Mr. Chair, first I would like to tell my colleague Paul Dewar, on the other side, that the government decided to agree to bring this to the front. Before he runs out to try to get the media's attention on this issue and starts attacking the government, we have agreed that this motion should be handled first. We have agreed to that, before he runs out.
Second--now to the main argument, Mr. Chair--we have discussed this matter on many occasions. Today's or yesterday's Globe and Mail report told us exactly what we have been saying, that this is a publicity stunt by the NDP, forgetting all the other points that have come across, that we discussed at length during the steering committee. The steering committee report came up with these options--to study these issues, to understand them, and to make an appropriate decision. Mr. Dewar is saying that Mr. Barrett said that the Security Council has no problem with letting him come here. Well, then, the Security Council should delist him. Why is he on the list? If the Security Council has no problem with his coming back to this country--it's a simple fact--delist him. As soon as they delist him, everything is over. He can then come back like any other Canadian citizen. I think that is the key element of this.
The steering committee thought it would be more appropriate to look at these things and seek a legal opinion on this matter from the Library of Parliament as well as from another outside lawyer to see if that is possible. That is a common sense approach. Is it possible? There's no point in passing a motion that cannot be fulfilled, and then the legal opinion comes along and says it cannot be done. It's Paul who's saying that Mr. Barrett is talking about it. Whether Mr. Barrett is a lawyer or not, we don't know. And what are the legal implications? The suggestion that came out of the steering committee was to go ahead and do that. That makes common sense.
The second point, Mr. Chair, was that Mr. Dewar had the motion here that said he would like to study what the role of CSIS was in this whole issue. This Globe and Mail article, which he provided, was talking about CSIS having a role to play. Therefore, CSIS has asked the Security Intelligence Review Committee to look into it. Now, the steering committee said at that time, let's go and contact the security committee and find out where this file is--is it progressing and how quickly is it progressing?--so we are able to know whether that issue is progressing before we go on to calling a person who's directly impacted by this decision.
The third point is actually outside the scope of this. We are seeking jurisdiction that would apply to all the other Canadians, which is whether Canadian embassies are Canadian territory or not. But I don't think that is relevant to this case here.
The fourth and last point is this. Before Mr. Dewar jumps into all these arguments--and they have lawyers on the other side--Mr. Abdelrazik has a court case going against the Government of Canada. Is Mr. Abdelrazik able to come, and will his lawyer allow him to come and talk, and will that impact his court case or not? Would a lawyer allow him to do all these things that would impact the court case here?
Mr. Chair, with all these arguments, it becomes very difficult for the government to even support it. In light of the arguments that I made, the government will abstain from this vote.