House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghanistan.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, every member of the Bloc Québécois respects the troops who are currently in Afghanistan putting their lives on the line to carry out a mission.

Our question is the following. Why did the government promise in its 2006 election campaign to end the mission? The Conservative Prime Minister talked about that several times. The Minister of Foreign Affairs said in the House of Commons that this mission would end in 2011 and that there would be no military presence beyond that date. It was not the Bloc Québécois members, but the Minister of Foreign Affairs who said that.

It was the Conservatives' idea to continue the mission, and the Liberals support them. The only thing the Bloc Québécois wants is for the government to keep its word and for the military mission to be defined and put to a vote in the House. The Bloc Québécois initiated this debate today as part of its opposition day. However, it was the government's responsibility to initiate a debate on extending the mission in Afghanistan.

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Madam Speaker, it is very important to make a clear statement here.

The Government of Canada, along with the rest of the members of this House, made a commitment that the combat troops would be removed from Kandahar in 2011. What we are talking about now is to honour the position that we made, along with the U.S. and other allied soldiers, to be able to move forward to turn over the security of Afghanistan to Afghans. They require training in order to do that. On the mission that I had the privilege to be part of, it was very clear that the Afghans respect Canadians and our ability to be able to train them. They were asking us to do that.

I ask the member the same question that I asked the previous Bloc speaker. Who is going to keep the peace? Are we going to continue to have foreign troops in Afghanistan?

I say no. The people of Afghanistan must have that capacity themselves to keep the peace. Truly this is a peacekeeping mission.

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:05 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I thank the Conservative member for his intervention and his work as parliamentary secretary for that matter.

I have a question for the member, because it is hard to get a straight answer from the government on this.

After the first extension of the war, we were told that we wanted to train up 134,000 troops. That goal was met. We were then told we needed to train up 160,000 and, as of now, that is met. As of next year, we are told by the Pentagon and by NATO that 171,500 troops need to be trained and the government is saying that will be met, and that was before we committed to training the troops.

Notwithstanding the hon. member's admirable comments about the mission, does he not think we should be spending more money on a civilian mission, not cutting it and putting our money into training of troops when in fact we are going to meet those goals anyhow?

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

November 25th, 2010 / 1:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Madam Speaker, as I said, I had an opportunity in May of last year to travel with the committee. When I was there, I came to the very clear realization that we have a unique capacity as Canadians.

I just came from a lunch a few minutes ago where we were interfacing with an official from the Ukraine. He said that Canada is unique in that we as a people, as a culture, have empathy. We understand. We can wear the other person's shoes; that was the term he used.

I think it's very appropriate, and this is a boast about who we are as Canadians, that we can wear other people's shoes in the world. They respect that and they understand that we can train them.

For us not to take up this challenge of training the Afghan soldiers would be immoral on the part of Canada, given the respect we have from the people of Afghanistan.

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:05 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Trois-Rivières.

Today I am happy to speak to the motion introduced by the Bloc Québecois asking the House to oppose another extension of the mission in Afghanistan. I am happy to do so because this is a democratic forum, and it is incumbent upon us to debate our ideas and opinions. It is somewhat unfortunate, however, that this has to come from the Bloc Québécois. The government made a promise, so it should have been the government's responsibility to ask for the House's permission to extend the military mission beyond the date the House had agreed to in spite of the opposition of the Bloc Québécois.

I will begin with a history of the mission, which I think is important if we are to understand the point we are at in this mission. It is not the first time the House has had to make a decision on this. Because both the Liberals and New Democrats went back and forth on this issue, we are in a situation where there are still Canadian troops in Afghanistan, when they could have returned home a long time ago.

The Liberals were in power when this mission was launched. I was not here and I do not remember if there was a vote. I did not hear about one. Once the new Parliament was convened after the 2006 general elections, this debate came to the fore again very quickly.

On May 17, 2006, the first vote was held on extending this mission. The motion stated that the House supported the extension of the deployment by the Government of Canada for a period of two years. The mission was to end at the beginning of 2007, and the purpose of the motion was to extend it until the beginning of 2009. At that time, the Bloc Québécois clearly expressed its opposition to the extension of this military mission, and it voted against the motion. The NDP did so as well. It was harder to determine the Liberals' position because their votes on the issue were split. They adopted a rather partisan approach, and in the ridings where this issue was particularly relevant, they voted against it. However, they made sure that they voted in sufficient numbers for the government to obtain Parliament's authorization to proceed.

