House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was international.

Topics

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the past 24 hours, France has said that if Saddam Hussein uses biological or chemical weapons against the American forces in Iraq, it will then support the U.S. efforts to remove Saddam Hussein.

If biological or chemical weapons are used, will Canada finally decide that enough is enough and join the effort to remove Saddam Hussein?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it has been very clear from the beginning that what we are trying to do here is to achieve a way in which we can work our way through this, with an international consensus as great as possible for not only the peace, which we now are unfortunately seeing erode, but for how we will come out of this.

I do not think it would be appropriate for the House or for a government at this time to pronounce on eventualities of how we might intervene in a military intervention which we have decided at this time and in these circumstances is not appropriate for us to participate in.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, forethought in crises is probably a good idea.

France has said that it may back away from its opposition to war. The House is supposed to have a vote tonight on whether the House believes that the Canadian government should support the war in Iraq.

Will we have a vote tonight or is the government going to back away from that scheduled vote on the war in Iraq so it can leave the door open over the weekend to change its mind to possibly support a war in Iraq like France is doing?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is not the time to explain the rules of the House to the hon. member during question period but I am pleased to inform him that the motion today is indeed a votable motion.

As we all know, whips confer about these things and decide at what time the votes are to be taken. These are the rules of the House of Commons. They have existed for a long time, even before I was here and that is a very long time.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the war in Afghanistan, we learned after the fact that the joint task force 2 had, without our knowledge, taken an active part in the war. We learned of this fact when it took prisoners.

Can the Minister of National Defence confirm for us that this special unit will not take part in the conflict in Iraq, either now or in the coming weeks?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister just said, the JTF2 is not there. The special force is not there. I think that should answer the question.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is so much secrecy surrounding this force that last time, we had to wait for a photo on the front page of The Globe and Mail to confirm that the unit was in Afghanistan.

Is the answer given by the minister not the same thing? Is he saying that we will have to wait until we see a photo on the front page of The Globe and Mail for him to confirm that the JTF2 is in Iraq?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the NDP House leader just congratulated the Prime Minister for being so clear on this. I do not know how we could be any clearer. It is a fact that the JTF2 is not there.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

March 20th, 2003 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, when his communications director insulted the American president, at first the Prime Minister defended her. Two weeks ago when one of his members expressed her hatred for Americans and then joked about it on TV, he defended her. Now his energy minister has insulted again the elected leader of our principal ally and the Prime Minister has not yet reprimanded him.

When will the Prime Minister stand in his place and make it clear that these damaging anti-American remarks are completely unacceptable from members of his government?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister issued a communiqué clarifying his position. I was very happy that he did clarify it.

In the caucus yesterday I said to all the members of my caucus that it was not the time to have any remarks of that nature. I am sure that the great majority of them will understand that we have to respect the decision of the Americans, just as they respect our decision.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, is that the same kind of clarification we got from the member for Mississauga Centre which was to joke about it?

The energy minister's remarks came after that caucus meeting. Why is it that his own members and ministers do not take him seriously when the Prime Minister disavows these anti-American slurs? Is it possibly because he engages in them himself in his own caucus meetings?

Why will the Prime Minister not stop his members from damaging the economic and strategic interests of Canadians with these uncalled for slurs against our closest friends at a time of great urgency?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the relationships between Canada and the United States are perfectly capable of strategic, economic, family and other unities that will withstand many remarks by many members.

I am confident that our relations are so strong we will even be able to withstand the slurs that the Alliance Party is constantly concocting, saying that Canadians are anti-American. They are creating this climate, not us. Why do they not stop their slurs?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Defence confirmed that Canadian military personnel integrated with the special units under an agreement with other countries were under the command of American or British officers and, consequently, no Canadian officers were required.

Does the Minister of Defence not think that Canadian troops in such a context might once again end up being required to violate international rules, as they were in Afghanistan in connection with the treatment of prisoners?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois ought to understand, along with the NDP, that regardless of the fact that the U.S. and Canada have reached different conclusions with respect to Iraq, it is as true today as it was a week ago that Canada and the United States are the best of friends and allies.

We are therefore still working with the Americans as far as continental defence and the war against terrorism are concerned, including the one currently—

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Roberval.