Canadian Parliament Welcomes Back the Coordinating Committee of Lebanese Canadians (CCLC)

Canadian Government and Official Opposition United in Vision and Stance on Lebanon

Ottawa, June 14, 2024

The Coordinating Committee of Lebanese Canadians (CCLC) received a warm welcome on Parliament Hill this week, with members of all political parties demonstrating a readiness to work on policies to support Lebanon. This visit coincided with a significant anniversary, one year after the Lebanese Heritage Month Act received Royal Assent in Canada’s House of Commons, and ironically, one year since the last time the Lebanese Parliament convened, yet failed, to elect a President of the Republic.

During this week’s visit, the CCLC met with several prominent members of parliament including the Honourable Steven MacKinnon, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, MP Chris d’Entremont, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, MP Ali Ehsassi, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, policy advisors for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and several Members of Parliament representing ridings from across Canada. Among them were Canadian MPs of Lebanese heritage, MP Lena Metlege Diab and MP Ziad Aboultaif. The discussions during these meetings were fruitful and covered various critical issues.

The CCLC presented a policy brief and discussed several important topics including the need to support the Lebanese Armed Forces to preserve Lebanon’s sovereignty and to protect all of its borders, including with Israel.  The Iranian regime’s control over Lebanon’s institutions through its proxy, Hezbollah, is a continuous threat to Lebanon’s identity and sovereignty. The affects of this foreign interference are evident in Lebanon’s economic, social and political turmoil.

The CCLC pointed to current Canadian policies concerning Lebanon and how more focus is needed on solutions regarding the plight of illegal migrants in Lebanon due to neighboring hostilities and the need for implementing UN resolutions 425, 1559, 1680 and 1701 to restore Lebanon’s institutions and to defuse regional tensions. These issues are expressed in the Canadian House of Commons Petition e4336, which also highlights Canada’s traditional role in global peacemaking and peacekeeping efforts. These discussions were well received, and future meetings are planned to further explore these issues and develop Canadian policy recommendations.

The Members of Parliament expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the positive contributions of Lebanese Canadians towards Canada’s social and economic fabric. Their desire is to help Lebanon and to work on important Canadian policies that will guide Lebanon on a positive path for its future. It was clear that Canada wants to play an important role in helping Lebanon during these trying times

The CCLC highlighted that Lebanese people in Canada and around the world are concerned for Lebanon and want to ensure that Lebanon’s historical values remain intact. These values include freedoms in all its dimensions, including speech and expression, living together with equal rights and obligations, power sharing based on the national pact and the constitution.  Lebanon’s identity and values will continue to be at risk through foreign interference of all forms.

The message was clear, that Canadian parliamentarians are here to work together to help Lebanon in a non-partisan basis. The CCLC hopes that this will send a message to Lebanon, encouraging all Lebanese members of Parliament from all blocks to work together to elect a President, and form a new government so that the institutions are restored and that countries such as Canada would be better equipped to assist Lebanon.