ANDP leadership candidates weigh in on Palestine

Israel’s unrelenting assault on Gaza, which the International Court of Justice has said could constitute genocide, is the biggest international and humanitarian issue of our time. According to Palestinian health officials, at least 31,272 Palestinians have been killed and 73,024 injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The death toll in Israel from Hamas’s October 7 attack, according to Israeli officials, stands at 1,139 while dozens continue to be held captive in Gaza. 

Alberta NDP leadership candidate Sarah Hoffman posted a picture of herself at a Palestine solidarity rally in Edmonton on March 10. The post included a statement referring to the situation in Gaza as a genocide. Given the clear and unequivocal language in Hoffman’s statement, we reached out to the other ANDP leadership campaigns to learn their positions on the genocide in Gaza. All but Naheed Nenshi and Gil McGowan replied. 

Sarah Hoffman: The strongest statement of support

Hoffman is the only ANDP leadership candidate to have called Israel’s attack on Gaza genocidal thus far, joining hundreds of international legal scholars. Hoffman added support for Edmonton-Strathcona NDP MP Heather McPherson’s motion M-113a calling on the Canadian government to join 139 other countries in officially recognizing the State of Palestine, and called for an immediate ceasefire and release of all hostages.

Kathleen Ganley: Referred to old statement, called it a “crisis” not a genocide

Ganley’s campaign referred us to a March 4 statement that was posted to Facebook, in which she called the situation in Gaza a “crisis,” rather than a genocide.“Government of Canada and the international community must step up efforts for a permanent ceasefire, to protect and preserve human rights, to ensure humanitarian assistance for those in need, and to help bring lasting peace in the region,” she wrote. Ganley did not say whether she supports Heather McPherson’s motion to recognize a Palestinian state.

Rakhi Pancholi: Singled out by the Jewish Federations of Edmonton and Calgary

Pancholi replied to our questions and then posted her reply in a statement to Twitter. Her statement does not refer to a genocide in Gaza, nor does it support McPherson’s motion to recognize a Palestinian state, but it does express support for a two-state solution, as well as an immediate, permanent ceasefire. 

The Jewish Federation of Edmonton and the Jewish Federation of Calgary both singled out Pancholi’s statement for criticism, yet neither organization responded to or replied to Hoffman’s much stronger statement in support of the Palestinian people. 

Jodi Calahoo Stonehouse: References her own experiences with colonial violence

In response to The Progress Report’s inquiry, Calahoo Stonehouse said: “As a First Nations woman in Canada, my experience continues to be deeply affected by a legacy of colonial violence.” She added that the “atrocities taking place in Gaza defy the shared values of humanity,” but did not explicitly call the situation in Palestine a genocide. She called for an immediate, permanent ceasefire, but didn’t reply to our question on whether she supports McPherson’s Palestinian statehood motion. Here's her full statement.  

Naheed Nenshi: No reply

Has not replied to our inquiries. If he does, we will update this post

Gil McGowan: No reply

Has not replied to our inquiries. If he does, we will update this post.