From Canada's CTV News:
Embattled Liberal MP Boris Wrzesnewskyj has resigned as deputy foreign affairs critic following the uproar over his comments suggesting Canada should negotiate with Hezbollah.
Wrzesnewskyj found himself distanced from members of his own party when he made the statement during a fact—finding mission to Lebanon last week.
CTV's Graham Richardson told Newsnet that Wrzesnewskyj tendered his resignation on Wednesday and that his resignation was accepted.
After the Toronto MP suggested the Mideast peace process would benefit from Canada being more open to talking to Hezbollah, Liberal leadership hopefuls Scott Brison and Carolyn Bennett immediately demanded Wrzesnewskyj's resignation, saying his comments were "unacceptable."
The comments quickly became the central topic of the three—day Liberal caucus retreat which was supposed to be a strategy session for the upcoming session of Parliament.
All 10 leadership candidates condemned the remarks, including Wrzesnewskyj's preferred candidate Gerard Kennedy.
At a news conference Tuesday, Tory MP Jason Kenney, parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, blasted Wrzesnewskyj, calling his comments nothing short of a sign of support for terrorist groups.
Clarice Feldman 8 23 06
Update: 8 24 06 5:10 AM PDT
David Frum, writing on National Review Online, reports:
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has strongly led Canada back toward its traditional alliances. He has likewise strongly defended Israel's right to defend itself against terrorism and aggression. For that, he has come under fire from the Canadian left, as well as local Islamic groups. The Canadian media have gleefully publicized these attacks, even suggesting that Harper's support for Israel explains the (slight) decline in his poll numbers over the summer.
One of Canada's most scientific pollsters, Conrad Winn, has questioned these glib assertions with a careful poll of his own. He finds that when offered a neutral rather than a slanted question, the proportion of Canadians who support Harper's policies jumps from 32% to 64% — and that even in the most anti—Israel region of Canada, Quebec, 58% support a legal ban on Hezbollah activities in Canada. In English Canada, 75% support a ban on Hezbollah.
You can read the poll in its entirety here . Click on the entry for Aug. 14, "Explaining the Globe's Misleading Anti—Harper Poll."