House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aid.


Canadian Foreign PolicyRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel Québec


André Ouellet LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to table, in both official languages, a guidance paper for the special joint parliamentary committee that will be reviewing Canadian foreign policy.

Order In Council AppointmentsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Kingston and the Islands Ontario


Peter Milliken LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, in both official languages, a number of order in council appointments made by the government.

Pursuant to Standing Order 110(1), these orders in council stand referred to the appropriate standing committees, a list of which is attached.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Kingston and the Islands Ontario


Peter Milliken LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to three petitions.

Non-Profit Organization Director Remuneration Disclosure ActRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.


John Bryden Liberal Hamilton—Wentworth, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-224, an act to require charitable and non-profit organizations that receive public funds to declare the remuneration of their directors and senior officers.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to introduce a private member's bill entitled the charitable and non-profit organizations director remunerations disclosure act, the purpose of which is to bring public accountability to all organizations funded by the taxpayer in the matter of salaries and benefits of their directors and principal officers.

Once a group receives public money directly or indirectly it must be prepared to surrender its right to privacy. MPs declare their pay, and the same principle of salary disclosure should apply to all persons charged with the public trust. This bill addresses that principle.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.


Jesse Flis Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, it is my honour to present a petition signed by residents from British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec and Ontario, which I think highlights the importance of this petition.

The petitioners state that whereas Russian troops continue to occupy a large radar station in Latvia; whereas the maximum intensity of electromagnetic radiation from the station has had a profoundly negative effective on the health of the surrounding population; whereas Latvia as an independent state has repeatedly demanded the withdrawal of these Russian troops, the petitioners pray and call upon Parliament to urge the government to urge the Russians to promptly withdraw these troops from Latvia and further to remind the Russians that future Canadian aid and credits will be tied to the timely compliance with this request.

The petitioners will forever pray.

(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.)

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Kingston and the Islands Ontario


Peter Milliken LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 13 will be answered today.

Question No. 13-

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.


Herb Grubel Reform Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Under the family reunification program, (a) what is the number of immigrants admitted to Canada during the last 12 months (b) what was the average age of the immigrants admitted to Canada (c) how many immigrants does the minister of immigration expect to admit annually during the next three years?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

York West Ontario


Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Under the family reunification program:

(a) Preliminary data for 1993 shows that 109,765 immigrants landed in Canada under the family reunification program.

(b) There are three major categories under the family reunification program: spouses, dependent children, and parents and grandparents. The principal applicant may bring with him/her dependents as specified in the regulation. Of the 109,765 immigrants, 50 per cent landed under the spouses category, 12 per cent under the dependent children category and 38 per cent as parents and grandparents.

The average age for principal applicants in the spouse category was 31 years. Ninety per cent of the dependents of spouses were under 19 years and nine per cent were between 19 and 30 years old.

The average age for immigrants in the dependent children category was 16 years.

The average age of principal applicants in the parents and grandparents category was 64 years. Fifty-three per cent of dependents in the parents and grandparents category were under 30 years, 20 per cent were between 31 and 50 years old, and 26 per cent were over 50 years old.

(c) The immigration plan for 1994, which was tabled on February 2, 1994, announced a level of 111,000 family class immigrants for the 1994 calendar year.

No immigration levels for 1995 or later have been identified. On February 2, 1994, the minister also announced that he was launching a new public consultation process that will help shape Canada's immigration policy for the next decade. The process will culminate this coming autumn in a new, 10-year strategic framework for immigration policy, within which new five-year immigration plans will be set.

Levels of immigration for 1995 and after, including family class immigration, will be announced after the consultation process is complete.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

The Speaker

The question as enumerated by the parliamentary secretary has been answered.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.


