On the eve of the confidence vote, Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew announced plans for a centre to support peace and democracy in the Middle East. "As the volume of our assistance [to the Palestinians] grows, we need to supplement our diplomatic presence with a broad-based facility that can support our activities in Gaza, the West Bank and throughout the Middle East," said Mr. Pettigrew in a statement. "The Canada Centre for Peace and Democracy is intended to serve as a concrete symbol of Canada's dedication to supporting Palestinians in their nation building." Canada has allocated over $36 million this year as part of its program of assistance for the Palestinians. Mr. Pettigrew hopes that the centre will introduce innovative technologies and solutions to facilitate governance, democratic dialogue and capacity-building enhancement, with the main goal of helping to strengthen Israel and to establish a democratic and viable Palestinian state next door.