New Democrat colleagues and I have been working day in, day out to assist Canadian families in Gaza and to advocate for a full ceasefire, release of hostages and unimpeded humanitarian aid. The effort to evacuate Canadians and their loved ones out of Gaza has been extraordinarily difficult, made worse by inconsistent responses from GAC and IRCC – issues that my colleagues and I have raised with your government many times over the past six weeks and that have yet to be resolved.

For over 50 days, people in Gaza have been experiencing the most horrendous situation of their lives. Israel’s bombardment of Gaza is causing horror and untold suffering for two million civilians who are in desperate need of an end to bombing and unimpeded - not restricted - humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian agencies tell us this is the worst they have ever seen.

I have risen in the House several times to express the fear and pain my constituents are experiencing. Every time, your government response fails to grasp the severity of this war and the horror Palestinians are living daily.

In the past week, we have been encouraged by the diplomatic work that has resulted in the release of some hostages and a pause in bombing. The people of the region need hope - and they need action and solidarity from the international community. What they do not need is a return to violence.

Despite writing to you multiple times, my constituents hear nothing from you but words, while your government refuses to call for a ceasefire that could save hundreds of thousands of lives. At the UN, your government has voted against condemnation of illegal settlements and against solidarity with UNRWA.

I am sharing with you letters from members of my community of London-Fanshawe, who are pleading once again for your government to recognize that people in Gaza face starvation and horrendous humanitarian crisis. Each day that a full ceasefire is delayed, hundreds of Palestinians die. I support their requests to your government, and I ask that you and your colleagues listen to the many Canadians who want you, personally, to call for a ceasefire.

This situation could be resolved with the political will of Canada and other countries.

While you remain silent on this horrendous humanitarian and political crisis, I urge you once again to call for a full ceasefire and a new political process that must aim for a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis – not continued violence, not killings of civilians, and not violations of international law.


Lindsay Mathyssen

Member of Parliament for London-Fanshawe


Letters from Hikma Public Affairs Council, on behalf of the Muslim community in London

Letter to PM Trudeau Calling for Ceasefire

November 1, 2023

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister,

Since the horrifying terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians on October 7th and the beginning of this latest siege of Gaza, we, members of the New Democrat caucus, are united in grief and despair.
Our constituents are in pain. Many have lost family members and friends in Gaza and in Israel. Many fear for their loved ones.

We mourn with the Jewish community who are traumatized by the horrendous terrorist attacks by Hamas. We urge you to work harder to secure the release of all hostages, including the Canadians believed to be among them.
Canadian Palestinian and Muslim communities are telling us they are feeling unheard by this government. They, too, are in deep pain. We grieve with them.

We condemn the alarming rise in antisemitism, anti-Palestinian racism and Islamophobia in our communities and across Canada and we ask for a stronger response from your government.
Over the past three weeks more than one hundred thousand Canadians have written to us asking Canada to call for a ceasefire.

And as we write today, over 400 Canadians are trapped in the siege of Gaza, trying to survive amid the most terrible conditions and under constant bombing. People with disabilities, children, and seniors are amongst the Canadian citizens affected.

We are horrified by reports of airstrikes near hospitals, schools, and cancer facilities. We are appalled by the indiscriminate and unjustified bombing by Israel of the Jabalia refugee camp on October 31.
Israel’s siege of Gaza has killed doctors, journalists, UN staff, poets, students, parents, and over 3000 children. Each of these people had a name, a family, hopes and dreams for their futures.
This week, Save The Children confirmed that more children have been killed in Gaza than in global conflicts annually over the past four years. One child is killed every ten minutes.

None of these children were responsible for the grave crimes of October 7th.

Humanitarian organizations and the United Nations are sounding the alarm at shocking levels of human suffering in Gaza. Nearly a million people have been made homeless, with no access to food, water, fuel, medicine, or sanitation. Tens of thousands of pregnant women and babies are drinking contaminated water. Women are undergoing c-sections without anaesthetic. Children’s wounds are sanitized with vinegar from the corner store.

