Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis has earned the ire of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for supporting a petition to leave the United Nations.
Initiated by Burnaby, B.C. resident Doug Porter, Lewis sponsored petition e-4623 to bring it before the House of Commons. Over 67,000 Canadians have signed it to condemn Agenda 2030, and its push for sustainable development.
Petitioners claim it undermines personal autonomy and national sovereignty by neglecting the Bill of Rights and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"Over 60,000 Canadians have now signed a petition calling on Canada to protect our national sovereignty by withdrawing from the UN and its subsidiary organizations," posted Lewis on X, formerly known as Twitter.
According to Mohammad Hussain, a press secretary for the Prime Minister, the MP's endorsement raises concerns.
"Make no mistake, when someone posts a petition it’s because they agree with it. What is it about the UN that Conservatives don’t like?" he said in a statement.
"Is it the work they do for children around the world, is it their programs to support women’s rights and human rights?"
Hussain urged Tory leader Pierre Poilievre to have Lewis revoke her support for the petition, claiming he won't because the Conservatives "promote wild conspiracy theories."
The petition, which currently seeks signatories in the Commons, calls for Parliament to "urgently implement Canada’s expeditious withdrawal from the UN and all of its subsidiary organizations including WHO."
"They […] attack the UN, attack the World Health Organization, and they even turned their back on Ukraine by voting against the new trade deal and voting against military support," continued Hussian.
Rob Oliphant, the parliamentary secretary for Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly, also took potshots at Lewis, calling the petition "absurd" and "dangerous."
Despite the ongoing criticism, Lewis has not shied from condemning international bodies before, including the World Health Organization (WHO), who she condemned recently for attempting to influence Canada’s pandemic response.
Last December, she warned Health Minister Mark Holland the WHO’s pandemic treaty would intrude on how Canada handles health emergencies within its borders. The MP penned a letter expressing her concerns on behalf of tens of thousands of Canadians.
"While your department’s response to the online petition was meant to reassure Canadians that their healthcare sovereignty would not be compromised, several concerning amendments are now in force as a result of Canada’s failure to reject the May 28, 2022 amendments," wrote Lewis.
Petition e-4401, signed by nearly 19,000 Canadians, held reservations with Ottawa accepting regulatory amendments to the treaty in May 2022, including a reduced time frame for responding to future pandemics.
The MP contends they "are not valid and effective" without ratification by the House and Senate, urging "public consultations" to first take place.
At the time Canada agreed to the amendments, the WHO announced a budget increase of $6.83 billion for the 2024/25 fiscal year, of which Canada contributed $175.3 million.
Canada also gave the UN Agency $86 million in 2021, according to Global Affairs in response to an order paper question posed by Conservative MP Shuvaloy Majumdar.
The Conservative lone wolf nor Poilievre responded to a request for comment on Wednesday by the Globe and Mail.