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August 2nd, 2019

NDP Statement on Federal Court Decision on “Product of Israel” Labels

NDP International Trade Critic, Tracey Ramsey, issued the following statement:

“This week, the Federal Court ordered the removal of “product of Israel” labels from wines made in the West Bank, in the occupied Palestinian territories. Such labels, the Court ruled, are “false, misleading and deceptive,” and therefore violate Canada’s consumer protection and food and drugs laws. New Democrats welcome this decision, which we view as a step forward for justice in Israel and Palestine.

During the debate on Bill C-85, the bill that amends the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement’s implementation law, Trudeau’s Liberals chose to ignore what New Democrats clearly pointed out: the agreement covered products made in Israeli settlements and occupied territories. Liberals deliberately overlooked the fact that neither Canada nor the United Nations recognize these settlements as part of Israel. These settlements are illegal and clearly violate the fourth Geneva Convention.

In light of the Federal Court’s decision, we call on Trudeau’s Liberals to amend its laws, policies and practices to ensure full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016), which calls on all States to “distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

Products made in illegal settlements that are imported into Canada with “Product of Israel” labels fly in the face of the Government of Canada’s policy on the status of Palestinian territory as well as international law. In fact, the European Union introduced guidelines in 2015 for the labelling of products originating from territories occupied by Israel since June 1967. It’s time for Canada to respect human rights and international law.

New Democrats believe that Canada must always have a strong and principled foreign policy, including when it comes to international trade agreements, that is based on human rights and international law. The NDP will always stand up for what is right, even when others don’t have the courage to do it.”