And in the West Bank, extremist right-wing settlers are harassing, threatening and killing innocent Palestinians as Israeli security forces watch. It has to stop, and these crimes must be prosecuted.

Prime Minister, these are extremely serious violations of international law.

This is the worst crisis in the Middle East in our lifetimes – and your government is failing to meet this moment.

Since October 11th, New Democrats are calling for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, an end to the siege of Gaza, unimpeded and immediate humanitarian access, and full respect for international law.

We are profoundly alarmed by your refusal to call for a ceasefire.

We condemn Canada’s abstention at the United Nations General Assembly on a resolution calling for “an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities.”

We do not accept Canada’s brazen refusal to support ICC and ICJ investigations into the situation in Israel and Palestine. The rules of international humanitarian law apply universally and equally to all parties of an armed conflict; one war crime does not excuse another. All victims in Israel and Gaza deserve justice.

We call for an end to Canada’s arms sales to Israel. Global Affairs Canada officials cannot confirm whether Canadian weapons, components or technology are used by Israel in this latest bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza. Canadians deserve to know the extent of Canada’s complicity in this conflict.

And Canada must do more to end illegal arms transfers to Hamas.

Prime Minister, your government has long promoted the rules-based international order.

But it is clear that, in Israel and Gaza, those rules are abandoned.

We are urgently asking Canada to do the following:
• Call for an immediate ceasefire and the release of all hostages;
• Demand unimpeded humanitarian access to Gaza;
• Ensure all Canadians can safely leave the region;
• Support ICC and ICJ investigations into the situation in Israel and Palestine;
• Halt arms sales to Israel and work with partners to end illegal arms transfers to Hamas;
• Advocate for an end to the occupation of the Palestinian territories and work toward a two-state solution;
• Continue to work with partners to counter terrorism in the region;
• Invest in building a just and sustainable peace for Palestinians and Israelis.

Our goal as New Democrats has always been a just and lasting peace for Palestinians and Israelis. The global
community, Canada included, must work towards a credible peace process that will finally bring peace and
security to all in the region, while respecting the humanity and rights of all civilians, Israeli and Palestinian.

We urge you to understand the seriousness of this moment. Canadians are in deep pain and are looking for
global leadership.

Canada must not abandon the principles of international law and justice. We urge you to take action today.
Many lives depend on it.


Jagmeet Singh, MP
Burnaby South

Heather McPherson, MP
Edmonton Strathcona

Charlie Angus, MP
Timmins – James Bay

Niki Ashton, MP
Churchill – Keewatinook Aski

Taylor Bachrach, MP
Skeena – Bulkley Valley

Lisa Marie Barron, MP
Nanaimo – Ladysmith

Daniel Blaikie, MP
Elmwood – Transcona

Rachel Blaney, MP
North Island – Powell River

Alexandre Boulerice, MP
Rosemont – La-Petite-Patrie

Richard Cannings, MP
South Okanagan – West Kootenay

Laurel Collins, MP


Don Davies, MP

Vancouver Kingsway

Leah Gazan, MP
Winnipeg Centre

Matthew Green, MP
Hamilton Centre

Carol Hughes, MP
Algoma – Manitoulin – Kapuskasing

Lori Idlout, MP

Gord Johns, MP
Courtenay – Alberni

Peter Julian, MP
New Westminster – Burnaby

Jenny Kwan, MP
Vancouver East

Alistair MacGregor, MP
Cowichan – Malahat - Langford

Brian Masse, MP
Windsor West

Lindsay Mathyssen, MP
London – Fanshawe

Bonita Zarrillo, MP
Port Moody – Coquitlam

Blake Desjarlais, MP
Edmonton Griesbach

Randall Garrison, MP
Esquimalt – Saanich – Sooke