Of course, the Bloc Québécois was disappointed by this decision, but Parliament had spoken on this issue and we had to acknowledge that fact. We have always said that the government should respect the will of this House. Therefore, once the House had made a decision, we could not go against its will simply because we did not agree with it. So, Canada extended its mission. It made international commitments and it decided to continue its presence until 2009.

On April 24, 2007, the House voted again on this issue. A motion had been presented by the Liberal member for Bourassa, and supported by the leader of the official opposition, the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore, who is still the leader of the official opposition. This motion recognized that the mission “will continue until February 2009, at which time Canadian combat operations in Southern Afghanistan will conclude;”.

So, clearly, the House had before it a motion to ensure that we would end our military presence in Afghanistan at the beginning of 2009. We were pleased with this change of attitude on the part of the Liberals, and we were hoping that their whole caucus would support the mover and the seconder of their motion, namely the leader of the official opposition. That was the case. The Liberals all voted in favour of this motion to end the mission, to not extend it a second time. The Bloc Québécois did the same. That was its position. We had acknowledged the decision made by the House. Now that we had to vote again on the issue, we said we should withdraw from Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the NDP, for obviously partisan and vote-getting purposes, voted against that motion and joined the Conservatives to defeat it.

Of course, they will tell us that they were hoping for an immediate departure from Afghanistan. I too shared that hope, but it does not change anything to the fact that the House had already voted for the year 2009, and that we had an opportunity to end the mission. If, at that time, the NDP had shown more foresight, if its leader had acted responsibly, if he had set aside political partisanship and his will to make small short-term political gains, and if instead he had protected the country's best interests, we would not be debating this motion today. If the NDP had acted responsibly in April 2007, we would have decided, as a Parliament, not to extend the mission again, and our troops would be out of Afghanistan since the beginning of 2009. So, this issue would have been settled for almost two years now. It is extremely unfortunate that it is not the case.

Later, in March 2008, a proposal from the government was negotiated, again with the Liberals. They changed their minds one more time. They were the ones who had proposed that we leave as early as 2009. However, following yet another episode of fancy dancing, the Liberals were now prepared to extend the mission. The motion read as follows:

that Canada should continue a military presence in Kandahar beyond February 2009 [the date set by this House], to July 2011...

It has been more than just another two years. We were against the first extension and we were against the second request. We wanted to put an end to it at our second opportunity and we were obviously against a third extension. We voted against the motion, just like the NDP, which sort of came to its senses at that point. Unfortunately, in the end—because of negotiations with the Liberals—the motion was adopted and, because of its international commitment, Canada's military had to remain in Kandahar until 2011.

And here we are today with a government that wants to find a way to continue the mission. It has once again come to an agreement with the Liberals. We are being told that this military presence will be for training purposes only. I would point out that a military presence is a military presence, and if they send the military somewhere, it is because they feel that the military is needed to do the job. If it were classroom training, they would not need people on the ground in a combat situation to do the job, and they would not send the military. They would send textbooks, training manuals. This is not classroom training, it is practical training, and practical combat training takes place in a combat situation. It seems pretty logical to me. And that is why the Bloc Québécois moved this motion in the House, so that our soldiers can leave Afghanistan and we can concentrate solely on the humanitarian aspect of this mission.

I encourage all of the hon. members to support this motion.

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, I listened with interest to my hon. colleague.

The aim of this Parliament, the Canadian people, the United Nations and NATO is to do the right thing for the Afghan people. We have spent 10 years there. We have come a great distance in that time in many areas.

Does my hon. colleague not see the contradiction in that dedication Canadians have always had to freedom, democracy, the rule of law and helping those who cannot help themselves? Can he not see the value in Canada providing something that we have been asked to provide from top to bottom, from left to right, from everybody in this process because they value Canada's contribution? They value Canada's ability to train and build capacity in a non-combat role.

This is no different from the training that happens in Gagetown or places like that. They have not lost anybody in this type of training that NATO has been undertaking for the past four years.

Does the hon. member not see the value in providing the expertise Canada has to countries that need our help, to people who need our help, like the Afghan people and Afghanistan?

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Madam Speaker, I feel I have expressed my opinion fairly clearly. It is idealistic to think that there could be combat mission training without taking part in combat. And I am not the only one to think that way. Retired General Rick Hillier thinks the same thing. He feels that it is idealistic to think that we can train people without accompanying them into combat. We cannot give them theoretical training in a classroom and then ask them to fight afterwards, without being able to tell them if they are doing it right.

We feel that Canada's participation should be on a humanitarian and civilian level, not a military one.

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Madam Speaker, I have been listening to the debate for the last hour and a half. I would ask my friend from the Bloc Québécois to comment on the wording of the motion which gives me great difficulty and that is:

That this House condemn the government's decision to unilaterally extend the Canadian mission in Afghanistan to 2014....

