Deputy Leader of Canada’s opposition party optimistic of ongoing Kurdistan-Canada ties

“I’m sure that we will continue to enjoy a good relationship, opening channels of communication, and finding things that we can agree on.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A Conservative-run government in Canada will be committed to foreign diplomacy and will work with allies like the Kurdistan Region, Lisa Raitt, the Deputy Leader of Canada’s opposition party, said in a recent interview.

Raitt spoke to Kurdistan 24 last week on the sidelines of the 13th annual Kurdish Heritage Festival in Toronto, Canada. She was among many parliamentarians and special guests who delivered positive remarks on Kurdish-Canadian relations at the event.

As federal elections in Canada approach, and with the Conservative Party favorites to replace the current Liberal-run government, Kurdistan 24 asked Raitt how her party would continue to support the Kurdish people.

“We’re not in the business, unlike some other politicians in Canada, to tell other countries how necessarily to run their own democracies,” she said. “What we do believe though is that we’re supposed to work with other countries and make sure that we have open lines of communications and make sure that we’re dealing with democratic institutions.”

Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, who previously served as the Speaker of the House, is familiar with foreign diplomacy, as Raitt explained, “he knows what the importance is of diplomacy around the world.”

“I’m sure that we will continue to enjoy a good relationship [with the Kurds], opening channels of communication, and finding things that we can agree on.”

The Canadian parliamentarian emphasized that a Conservative government would allow communities like the Kurdish diaspora to continue to express their language and culture.

“That’s what we’re based upon here in Canada, that’s what we believe as Conservatives,” she stated.

On developments in Syria, particularly the Safe Zone and how that affects the Syrian Kurds who are a vital ally for the US-led coalition’s ongoing battle against the so-called Islamic State, Raitt said her party has been unable “to receive briefings from a political level.”

A government headed by Scheer “will take advice and get an understanding of what has happened in the past, what is happening now, and how we move forward in the future…that makes sense for our partners and allies who have been there with us the entire fight,” she told Kurdistan 24.

“We want to make sure we do what the right thing is, and we want to make sure we do it in a principled way and thinking about what our past relationships were and the future relationships we want to have.”