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 war.

Topics

International Day for the Elimination of Racism
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yolande Thibeault Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to remind everyone that Canada was among the first countries to support the United Nations declaration in 1966, which proclaimed March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racism.

The campaign to eliminate racism is carried out through conferences, the arts, culture, music, literature and movies. These media are used to describe, expose and denounce racism.

Young people are at the heart of the annual campaign on March 21. They have the energy, commitment and creativity needed to advance the fight against racism. They are the voice of the present and the future and are among those most exposed to racism in their schools, on the street, in small towns and big cities across the country.

The March 21 campaign encourages young people to look beyond race and religion and to embrace diversity.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Statements By Members

March 20th, 2003 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, as we speak, an American led coalition has begun the business of forcibly disarming Saddam Hussein.

The Government of Canada has decided that we will not participate in this particular conflict, and I have no doubt that it meets with the approval of most Canadians.

However, that being said, now is the time for Canadians in positions of responsibility, including members of the House, to refrain from making gratuitous negative comments about our American neighbours and their leadership. Our economies are tightly intertwined and we are, and have been, allies on many fronts.

We will not always agree with the Americans in international affairs but we do share a continent with them. It is in Canada's best interest to strive for good relations with the U.S. whenever possible.

Let us hope and pray for a mercifully swift war and a peace that brings a better tomorrow for all of us on this planet.

Women of Distinction
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Guy Carignan Québec East, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 10, 2003, the finalists in the 2003 Women of Distinction contest for central and eastern Quebec were selected. The purpose of this contest is to showcase women who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to the advancement of women in either their personal life or their professional life.

This is a joint initiative by the Quebec City YWCA and the city of Québec.

Two outstanding women from the riding of Québec East, namely Jocelyne Gros Louis and Gérardine Fournier-Morin, made the short list for the May 6 gala.

Jocelyne Gros Louis is a woman of great charisma, passion and determination. Her social involvement started when, under the Indian Act, she was forced to renounce her origin and her rights after marrying a non-aboriginal. This prompted her to become an advocate for the rights of aboriginal women.

Jocelyne Gros Louis is also behind the establishment of the native friendship centre, where aboriginal families can find assistance in an urban setting. She was also the first woman to be elected Grand Chief of the Huron-Wendat nation, in 1992.

A great humanist and activist of conviction from the very beginning of her career, Gérardine Fournier-Morin was, in late 1995, a founding member of the first union in the counties of Montmagny and L'Islet, of which she was the first president. She was also the first woman to head the organization Jeunesse agricole catholique in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli.

Prime Minister
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister terrorized his own caucus with strong-arm tactics that were an affront to democracy.

The Liberal government will not tell Parliament what the total cost of the gun registry has been so far. It also greatly underestimated the future costs of implementing and enforcing this legislation. Yet we are being asked to approve another $172 million.

Is the Prime Minister proud of his schoolyard bullying tactics? Is he proud that he forced his own MP to burst into tears at the thought of having to ignore the constituents who elected her? Is he proud of his anti-democratic antics?

Taxpayers have been robbed for years to pay for this firearms fiasco but now it has become a symbol of the anti-democratic devices of the government.

The Prime Minister should apologize to his own MPs and Canadians. Better yet, he should take a walk in the snow before it is all gone. A Canadian Alliance government would have the guts and leadership to put an end to this mess.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the allied effort to disarm and end the regime of Saddam Hussein has begun. Notwithstanding the Liberal government's abandonment of our closest traditional allies, Canadians will be hoping for a successful end to the conflict in Iraq.

This morning the Prime Minister in his statement hoped that it would be a brief conflict. Would the Prime Minister avail himself of this opportunity to wish our allies a short and successful campaign?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we all hope that the war will be as short as possible with a minimum of victims on both sides. I think it is too bad. We have worked very hard to try to avoid a war and unfortunately the decision was made. It was the Americans' privilege and right to make that decision. We respect that.

We made a decision. They have known about it for a long time, and they have respected our decision. I hope that this war will be very short and that there will be a minimum of victims.

Of course I hope that the Americans will do as well as possible.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are not neutral on this side and in this country. We are hoping for the success of the Americans, the British and their allies.

I want to address the anti-American comments that were made yesterday. The Prime Minister was forced to accept the resignation of his communications director for her anti-American statements, yet he refused to censure members of his own backbench for similar statements.

Which treatment will the Minister of Natural Resources receive? Resignation or approval.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said to the Canadian people and I said to the members of my caucus yesterday that in a situation like that, we have to respect the decision of the Americans. They made their decision according to their own judgment. They have respected our judgment that is different from theirs.

We have been in communication with the administration yesterday and today, and it has been very cordial. The Americans knew before the war that wanted to be there, and they are very grateful that we are participating in the war against terrorism with our ships in the gulf and with the troops that will be available in a few months.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister should not be vague. He should make it clear that the statement of the Minister of Natural Resources is unacceptable.

This anti-American statement follows a long pattern of such statements from all levels of the Liberal government, from staff, from backbenchers and now from cabinet ministers. Many Canadians and many of our American friends are increasingly convinced that this is not mere sloppiness but Liberal strategy.

Why are remarks like this always targeted at the U.S. administration and never the regime of Saddam Hussein?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is not one day that we have not said that we are opposed to what Saddam Hussein is doing to his people in Iraq, since 1991. We were involved in 1991. This time we are not involved because in 1991 there was an approval of the UN and we were participated.

This year we said the same thing to the president, “If you have the approval of the UN, we'll be with you”. Unfortunately, he did not get the approval of the UN with the resolution that was introduced by the President himself a few days ago, and we decided to do what we told them for a year we would do.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is now reported that the missiles which Iraq fired today on the people of Kuwait are al-Samoud missiles, missiles which were supposed to be banned in Iraq, missiles which Saddam Hussein swore he did not have.

Will the government now reconsider its position and join the coalition of some 50 nations that support the disarming of Saddam Hussein or do we have to wait until Saddam uses a chemical or a biological weapon, which apparently he does not have, before we will join our allies and take action to disarm him?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our position has been clear from the beginning. We have absolutely worked as hard as we can with our American allies, with our British allies and with all communities in the world to bring this to a satisfactory solution at the United Nations process.

We will continue our work in the future with reconstruction and with humanitarian aid, but we do not believe that it is appropriate for Canada to be engaged in a military intervention at this time in these circumstances. We made that clear and we continue that as our strong policy.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has said that he has called world leaders related to the Iraq crisis, and I believe he has, but he also admits that he has never personally picked up the phone and told Saddam Hussein that we as Canadians oppose him and oppose his murderous regime.

The Liberals may laugh. It is now too late for the Prime Minister to pick up the phone, as I understand the lines may be down. He could do what the government of Australia has done and expel Iraqi diplomats, send them home to tell Saddam Hussein that he should step down and save his people. Will he consider sending those Iraqi diplomats home?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have worked very hard, more than any other nation, to try to bridge the gap between those who are supporting the UN resolutions and those who are not. We said that with a few more days or weeks and a precise target and deadline, we would have probably succeeded in the disarmament of Saddam Hussein and not have a war.

The Americans, British and others have decided that they prefer to attack right now. We have disagreed with them and we still disagree. We respect their decision but we are not part of this war.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the war in Iraq is an unjustified, illegitimate and illegal war that could have been averted through the continuation of the inspections, and we deplore this situation. However, despite the fact that the war has begun, the international community still has a role to play. We must now work to help the Iraqi population and to restore peace.

Could the Prime Minister tell us what Canada intends to do on the diplomatic front to ensure that Iraqi civilians will benefit from humanitarian assistance at the earliest opportunity?