Evidence of meeting #18 for National Defence in the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was kandahar.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

I guess what I'm asking is if you're calling for massive food and humanitarian aid in order to complement what we're doing or make it more likely to be successful, would you be able to help the minister? If she all of a sudden were able to cut a cheque for the development side, could you make sure it got where it needed to go?

4:25 p.m.

President and Founder, The Senlis Council

Norine MacDonald

We'd be happy to do that on a short-term basis.

When I go back now, we are going to do food aid to the best of our financial ability, because I've seen that situation now. As a Canadian, I'm working there, I'm doing the research, and I'm going to do the best I can in our modest circumstances to deliver it. I'm happy to help anyone in any way deal with that situation, out of concern for the Afghans and concern for the Canadian military.

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Can I ask just one dumb little question?

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Rick Casson

Is it a very short one?

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Yes.

I have heard, and I can't find it anywhere, that poppies are the very best source of biodiesel.

4:25 p.m.

President and Founder, The Senlis Council

Norine MacDonald

I've heard that as well, and people have sent us that stuff. I've heard it; we have not researched it, but we have some information about it. It's possible, and that would be a blessing.

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Rick Casson

Thank you very much. I have sugar beet farmers in my riding who think sugar beets are the best source, but we'll have to sort that out. Thank you.

Mr. Hawn.

October 25th, 2006 / 4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Thank you, Chair.

Thank you for coming.

Let me say at the outset that I don't question your sincerity at all, or your motivation. I do make one comment, before I have a question, on the film. I don't doubt that there is an aspect to some of the things you talked about. I saw two fathers, one child, and an armed Taliban in the background in most of the shots.

I've talked to an awful lot of Canadian military who have been there, and my information is that they are participating in jurgas regularly with the villagers. They are integrating with the villagers the best way they can; they are providing as much food aid as they can, and certainly medical aid is being provided on a regular basis by the Canadian Forces throughout Kandahar.

Are they telling me the truth?

4:25 p.m.

President and Founder, The Senlis Council

Norine MacDonald

I was there for weeks and months and didn't see it. So....

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Well, these are young men and women who were there for months—

4:25 p.m.

President and Founder, The Senlis Council

Norine MacDonald

I guess what we can say is that it's not.... Those camps are half an hour outside of Kandahar. I was as surprised as anyone. I was there to do research on something else. If they're there, they're not getting as broad and deep as they need to go.

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

There's obviously a difference of opinion, and that's fine.

4:30 p.m.

President and Founder, The Senlis Council

Norine MacDonald

I don't know whether it's a difference of opinion, or that there's some place where I didn't go, and vice versa.

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Well, there are probably places you don't go, and that's fair. From the security point of view, there are obviously some places you don't go, and that's proper.

4:30 p.m.

President and Founder, The Senlis Council

Norine MacDonald

I will say that I believe I was in territory that is mixed control. We were able to go there, and if you were in a military convoy it would be a different situation.