Peter Milliken Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

The Speaker

Shall the remaining questions stand?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Some hon. members


Canadian Foreign PolicyGovernment Orders

10:10 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel Québec


André Ouellet LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs


That a special joint committee of the House of Commons and the Senate be appointed to consider Canada's foreign policy including international trade and international assistance;

That the document entitled "Guidance Paper for the Special Joint Parliamentary Committee reviewing Canadian Foreign Policy" be referred to the committee;

That the committee be directed to consult broadly and to analyse the issues discussed in the above-mentioned document, and to make recommendations in their report concerning the objectives and conduct of Canada's foreign policy;

That the committee be composed of fifteen members of the House of Commons and seven members of the Senate;

That the members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade be appointed on behalf of the House as members of the said committee;

That the committee have the power to sit during sittings and adjournments of the House;

That the committee have the power to report from time to time, to send for persons, papers and records, and to print such papers and evidence as may be ordered by the committee;

That the committee have the power to retain the services of expert, professional, technical and clerical staff;

That the committee have the power to adjourn from place to place inside Canada and abroad and that, when deemed necessary, the required staff accompany the committee;

That a quorum of the committee be twelve members whenever a vote, resolution or other decision is taken, so long as both Houses are represented and that the joint chairpersons be authorized to hold meetings, to receive evidence and authorize the printing thereof, whenever six members are present, so long as both Houses are represented;

That the committee be empowered to appoint, from among its members, such subcommittees as may be deemed advisable, and to delegate to such subcommittees all or any of its power, except the power to report to the Senate and House of Commons;

That the committee or its representatives meet on occasions it deems fitting with the special joint committee or its representatives charged with reviewing Canada's defence policy;

That the committee be empowered to authorize television and radio broadcasting of any or all of its proceedings;

That, notwithstanding the usual practices of this House, if either the Senate or the House are not sitting when an interim report of the committee is completed, the committee shall deposit its report with the Clerks of both Houses, and said report shall thereupon be deemed to have been presented to both Houses;

That the committee present its final report no later than October 31, 1994; and

That a message be sent to the Senate requesting that House to unite with this House for the above purpose, and to select, if the Senate deems advisable, members to act on the proposed special joint committee.

Mr. Speaker, we believe it is time to review our foreign policy in light of the changes occurring in the world, our national interests, our capabilities and the new constraints that we now face.

Our red book outlined several initiatives a Liberal government intended to pursue. Since my appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs on November 4, 1993, I have taken steps to implement these initiatives.

First, the government will soon be ratifying the law of the sea convention. We recognize that Canadians, especially those from the Atlantic region, want a more effective international regime for managing fish stocks on the high seas. To this end, my colleague the minister of fisheries went to New York yesterday to attend a special United Nations conference on this issue.

Furthermore, I have asked my officials to produce a working paper on UN reform issues in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the UN in 1995. I want to point out that Canada has always played a relatively prominent role at the UN. We have given an important grant to the United Nations Association in Canada to promote Canadians' awareness of UN reform in the context of the 50th anniversary.

Together with my colleague the Minister of the Environment, I am also pursuing means to make sustainable development a key component of our approach to international assistance.

In our red book, we also spoke of our desire to make Canada's foreign policy development more democratic. Our determination has not flagged.

This is why I am pleased to open the debate on Canada's foreign policy review in this House today.

We promised to develop an independent foreign policy for Canada. What does that mean? It means first and foremost to have the political courage to say what we think. To dare say what we think, sometimes in spite of others, to say it often before others, but also to always say it better than others. Our foreign policy must not only be independent but also more democratic. And the best way to make it more democratic is of course to listen to the concerns and interests of Canadians. This is why we want to broaden the public consultation process and enable Parliament to play a major role in this review.

We promised to allow Parliament to express its views on major international issues. Indeed, the members of this House have been able to debate our peacekeeping role in Bosnia and cruise missile testing in Canada. I believe that these new initiatives must be pursued. I also think that the parliamentary committee has a unique opportunity to debate the major issues which must be reviewed in the context of our foreign policy review.

I do hope that parliamentarians will hold public hearings across the country and will invite Canadians, not only to submit briefs and testify before the committee, but also to establish a dialogue with the government through the members of that joint committee of the House and the Senate.

We will also invite Canadians at large to play an active part in this review. On March 21 and 22, we will hold a national forum, here in Ottawa, on Canada's international relations. This forum will be sponsored by my colleagues, the Minister for International Trade and the Minister of Defence, and myself. The Prime Minister will preside at the opening of the forum.

