House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rail.

Topics

Canada-U.S. Relations
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, while we may not yet know the full economic impact of a U.S.-Iraq war, one thing is certain. The U.S. will tighten its borders and everything that flows through crossing points will undergo higher scrutiny.

We know that agricultural products, consumer goods and softwood lumber, before the trade minister bungled that portfolio, are among the key components of a $1.5 billion a day trade relationship. As of noon today, border delays are well over three hours long. The Deputy Prime Minister had better hope that the U.S. does not clamp down even more once hostilities begin tonight.

Yesterday in response to my question, the Deputy Prime Minister said that he had spoken to Tom Ridge. Well, did he speak to his answering machine? Today we see that nothing has been done to ensure Canadians will have continued access to the U.S. and its markets. We have seen that nothing has been done to ensure that the U.S.-Canadian border does not become a casualty of war in Iraq.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Prime Minister to concede that the only way now to avoid war and for the good of Iraq and everyone else, Saddam Hussein should leave office before the deadline.

Instead the Prime Minister defended Saddam Hussein's right to power. He said, “In the present system, it is for the local people to change the government”. I do not know what the Prime Minister has in mind. Does he expect Saddam Hussein to have a truly democratic election?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the debate has been on elimination of the armament of massive destruction. The resolution of the United Nations was on that too. It was not for a regime change.

When we went to Kosovo, it was not for a regime change. It was to stop the genocide. Milosevic was replaced by his own people when he was defeated at the election.

Therefore the debate is about disarming Saddam Hussein. The process was working. The Americans felt that it was not working fast enough. We disagreed with them and we took action in consequence.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Milosevic was removed, as the Prime Minister knows, only after bombs started falling on his country.

Saddam Hussein kills all opponents, both individually and through genocide. The Prime Minister knows he authorized military action in Kosovo without a United Nations resolution. He said it was to stop genocide. He said it was for humanitarian purposes. Saddam Hussein has killed tens of thousands of his own people.

Does the Prime Minister not believe that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the people of all of Iraq?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not think at this moment it is the same situation because the question of when he committed genocide against the Kurds with chemical armament at one time, it was at the beginning of the 1990s.

I am going back. I said the United Nations has never debated the change of regime. Why not change the regime in North Korea? Why not change the regime elsewhere? We will never stop. The question is that--

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

All I can say about that kind of answer, Mr. Speaker, is we cannot change the regime here in Canada quickly enough. Yesterday the Prime Minister said--

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Calgary Southwest, AB

Well, the Liberal members want a change.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I realize regime change is an important topic of discussion and one that generates some enthusiasm on every side but we have to be able to hear the question from the Leader of the Opposition.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I got that line from the member for LaSalle—Émard.

The Prime Minister has said that Saddam is currently contained and that this containment is working. He knows that Saddam is contained by a quarter of a million allied troops, British, American and Australian, at his doorstep.

Does the Prime Minister really expect these troops to stay there indefinitely and if this strategy was working, why was his government not participating in it?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, talking about change of regime, they did that in the opposition and they went from 25% to 9% in the popular vote.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Calgary Southwest, AB

My caucus did not force me to resign.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.