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Funding for United Nations Relief and Works Agency

Funding for United Nations Relief and Works Agency

Hon. Linda Frum: My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Senator Gold, as you are aware, educational materials recently distributed to Palestinian children by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, encouraged children to defend the motherland with blood, portrayed child-murdering terrorists as heroes and called Israel the enemy. This is from a supposedly neutral UN agency.

Recently, your government showered UNRWA with $90 million of Canadian taxpayer money, money that Global Affairs Canada assured us would be subject to rigorous monitoring. Senator Gold, what kind of rigorous monitoring measures were put in place for this funding? Why did that monitoring fail to detect the nature of these terror-glorifying materials which were distributed to thousands of Palestinian children?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question. I will certainly make inquiries as to the specific measures to which you refer and be glad to report back to the chamber.

Senator Frum: Senator Gold, on January 22, Minister Gould vowed that there would be an investigation into the production of these hateful UNRWA materials. She also said your government takes the situation extremely seriously. Senator Gold, how long will it take for Minister Gould to share the results of her promised investigation? Why, if your government does believe this is a serious breach of contract and of the principle of neutrality, has your government not suspended all funding of UNRWA pending the outcome of the investigation?

Senator Gold: Again, thank you for your question. I’m not in a position to answer it until I make the appropriate inquiries. Then I will be glad to report back to the chamber.

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