More than 100 Canadian personalities from different walks of life will be invited to examine the major directions of our foreign policy in light of the overwhelming changes of recent years. Their comments will be extremely useful to us in assessing our foreign policy. We should be able to determine which policies continue to serve our interests and which should be redesigned.

After the forum, the government will ask the joint parliamentary committee to undertake its own review of Canada's foreign policy, taking into account what will have been said at the forum, and to make specific recommendations. I hope the committee will have the opportunity to hear the views and opinions of all Canadians across the country.

Meanwhile, together with my colleagues, the two secretaries of state and the parliamentary secretary will continue wide-ranging consultations with all those who are interested in international issues, especially the international development assistance program.

The recent annual human rights consultations with non-governmental organizations were very productive for us in preparing for this year's meeting of the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. The recent International Development Week was more than a mere listening exercise for me; it enabled me to pursue and develop co-operative ties with our partners. We intend to continue in that spirit, because many people in non-governmental organizations follow Canadian foreign policy and contribute to Canada's good name throughout the world by serving Canadian interests abroad in a worthy and very substantial way.

I would like to emphasize in this House the importance that I attach to the consultation process. The forum and the work of the joint committee will certainly not be the last step in this consultative process. Indeed, the government intends to pursue these consultations, as I was saying, and we hope that it will

become a good precedent that will be followed throughout this government's mandate.

In the coming years, we want this forum to be used to examine some particular aspects of Canada's foreign policy. The government will seek to maintain an ongoing review of its foreign policy that will involve Canadians and their elected representatives, because in this world where rapid change and upheaval are the norm, we must establish and develop a flexible and effective mechanism. That is what we intend to do and that is what I promise in this House.

While we are engaged in our foreign policy review, we cannot ignore our international responsibilities. In this regard, we are to participate in five major multilateral meetings this year. At the start of the year, the Prime Minister took part in the recent NATO summit. This summer, he will go to Italy for the annual G-7 summit. In the fall, he will go to Asia for the summit of APEC, which stands for Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation. Finally, he will attend the summit of the Organization of American States and of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe.

We will therefore be very visible on the international scene this year and we must seize the opportunity to make our views and interests known at these gatherings.

This government was elected with the mandate for the renewal of our economy, our society, our political integrity and our confidence in the future. We have already begun the hard work and we know much more will have to be done. The obstacles are many but our duty to move forward is clear.

Many of our most difficult challenges and hardest choices must be faced here at home. As we said in the red book, finding jobs, protecting the environment, enhancing national unity, providing political security and enriching the cultural identity of Canada are all goals intrinsically linked to how Canada acts in the global arena.

The international community faces difficult problems. Answers will require a concerted effort by countries working together in common. Whether we talk of the economy, of international security, of respect for international law, no nation can stand alone. We face common burdens and share links that cannot be severed.

This government knows how hard the task of national renewal is, but we also know that our well-being as a country depends on a stable international environment in which we can prosper.

As the Prime Minister said in our red book: "Canada has always adapted to change and overcome adversity, and that will be the key to our future". We cannot dissociate change abroad from change at home. We must show determination, imagination and courage. We are confident of success in meeting the challenges of our times. However, we will need the support and confidence of all Canadians to meet these extraordinary challenges. We have shown in the past our desire to solve this country's problems in a shared, open and co-operative manner.

The foreign policy review process that I am launching today is intended to observe these same principles. But we do not seek to be iconoclasts. We do not seek to overturn all the values that have guided us in conducting our foreign policy until now. We must achieve a balance between continuity and change. Many sound elements of our foreign policy remain valuable and necessary today, objectives and characteristics that have helped to define us as an independent nation in the eyes of the international community.

