Justin Trudeau ‘briefed’ on situation as Israel closes airspace: PMO

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been briefed on the evolving situation in the Middle East after Israel announced it was closing its airspace, a spokeswoman from his office said Saturday.

Ann-Clara Vaillancourt issued a post on X, formerly Twitter, saying the Canadian government is keeping a close eye on the situation. Her comment came shortly after Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency announced Tehran fired ballistic missiles at targets inside Israel.

“The Prime Minister has been briefed by the National Security and Intelligence Advisor, the Chief of the Defence Staff, and the Clerk of the Privy Council on the developing situation in the Middle-East,” she wrote.

Israel closed its airspace Saturday in anticipation of the attacks. 

Conflict between the two countries heightened this week after an airstrike blamed on Israel destroyed Iran’s consulate in Syria, and Iran vowed revenge.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said Friday that Canadians should avoid all travel to Israel in light of the elevated risk.

She said Canadians who remain in Israel should leave “by commercial means.”

Meanwhile, Air Canada announced that it had cancelled its Saturday flight to Tel Aviv. The airline operates four non-stop return flights per week from Toronto to Tel Aviv. The next one is scheduled for Monday.

“We have also put in place a flexible rebooking policy for customers and will continue to monitor the situation in the region and adjust our schedule accordingly,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Conservative member of Parliament Michael Chong, who serves as the foreign affairs critic, said his party condemns Iran’s attack and stands with Israel.

“Conservatives call on the Trudeau government to work with Canada’s allies to ensure Israel’s security and regional stability,” he wrote on X.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2024.

The Canadian Press

<!– Photo: 20240413180420-661b05982045dd7fb850f07bjpeg.jpg, Caption:

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has been briefed on the evolving situation in the Middle East after Israel announced it was closing its airspace. Trudeau reads a document presented to him by counsel at the Public Inquiry Into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions, Wednesday, April 3, 2024 in Ottawa.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld