House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sexual.

Topics

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, all I can say is that the freeze on Iraqi assets in Canada, which has been in place—as I just mentioned to the House—since 1990, is in accordance with UN regulations.

Naturally this will continue to be the case and we will handle any such assets in accordance with Security Council regulations and Canadian law.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, several organizations will join in the humanitarian effort in Iraq.

Does the minister agree that again, the UN is the best placed to coordinate all the humanitarian work in Iraq?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously we intend to promote this point of view, namely that it would be appropriate and even preferable for the administration of humanitarian aid and the reconstruction of Iraq to be carried out under an international mandate rather than the mandate of one single power.

We are trying to convince our American friends that it would be in their best interest to adopt a UN-type system. I think they will see our point of view.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that Canadian ships are escorting ships involved in an illegal war, without authorization from Parliament. My question is for the Minister of National Defence. He has authorized Canadian ships to escort warships as far north as Kuwait, involving us in this war. Could he assure Canadians that our sailors have the same level of protection as the sailors they are escorting?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, one must always be extraordinarily cautious in releasing information that may involve the security of our men and women at sea. As they say, loose lips can sink ships.

However, I am able to inform the House that all of our sailors are equipped with protective equipment to defend themselves against biological and chemical attack. Not only that, but our ships have the capacity to seal themselves in the event of a biological or chemical attack. I am pleased to be able to inform the House of these facts today.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadian surveillance planes are supplying data to the U.S. fifth fleet. Our ships are escorting warships. Yet supposedly Canada is not involved in Bush's war. To ensure that we are not involved, could the defence minister tell us where Operation Apollo ends and Bush's war begins for our 1,300 armed forces personnel in the gulf?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

I just mentioned security concerns, Mr. Speaker, and I am certainly not going to reveal to the world exactly where our ships are operating, but I would say that the NDP does not seem to get it. We had a resolution on this matter from the Bloc which was defeated overwhelmingly yesterday. The fact of the matter is that there is absolutely no way Canada is going to withdraw from the war against terrorism, to cut and run at a moment when our allies are at greatest risk. Indeed, we are fully committed to the war against terrorism and are proud of what we are doing in the gulf.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, before last night the government was able to argue that Canada would not participate in Iraq at this time. Canada was as flexible as France. But the Prime Minister and his government last night voted in favour of a much more categoric resolution that absolutely shuts the door on any subsequent United Nations action. Either that vote means nothing or Canada is not now free to respond to Saddam's use of weapons of mass destruction. Which is it?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is not our view that the vote last night, which clearly was the opinion of the House, was that we should not be sending troops to be a part of this intervention. It would determine all future possibilities for all future time and no Parliament seeks to bind its government in such a way. The government will take its responsibility and take the actions that are necessary for the protection of the Canadian people and the establishment of international peace and order, as it has always done in the past and will continue to do in the future.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister sucks and blows at the same time. That means that in his view the vote he cast last night means absolutely nothing at all.

I am pleased to hear that he is finally talking about reconstruction after ignoring that for the first several days of this debate. He knows that the United Nations has authority to deal with humanitarian actions but that it needs a new resolution to deal with reconstruction. Is Canada acting actively to have a new resolution drafted and, more importantly, to build the kind of consensus that would ensure such a resolution would be adopted by the Security Council?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

To be fair, Mr. Speaker, I must say that I appreciate the hon. member's interest in the issue of reconstruction, but it is not correct to say we have taken no interest in this up until now. We have been extremely aware of it, but the question is, how does one act reasonably and in a way that is going to make a positive contribution to this issue?

The Prime Minister made it clear that before the intervention took place talk of reconstruction might have caused other political issues to arise. That is now there. We will do our part. We are acting at the United Nations. We agree with the members of the House that this would be best managed through a United Nations process and we will actively pursue that agenda.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

March 21st, 2003 / 11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, a new poll says that 52% of Canadians are worried about the damage to our relationship with the United States created by the government's self-indulgent anti-American ranting. Now even the cabinet is getting into the act.

Does the foreign affairs minister understand that the steady stream of poison coming from his own caucus cannot help but undermine our relationship with our best friends in the United States?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I have always taken the position and the government's position has always been that the United States is acting in these circumstances in a review of its own sovereign interest, the protection of its citizens and the establishment of peace and order as it sees it. We have chosen to take another path, but that does not mean that we criticize the path chosen by our American colleagues.

I accept what all members of the House accept, which is that we will act in this way, in a way to preserve the friendship with the United States, the access across the border and the best relations we have. I am confident that we will be able to do it. I urge the hon. members opposite not to envenom--

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fish rots from the head down. What we have seen from the caucus across the way is the Prime Minister giving tacit approval to what some of his caucus members are saying by not taking them to task for it. Very often the Prime Minister will dress down his members when they hurt his party. When is he going to start to dress them down when they are hurting his country?