I would say that the whole world expects something of us that it does not expect of others. We must keep in mind that Canada is a country which has something special that few countries in the world can pride themselves on having. We are in a sense universal. We have a universality that is unlike any other country in the world. We are Americans and because we are in America, we have forged special ties with our American and Mexican neighbours through NAFTA. But being Americans and members of the Organization of American States, we are also partners with countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America. But we are not only American; our geography also makes us an Atlantic people. Because of our past, our transatlantic past, we have forged very close ties with countries on the European continent. Within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, we have developed ties of friendship and co-operation with European nations. However, we have also looked to the Pacific. Within APEC, Canada is developing increasingly important ties with Asian nations. We must not forget, however, that there are three oceans. There is also the Arctic. Given our geographic location, we must also develop relations and maintain important co-operative ties with northern nations.

We are fortunate to benefit from both the French and English cultures and languages and to belong to both the Commonwealth and la Francophonie. Canada plays a major role within these organizations. We have become a major trading partner of several African and Asian countries. As a former British colony, we maintain ongoing, friendly relations with Australia and New Zealand, as well as with a number of other African and Asian countries.

Canada acted as a negotiator and helped to bring India and Pakistan closer together with a view to achieving peace. We were involved in settling the Korean War conflict. Following World War II, our military was actively involved in establishing a new peace in Europe. More recently, with the UN peacekeeping missions, Canada has made its presence felt just about

everywhere in the world, but particularly in the Middle East, contributing in the process to making the world a better place.

When we look at what Canada has done and at the extent of its participation, we can see that few countries in the world can claim to have such tangible, important relations with countries on all continents.

We have to bear this fact in mind when we consider ways of improving and changing our foreign policy, while remaining faithful to those before us who helped to develop it.

Of course, we will have to make some difficult choices in some cases, but we cannot betray the hopes and trust that many countries around the world have placed in us. As I said earlier, they expect more from Canada than they do from other nations.

As we embark on this foreign policy review process, we must take heed of what has served us well, of what policies have gained us international respect and admiration, the positions we have taken and the progress we have achieved in critical areas such as peace and security, north-south relations and human rights.

We can be proud of Canada's historic leadership in the international struggle against apartheid in South Africa and of Canada's vision in creating peacekeeping. We have consistently pursued our international values and interests, not through force of arms or belligerent diplomacy but through force of reason and commitment. We have always willingly fulfilled our responsibilities as a global citizen seeking to build international understanding through co-operative multilateralism. We have welcomed international trade and investment rather than retrenching ourselves behind protectionism. Canada played a key role in the successful conclusion of the Uruguay round and toward the creation of the World Trade Organization.

We will continue to build on the strong foundations of our support for peace and security, international prosperity and development, respect for human rights, democracy and good governance, the rule of law and free trade.

These elements will continue to be basic objectives. While the dramatic events of recent years give us a sense of hope, modern times, unfortunately, are as dangerous as ever. The war in the Balkans is, sadly, an all too obvious example.

We must continue to move from security structures originally designed to contain the Soviet threat toward a new system designed to manage risk and unpredictability. Thus, we must consider the future of multilateral organizations such as NATO and the CSCE. We must also redefine, as I stated earlier, the role of the United Nations and we must also endeavour to make regional organizations such as the Organization of American States more relevant.

We must also nip possible new sources of conflict in the bud by continuing our assistance to programs aimed at dismantling nuclear weapons and by broadening and enforcing non-proliferation treaties, especially in North Korea, South Asia and the Middle East.

Chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction raise new fears. Recent treaties to halt and reverse their proliferation are steps in the right direction, but improved verification and universal accession are essential. International action is also needed to arrest and reverse an excessive stockpiling of conventional armaments.

Large scale movements of people, whether refugees displaced by persecution or persons seeking improved economic conditions, will continue. The scenes of displacement and despair we see every day unfortunately on our television screen are graphic reminders of how much remains to be done.

Countries will have to work together to address the root cause of migratory pressures. Stopgap measures to ease the pressure or stem the tide will fail.

The rise of ultranationalism as a political ideology puts progress toward democracy at the mercy of intolerance. We must act internationally to respond to problems related to the treatment of ethnic, religious and cultural minorities. Canada has much to offer the international community in this regard. The political, social and economic components of various environmental issues must be studied as parts of a whole. The solutions we must find to new environmental threats will not always be easy to accept. Sustainable development is the only way for both developing and industrialized countries.

Economically we are faced with explosive change. Dramatic developments in technology are driving changes in the organization of production, in investment patterns and in financial transfers which defy traditional frames of analysis and forms of control.

My colleague, the Minister for International Trade, will discuss these changes and their implications for Canada in greater depth.

I would like to note that economic, political and social changes cannot be separated. As we can see in eastern Europe, they intercept, overlap and occasionally conflict.

With this in mind, we wish to benefit from the knowledge and experience of Canadians. I know that our fellow citizens care about their country's foreign policy. We must therefore listen to Canadians. They can best tell us what values and interests this country must promote abroad, and how we can best contribute to the international community.

However, I think that we should take into account our important cultural contribution abroad in our review of Canada's foreign policy. We must recognize that our international contribution in this area is directly tied to our national actions to support creativity, innovation and human resources development.

Of course, our policies must be realistic. Unfortunately, we will not be able to do everything we want to do. So, difficult choices will have to be made. Our resources are limited, and we must focus our efforts where our contribution will have the greatest impact. No single issue will be off-limits in this debate on foreign policy. However, as a government, we must give the broad outline of this policy and we intend to pursue our action in the following areas: first, the pursuit of international peace and security. Second, defining Canada's place in a world where the role of regional associations is growing stronger. Third, linking Canada's values and interests, including our economic and trade interests.

Geoffrey Pearson aptly described in his book entitled Seize the Day how Lester B. Pearson and his ministerial colleagues shaped Canadian foreign policy to be independent, original, forward looking, based on truly Canadian values but requiring at the same time a sustained involvement in international organizations such as the United Nations and NATO.

In fact, Canada has always centred its security policy on two multilateral institutions: NATO, to contain the threat of communist expansion and to protect democracy; and the United Nations, to promote the values of dialogue and co-operation to resolve or prevent conflict. The end of communism has reduced NATO's importance as a military alliance. However, much can still be done by NATO.

In the unstable new Europe, NATO must transform itself into a collective security organization while welcoming into its orbit the countries of eastern Europe which want to join and become our friends instead of our enemies. This is an opportunity that the western world cannot ignore or refuse to see and take up, one that will have to be acted upon as soon as possible.

While NATO's role has changed, the UN has had to face a multitude of new demands and its role, instead of declining, has grown considerably. As you know, Canada has greatly contributed to the building of the United Nations, which reflects many values held dear by Canadians. After 40 years of near paralysis caused by the cold war, the UN is now being asked to play an increasingly active role in seeking and maintaining international peace and security.

Of course, this transition has not been an easy one. Far from yielding to the temptation of easy criticism, we must admit that the United Nations has been asked to assume almost overnight a role for which it was never prepared. Indeed, one wonders how it has been able to function in these trying times. I think that it is in order to thank the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and to hail his remarkable efforts. He needs the support and encouragement of all peace-loving nations and all representatives of UN nations.

Canada has led appeals for a sweeping reform of the United Nations, but we must show as much courage, innovation and determination today as in the aftermath of the second world war, when the nations of the world united to create major international institutions which, I would say, have served us very well over the years in spite of their little flaws.

Institutional inertia has frustrated creative thinking. We accept that the world is far more complex than it was five decades ago. We realize there are many more countries representing many more interests and perspectives. We understand we cannot tear up everything and start anew, ignoring the significant contributions made by international organizations, in particular by the United Nations. Lester B. Pearson said many years ago: "We cannot abandon the United Nations as the main structure of peace".

We do believe, however, that it is time once again to encourage fresh ideas about where we want to go as a world community. We could draw on our expertise and our experience to develop new ideas on peace making, peace keeping, peace building; on arms controls and disarmament; on forms of adjudication and redress for interstate conflicts; on reform of the UN's specialized economic, social and cultural agencies; on practical measures to strengthen co-operative security organizations; on improving multilateral development mechanisms to deal with chronic underdevelopment; on dealing with international ecological disasters; and on reacting to international population migrations.