If we are to believe what we are being told, and I have no reason not to believe what we are being told, the combat mission in Afghanistan will be over in 2011. It will be completed. It will be done.

I believe there is an obligation to continue in some civil role to the country of Afghanistan and the people who live there, but that is not what this motion states. I would like my friend to comment on that. I believe the whole preface of the motion is erroneous. I ask the hon. member why it was written in that manner.

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Madam Speaker, I explained that in my presentation. Since things started in Afghanistan, the Liberals and New Democrats have been doing a lot of waffling and fancy footwork. This is still going on now in collaboration with the Conservative government.

Let us not play with words. When there is a military presence in a foreign country, it is a military operation. When these people train other soldiers and accompany them into combat as part of that training, it is a military operation. Ever since the first time we had the chance to vote on extending this mission back in May 2006, the Bloc Québécois has been the only party opposed to all requests made in the House to extend the mission.

We feel that this is a trick. It is quite clear that the government, with the support of the Liberals, is trying to sell its proposal by saying that it is just training. Clearly, if the members of the House do not adopt the motion before us today and our soldiers remain in Afghanistan, some of those soldiers will take part in combat missions. Soldiers will continue to die while serving in Afghanistan. I am sure that the government and the Liberals will say exactly the same thing as I have today, that we cannot train soldiers in a combat zone without taking part in the combat.

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak to the Bloc Québécois motion on this opposition day. I would like to reread the motion:

That this House condemn the government’s decision to unilaterally [the word “unilaterally” is very important here] extend the Canadian mission in Afghanistan to 2014, whereby it is breaking two promises it made to Canadians, one made on May 10, 2006, in this House and repeated in the 2007 Throne Speech, that any military deployment would be subject to a vote in Parliament, and another made on January 6, 2010, that the mission in Afghanistan would become a strictly civilian commitment after 2011, without any military presence beyond what would be needed to protect the embassy.

What are we supposed to think about the change in the Conservative government's position now? In its 2006 election platform, the Conservative government told us the following:

A Conservative government will...make Parliament responsible for exercising oversight over...the commitment of Canadian Forces to foreign operations.

In the 2007 Speech from the Throne, the government reiterated its intention to let the House of Commons decide. In 2008, the House voted to extend the mission, but until 2011 only. We could say that the Conservative government is somewhat like St. Peter, who denied Christ three times by breaking his word three times. The military mission in Afghanistan will continue without debate, except for the debate raised by the Bloc Québécois today, and without a vote in the House. In our view, excluding all parliamentarians from this major issue is denying the democratic principles that should underlie all the work in the House.

The former chief of the defence staff for the Canadian Forces, General Rick Hillier, stated that it is impossible to train soldiers without monitoring them on the ground, meaning in the combat zone. It seems that the so-called new Afghan mission will not focus on humanitarian or training activity, but rather military activity, which we are opposed to.

Is there such a thing as training without combat? The Conservative government announced that it will keep a contingent of 950 soldiers in Afghanistan to train the future Afghan army. It was quick to say that Canadian soldiers will not be involved in combat during their training activities. Can we trust the government? Is it telling us the truth?

General Hillier, who is after all the former chief of the defence staff, said that to provide training, our troops will have to go into the field of combat. We think the government’s argument is window dressing. It must not be forgotten that General Hillier has a great deal of credibility. He led the NATO troops in Afghanistan and is very familiar with the reality in the field. I am strongly inclined to believe what he says about the operational requirements for military training. We can trust him because he has been there and has led the troops.

As one telling example, French troops present in Afghanistan are engaged in military training. That has not prevented them from suffering loss of life. What can we learn from the French forces' training mission? This is an important example to take into consideration now that we are obliged to make such a serious decision.

Since 2002, France has participated in training the Afghan national army. This initiative is called Opération Épidote, and its purpose is to train Afghan officers, battalions and special forces. This is what Canada is about to go and do. As part of this operation, teams of advisors and instructors embedded in operational units of the Afghan army coach and advise the Afghans in all of their combat missions and instructions.

How many French soldiers have died? As of October 15, 2010, 50 French soldiers had died in Afghanistan. In August 2010, two French soldiers were killed in Afghanistan while participating in the joint counter-insurgency operation with the Afghan army. On June 19, 2010, another soldier was killed by insurgent artillery fire while at a combat post. A French parachutist was killed on June 7, 2010, during a NATO mission. Nine other NATO soldiers were killed during that mission. On January 12, 2010, two French soldiers were killed while patrolling the Alasay valley. They were taking part in an international mission coaching the Afghan army.

