"I Wasn't Invited, I Was Pointedly Uninvited"
Thornhill MPP excluded from Ontario-Israeli trade mission.
Thornhill MPP Peter Shurman,who is also a PC Critic for Economic Development and Trade, learned last week that Premier Dalton McGuinty has turned down his request to take part in Ontario’s trade mission to Israel scheduled for next month.
When asked for his thoughts on the situation, Shurman told Shalom Life that he is simply “appalled” by the Premier’s decision. According to Shurman, the idea that a trade mission to Israel should be considered partisan by the Premier does not make any sense. “I represent the highest concentration of Jewish people in the province, arguably in the country, up in Thornhill,” said Shurman.
“There’s no question that the government has chosen wisely to do a trade mission to Israel,” Sherman continued. “In the 1990’s when our party was in power and the Premier was Mike Harris, he also did a government trade mission to Israel. Monte Kwinter, a Liberal, was on the invitation list. He didn’t go in the end, but he was invited. I wasn’t invited, I was pointedly uninvited.”
The team traveling to Israel with Premier McGuinty and Minister of Economic Development and Trade Sandra Pupatello, will include Liberal MPPs Monte Kwinter, David Caplan, David Zimmer and Mike Colle.
On February 16, 2010, Shurman wrote to the Premier seeking an invitation to travel with the trade mission. Last week, Shurman was advised by the Premier’s Office that his request was being denied. “I got a call from the Premier’s principal secretary saying ‘Sorry, this is a government trip, not an opposition trip, so you won’t be on it.’”
For the Thornhill MPP, it’s not a question of whether or not he just goes to Israel, as he can pick up and go if he chooses to. “But in terms of an official visit, when we’re looking at promotion of trade and you’re the MPP for a riding of 150 thousand people, of whom 40%, or 60 thousand, are Jews, the vast majority of them are very interested in Israel and the relationship between the countries, notably the province,” Sherman concluded.
“That I shouldn’t be invited to be part of that is ridiculous, and a slap in the face of the people in Thornhill.”