Dion Appoints New Diplomats to Replace Controversial Tory Appointees
by Sam Dixon (feat. Ferry de Kerckhove)
July 20, 2016
Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion has announced a series of diplomatic appointments on Tuesday as she claimed to have replaced several controversial Conservative appointees with experienced diplomats. According to the Liberal government, it has only removed the inexperienced ambassadors appointed by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Middle East including key posts in Pakistan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Jordan.
Former envoy to Indonesia and Egypt, Ferry De Kerckhove, claims to know many of the new ambassadors and mentioned that “it is a return to normal diplomacy in terms of appointments. People with decent credibility and to give real voice to the Foreign Ministry before we had the Harper government.” The move has come at a very significant time in global politics as chaos erupts in Europe and the Middle East, including British vote to exit the European Union and Turkey’s turmoil and a series of terrorist attacks.
The ambassador of Canada to Israel, Vivian Bercovici, has been reportedly replaced by a respected diplomat who was envoy to Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons. Mr. Harper named Ms. Bercovici as ambassador in 2014 even though she was largely believed by Global Affairs Canada to be someone who was unschooled in diplomacy and too ideologically connected to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud government. According to Mr. De Kerckhove, Global Affairs would be feeling “total, total elation” to see Ms. Bercovici removed from the position in Israel before her normal three-to-four-year term is up. He said that “in a way, she became the mouthpiece of Netanyahu. She showed no balance at all.”