I do not think anyone can tell me that there is no risk involved in these coaching missions.

On September 6, 2009, another French soldier was killed by an explosive device while participating in a reconnaissance convoy.

All of these examples illustrate the crux of the problem: how dangerous is a training mission? A training mission on a battlefield is dangerous and deadly.

The Bloc Québécois humbly suggests the following position to the House: the Bloc believes that Canada has done its part on the military front and that its role can be taken up by allied countries. As a state participating in the London and Kabul conferences, Canada must oversee a transition that is as peaceful and safe as possible to full assumption of control by the Afghan state. We are not shirking our responsibilities, for we are stakeholders in this, but not at any price.

The Bloc Québécois therefore proposes a three-pronged approach: first, support and training for the police forces and assistance in establishing the penal and administrative justice system; second, review and maintenance of official development assistance; and third, reconciliation and integration.

When we talk about military presence and technical support, what do we mean? We mean that the combat group must terminate its combat mission in July 2011 along with the provincial reconstruction team. That team of soldiers is responsible for protecting the NGOs. However, the majority of NGOs want the provincial reconstruction team to withdraw because they believe that the presence of troops is incompatible with their humanitarian mission.

The training of Afghan police officers has taken a back seat to the training of Afghan soldiers. However, a strong police presence is crucial to the proper functioning of society. The Bloc Québécois therefore recommends sending a contingent of 50 police officers to train Afghan police forces.

As for creating a modern judicial system, we believe that trust in that system is one of the fundamental elements of a lawful society. NATO has taught us that the Afghans prize the system’s notion of fairness and prefer the use of the informal system, as the formal governmental system is perceived as highly corrupt. To ensure adequate training and proper functioning of the Afghan judicial system, the Bloc Québécois proposes sending a delegation of Canadian legal experts to support and promote the modernization of the judicial system. These are some training aspects that are not military in nature.

We must also support the prison system. By all accounts, the Afghan prison system has some serious shortcomings, as demonstrated by the Afghan detainee issue and allegations of torture in Afghan prisons.

According to NATO, by western standards, conditions in many detention and correction facilities vary from inadequate to extremely poor in some places. We suggest that the directors of Afghan prisons be supported by Canadian deputy directors. We therefore recommend sending 50 civilians from our correctional system.

Lastly, we also propose the creation of a public service. A public service like the one we have in Quebec does not exist in Afghanistan and must therefore be created.

The take-home message is that we need to hold a vote in the House on the government's decision and proceed democratically. That is our main message.

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my fellow member for her remarks.

I must say that I am a little concerned because, on this side of the chamber, we have often said that this mission will truly focus on training. And yet, I hear my fellow member repeating that the military mission will continue, when such is not the case. In addition, the French soldiers of which she spoke are playing a role in operational training, mentoring and liaison, which will end in 2011. This is not the same type of training that will be given once the combat role ends.

Will my fellow member tell me why she cannot understand that she is talking about something completely different and why she does not want to admit that this will be a non-combat mission focused exclusively on training unlike the training to which she referred that was given by the French.

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, my fellow member and I disagree about the training aspect of this mission. We are saying that the Canadian government may well send 950 soldiers in good faith, but this will still be a combat mission. According to General Hillier, even if all we do is train soldiers, we will still have to take those soldiers to battle stations to test the techniques. We do not believe that this mission will consist of only training. We believe that it will be yet another combat mission and that lives will be lost. In my view, it is very important to make a distinction between these two things. As we have seen, the French training mission, which involved soldiers, resulted in 50 deaths.

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the concerns that many of us have had, notwithstanding the government breaking its promise to have a vote and a debate, is the leap-frogging in this mission. We have gone from 2006, extension 2009, extension 2009 to 2011, extension 2011 now to 2014. Each and every time we have had a debate in the House about an extension of the war, we are told that is it.

Why is it that two weeks ago the Prime Minister was unequivocal when he said that this was the end of the military mission and now we are told, with a snap of the fingers, that we will have it till 2014? Why should Canadians believe the government this time?

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his question.

He is right; how can we believe the government? If the past is any indication, we really have to wonder. When someone goes back on their word three times, that is worrisome.

The basic principle is that this House must make decisions on behalf of the people. We are duly elected. In my riding, like all of the others, there are soldiers who have gone to Afghanistan and who have returned. Some, unfortunately, returned seriously injured and it is hard for their families to see them like this.

We believe that it is important for the House to make these decisions, so that we can explain to our constituents that we were fully aware of the consequences. Furthermore, we think it is important that the House be able to debate and vote on this issue.

