PM sends MP Pierre Poilievre to represent Canada at the Conference against Racism, Discrimination and Persecution in Geneva

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister condemns anti-Semitism displayed at the Durban Review Conference
Ottawa, Ontario
22 April 2009

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he is sending his Parliamentary Secretary, Pierre Poilievre, to represent Canada at the Conference Against Racism, Discrimination and Persecution in Geneva. This conference is organized by an international group of non-governmental organizations.

“Canada will always stand with those who are involved in the fight against all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism,” said the Prime Minister.  “I know that Pierre will represent us well in Geneva.”

The Conference Against Racism, Discrimination and Persecution is being held at the same time as the controversial Durban Review Conference.  Canada is boycotting the Durban Conference due to the unacceptable anti-Semitic rhetoric that has saturated the entire Durban process. 

“I look forward to representing Canada at a serious anti-racism conference,” said Mr. Poilievre.  “While the Durban process started with good intentions, it has unfortunately degenerated into a soapbox for those who would demonize the democratic State of Israel and the Jewish people while ignoring racism and human rights abuses elsewhere.  Our government will not lend Canada’s good name and reputation to a conference that promotes this kind of racism.”

Canada is joined by Italy, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Germany, Israel and the United States of America in boycotting the Durban Review Conference.  The Government of Canada will not provide financial assistance to Canadian non-governmental organizations to participate in the Durban Review Conference.

The Prime Minister also announced that Mr. Poilievre will travel to Poland in order to participate in the International March of the Living Mission, which visits the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in order to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust.