House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was iraq.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, my position is clear. I said that Turkey was absolutely right to be ready. It is the neighbour of Iraq and there might be a lot of consequences for it if there is a war. We said, yes, NATO should help it to be ready, but at the same time we hope that it will not be needed.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, diplomatic efforts in the crisis with Iraq have been stepped up. The United States and Great Britain are trying to convince the Security Council to give the green light for a war against Iraq, while France, Germany and Russia are working on a peaceful solution through increased inspections.

Can the Prime Minister tell us which camp the government is in, with those wishing to disarm Iraq through war or with those wishing to disarm Iraq through peaceful means?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, since July, Canada has been in just one camp, that requiring anyone wishing to wage war to obtain the approval of the United Nations. We were the first to speak about resolution 1441, which was, in fact, adopted, and we want Saddam Hussein to respect this resolution, so that there will be no need for intervention in Iraq.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is being interpreted differently. There is an international debate, in which leaders and heads of state are acting as heads of state, holding a debate and taking a stand. Here, there is silence and a wait-and-see attitude from the Prime Minister.

Will he measure up to his predecessors and play an active role, rather than waiting for other people to decide for him?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member would look at the facts, he would realize that, presently, the entire world agrees with Canada's position. Even the President of the United States has said that he hopes there will be a new resolution from the Security Council.

Since the beginning, we have said that intervention in Iraq was impossible without the consent of the United Nations, and that is the policy that everyone wants to follow. The world most definitely wants peace, and we will have peace if we follow the United Nations.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday the President of the United States said, “The game is over” in connection with the UN inspection process in Iraq. The French Prime Minister's reaction was “It is not a game, and it is not over”.

Should the Prime Minister of Canada, in his regular contacts with President Bush, not let him know that Canada also does not consider the game to be over but, on the contrary, that Canada feels that utmost support must be given to the inspection process put in place by the UN?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is precisely the position of this government, that the process put in place by the UN must be followed. As I said last week, and reiterate today, Friday will be a very important day, since it is the day on which the UN chief weapons inspector, Mr. Blix, will be reporting to the Security Council. That will be when we can reach conclusions. At present, mere speculation is not particularly worthwhile. We must stick to the process that has been clearly set out by the United Nations.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, President Bush is not just threatening Iraq but the UN as well, when he indicates as he has that the present situation constitutes a test for the organization.

Ought Canada not to make it clear to President Bush that we believe that the UN is not putting its credibility at stake by trying to avoid war, but is instead fulfilling its role, since this is precisely the reason for the UN's existence?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we have been saying since July; that, under the present circumstances, the United Nations process must be followed very closely. Resolution 1441 is very clear and was adopted unanimously. It calls upon the inspectors to do their job. Mr. Blix has already reported once and will be making another report this Friday. All of this is within the mandate of the Security Council. Everyone is working to try to have peace, not war.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on the same topic, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister spoke of a possible second resolution from the Security Council. Would he indicate whether or not the position of the Government of Canada is that the government is open to a second Security Council resolution that would incorporate elements of the French, German and Russian proposal that comes as an alternative to what the Americans obviously have in mind as a follow up to resolution 1441?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have always said that it would be very desirable to have a second United Nations resolution but all that will depend on the report of Dr. Blix and the reaction of the members of the Security Council to it.

The Security Council is what everybody should follow at this time. We will advise the House on the best course of action after Dr. Blix's report on Friday. However it will be the members of the Security Council who decide how to react to the report by Dr. Blix.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, presumably the Security Council members are interested in Canada's opinion on possible options, so I will ask the Prime Minister my question again. What is the position of the Government of Canada with respect to the proposals put forward by France and Germany to increase weapons inspectors and to have a greater UN presence in Iraq as options to the kind of war that is being contemplated by the United States?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no proposition by the Germans and French at this moment. In fact, they said that very clearly today.

When Dr. Blix reports, every member of the Security Council will have to react. Germany, of course, is a member of the Security Council at this time, and the French are always there, and so they will have to react.

I am saying that I hope Saddam Hussein will have complied and I hope that Dr. Blix will be able to report on Friday that Saddam Hussein wants to respect and will respect resolution 1441. If he does that then there will be no war. Saddam Hussein knows very well what he has to do and that is to satisfy Dr. Blix on behalf of the United Nations.

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Question Period

February 10th, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, in 1995 the Liberals disbanded Revenue Canada's enforcement services unit, a 40 person intelligence unit whose sole focus was GST fraud.

Because of that decision, today there are no auditors specifically tasked with fighting GST fraud.

Will the minister commit immediately to restore the GST enforcement services unit created by the Progressive Conservative government to fight GST fraud?

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we take all fraud very seriously. I want to tell the member opposite that in 1995 CCRA was prosecuting about 22 cases per year. We are now prosecuting 50 cases per year.

He is absolutely wrong when he says that we have disbanded. In fact, we have expanded our activities and the results are showing that we are doing the job.