Opposition Motion—Mission in Afghanistan
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden York Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I will divide my time today with the member for Richmond Hill.

I will vote against this motion. The motion will not likely pass, as we know already, and what we say today will not change this outcome.

On a matter that is one of life and death for those in the military committed by our actions or for those who come home and who carry with them an experience that shapes their lives for a lifetime, one would expect a soul-searching debate of many weeks and months. But that is not what we have.

So if there is no real debate, let us at least set out some of the questions we would have discussed had there been one and keep those in mind as we get to the next milestones of the Afghanistan mission in 2011, 2014 and beyond.

I was in university at the height of the Vietnam war. Vietnam offered us many lessons. It taught us what happens when ideology, in this case Cold War ideology, makes us blind to what is there to see, when rhetoric sucks us in and sticks us with the wrong persuasive image, an image then of dominoes falling: if Vietnam falls, so will all of Southeast Asia; if Southeast Asia falls, so will....

But it also taught us of other traps. “Five hundred soldiers have been killed”, the U.S. government and military told us; “we can't allow them to have died in vain”. So more soldiers were committed, and more died. One thousand, 10,000, 20,000, until the war was not about dominoes anymore, and 10,000 more died because 20,000 had already died, and then 10,000 more. “We cannot leave now”, and there were 10,000 more.

Lessons offered, many lessons not learned, and one lesson that was learned: the U.S. public, in dismissing the Vietnam war, also dismissed the dedication of its soldiers. Its soldiers returned home broken and received no healing thanks. That would not happen the next time.

So in the years after September 11, 2001, Canada went into Afghanistan to fight terrorism, and in fighting terrorism, also to fight for those abused, especially women, by Afghan life.

Debate is so hard in a time of war. Criticism sounds unpatriotic. It is as if in war we lose our right to question and think. Yet it is a time when we must question and must think. Canadians are dying. Afghanis are dying. We have to be right. Situations can change, or we can begin to see those same situations differently. It is not about questioning our soldiers. Barring some rare abhorrent act, soldiers are always right. They do what they are told to do. It is their generals, or more so, it is those of us in Ottawa. It is their government. We make the final decisions. If we are wrong, far more than us, they pay the price.

We have to encourage debate because it is so easy to shut down debate and get things wrong; because this is about life and death, not dollars and cents; because we cannot face the prospect of being wrong.

It is so easy for us to wrap ourselves in the flag, to hide behind our soldiers, and at the first hint of criticism, say “We have to support our men and women in uniform”, to choke off debate of any kind. And who can argue?

In Vietnam, then, dismissive of the war, Americans were dismissive of their soldiers. In Canada now, far from being dismissive of our soldiers, it is very hard for us to be dismissive of any war they fight.

But true support for our men and women is committing them always to the right cause with the right chance to succeed, the right cause and chance today, tomorrow and every next day after that. So we must keep our eyes and minds always open, always alert.

More than 200 years ago, Samuel Johnson described patriotism as the last vestige of a scoundrel. This is not necessarily the case as Johnson understood it, but it can be. Question period, scrums and sound bites offer no time for thoughtful resolution, only enough time for pandering.

“But that is just the politics of it,” we say, “no big deal”. But in the absence of any other discussion, it becomes a big deal.

War, like grain subsidies, health care, and affordable housing, is about choices. We must provide our military the tools they need for the task we ask them to do, but is that task in Afghanistan, Darfur, or someplace else? Is it in defence, diplomacy, development, or all three? Or does it depend? There are choices. Do we buy the F-35 and pursue the foreign policy an F-35 can pursue, or fewer of them, or more?

People die in war. Tens of thousands of other Canadians die years and years before others do because they do not have the right food, the right shelter, or the right start in life. It costs about $2 billion a year to conduct our fight in Afghanistan. There are choices.

In Afghanistan, we know what we hope. We hope to shut down the actions of terrorists beyond Afghan borders. We hope for education and better lives for the Afghan people, especially for Afghan women. And we hope that long after we leave, the Afghan people will want this for themselves and be able to sustain this by themselves. Right now, we hope far more than we know, but we cannot allow hope, the ideology of terrorism-fighting, and the loss of Canadian lives to make us blind. The stakes are too high.

What do we owe the 153 Canadian soldiers who have died in Afghanistan? What do we owe their families? We owe them respect and gratitude. We owe them remembrance of what they have done for their country. More than anything, we owe them good choices in the future, for the sake of those who come after them.

I will vote against this motion, but like everyone else in this House and like everyone else in this country, I will go from here into the future with my eyes wide open.