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

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, many people applaud the Prime Minister's decision but they will not be applauding if they find out that the Prime Minister is trying to have it both ways.

Could the Prime Minister ask the Minister of National Defence to tell us what the new rules of engagement are to make sure that Canadian Forces personnel in the gulf do not do what the Prime Minister has said they will not do?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, they have their rules of engagement, which we have given them, to do exactly what they are doing. We did that months ago and we do not have to change what is already clear.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the 1995 referendum campaign in Quebec, the Prime Minister said “don't worry, don't prepare, wait”, and then he nearly lost the country.

Yesterday, with a war hours away, this head-in-the-sand Prime Minister said “before working on reconstruction wait for the war to start”. Other countries are not waiting. The Canadian Red Cross is not waiting.

How many bombs must fall? How many Iraqis must die before Canada uses our undoubted influence to put the United Nations in a position to lead any reconstruction efforts?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on these programs Canada is always one of the first to move. Already at the United Nations the Canadian delegation is talking with the authorities to make sure that we will be participating in the program when the need arises.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is some progress from yesterday.

On Monday afternoon the Prime Minister finally announced a policy on Iraq. Monday night the foreign minister said “that is Canada's policy at this time”.

Yesterday the minister said “Our position has to reflect the reality on the ground at any one time”. That can only mean that the government is prepared to change its policy again.

Will the Prime Minister tell the House if there are circumstances in which Canada would change the position the Prime Minister stated on Monday and, if not, then why is the foreign minister saying that this is a policy only for this moment, this time?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow will not be this time. For me we have a policy. Our policy is so clear that we were the first ones in the spring of last year to say that we would not participate in a war in Iraq without the approbation of the Security Council.

We have been very clear from the beginning. It is the leader of the fifth party who is always confused.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1998 Canada asserted the independence of our foreign policy when we refused to allow a Russian veto at the UN to stop us from acting in Kosovo. However, today the government has sacrificed the independence of our foreign policy to a threatened French veto against implementing 1441.

How exactly can Canada still claim to have an independent foreign policy when we allow the Elysée Palace in Paris to dictate our actions? Is it now the position of the government that Canada will never again act to protect international security if a veto is threatened by a permanent member?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is a bit presumptuous to say that Canada will go and tell the Americans to use or not use their veto, the French to use or not use their veto, the Russians to use or not use their veto, the Chinese to use or not use their veto or the British to use or not use their veto.

It would be very different if we had that power but, unfortunately, we do not have that power. Usually they make their own decisions.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1998, and we ignored them, rightly, but today Saddam's Baath regime in Iraq has killed more than 100,000 of his own citizens. He would have killed thousands more were it not for the no fly zones being operated by U.S. and U.K. forces without a UN mandate.

Is the Prime Minister telling us that Saddam's regime is not a humanitarian disaster, does not pose an immediate threat to the Kurd and Shiite population and that they would face imminent disaster were it not for U.S. and U.K. military action today?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

No, Mr. Speaker. The government's policy has always been clear. Many governments around the world do not conduct themselves in ways in which we approve. We have fundamental disagreements with many governments around the world. I can name many in the House, Zimbabwe for one and others. We have mentioned them in the House.

What the Prime Minister has clearly said and what the government has said is that we have created an institution to manage these relationships. We have created a world system that justifies intervention in certain circumstances.

We chose not to intervene in these circumstances because we have a principled position and conditions which justify it. We will stick by our position and not be driven off by these false analogies.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

March 19th, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, Spain, which supports the U.S., is not sending any combat forces to Iraq. Oddly, Canada, which refuses to support the U.S. in its unilateral decision, has sent troops and military equipment. It makes no sense.

Should Canada not try to be consistent like Greece, which is withdrawing its frigate, and withdraw its troops and equipment from the region?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister and my colleague, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, just explained, it is clear that Canada does not agree with the U.S. when it comes to Iraq. The Bloc Quebecois needs to understand that on other issues, the U.S. remains Canada's friend and ally. We have an agreement on the joint defence of the continent, on the war against terrorism, and this war is also taking place overseas. The Bloc Quebecois needs to understand that Canada is proud to be in the gulf to fight terrorism with its ships.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence and the Prime Minister keep saying that Canada's military resources are being used in the fight against terrorism. Yet some of the foreign ships that will be escorted by Canadian ships are in the region to go to war.

No matter what the Prime Minister says, Canada's presence is not neutral. What is Canada waiting for to follow Greece's lead and withdraw its ships and troops?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member seems to forget that France is part of this group of ships against terrorism.

Furthermore, we are proud to be part of this defence against terrorism here or anywhere. We are working with France and other countries to achieve this goal, which is very important for Canada.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have decided to stand with France regarding the situation in Iraq instead of with our largest trading partner.

Yesterday the U.S. increased its domestic security by advising the Canadian government that it was going to immediately implement the entrance and exit requirements at all the southern Ontario borders.

Why is the government jeopardizing millions of Canadian jobs that depend on exports to the United States?