Obviously this list is not exhaustive, but it is indicative of the areas where the government believes Canada can help make a difference for the better. Now that the cold war is over we must continue to bring the nations of the world together in the pursuit

of peace. We must continue to work on frameworks that will enable dialogue and co-operation between nations.

Lester Pearson said in accepting his Nobel peace prize in 1957:

The best defence of peace is not power but the removal of the cause of war and international agreements which will put peace on a stronger foundation than the terror of destruction.

Canada must review its geographic priorities in this new international context. The end of a world divided into two camps and the emergence of new economic powers have contributed to the development of regional groups. Regional institutions can benefit the international system in many ways. They are sometimes the best tool for economic development and mediation.

We hope the growing power of certain countries will give them the necessary confidence and determination to promote co-operation between regions on a large number of international issues. We wish to establish strong ties that will enable us to initiate open and honest dialogue on our economic, social and political concerns, and on human rights in particular. However, these regions may form hostile and aggressive blocs. Canada has much to contribute in avoiding such a development.

We Canadians know the importance of dialogue and co-operation. The government is determined to help the countries of the world to adopt this course. To this end, we will have to review our priorities. We will maintain our relations with Europe because of our historical, cultural, political, economic and security ties with that part of the world, but we will also have to see how this new Europe will be affected by the growing development of the European union. This union will admittedly play an increasingly important role in Europe and lead North America, and Canada in particular, to reconsider its position in relation to the old world.

It is clear that North America will have to adjust its presence and influence in a Europe growing stronger and more united. Our political task in Europe today is building the economic and democratic structures and security of eastern and central Europe including Russia and Ukraine.

The past election in Russia has confronted us with new challenges. The results of the upcoming elections in Ukraine could also be critical in determining that nation's progress. We have already mentioned our interest in developing a special relationship with Ukraine. I have already announced specific measures toward that goal.

There is a great deal to be done. We will continue to work closely with our traditional allies and our new friends in Europe to promote security. However the respective roles of North America and Europe will gradually change. The transition will lead to a new relationship as rich and as harmonious as the one that saw us through the cold war, but it will be focused on new issues that reflect the new world environment.

Canada is by geography a nation of the north. Our relations with the United States are of paramount importance to us. We have already established a businesslike atmosphere in which to pursue our many bilateral interests. We intend to keep it that way.

The United States today is adapting to changed circumstances at home and abroad, and we share many of the same concerns. We believe Canadian experience, particularly our approach to multilateralism, can prove useful to the Americans as they develop new perspectives. We look forward to working constructively on the international scene with our neighbour.

This however does not imply that we will jeopardize our concern and our interest so as to avoid disagreement between our two countries at any cost. This is what I have indicated very candidly and very forthrightly to my American counterpart, Warren Christopher, during my recent visit to Washington last month. I made Canada's concerns about efforts by a certain group in the U.S. to reduce our agriculture and other exports quite clear and unequivocal to him.

I also indicated to Mr. Christopher that this government was determined to set its own independent course in foreign policy. By being independent I do not mean that we are opposed to the American policy but that we want to see action being taken with a Canadian point of view in mind. Our hope to see the end of the American commercial embargo against Cuba is a clear affirmation of our wish. This is a point I discussed recently with my Mexican counterpart, Secretary Tello, when I visited Mexico as the head of the Canadian delegation to the bilateral joint ministerial committee.

In the past Canada has been in the forefront of diplomatic initiatives. Canada recognized China before the Americans did and in a certain way paved the way to bring President Nixon to China and change substantially the relationship with this giant of Asia.

We Canadians believe that we could play a very important role to bring about democracy and respect of human rights throughout the entire hemisphere. Canada will pursue vigorously such a policy in every area of the Caribbean, Central America and South America in co-operation with other countries. Certainly it will not be against the wish or the will of the Americans but in co-operation as a partner within the Organization of American States.

It is obvious that we must further develop our ties with Latin America. We are very enthusiastic about the possibility of creating a community that will include the entire Western Hemisphere, from the Canadian Arctic to Tierra del Fuego. The potential for our trade and investment is enormous. The trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement shows us the way to go. Many steps must be taken, however, before we can achieve such a community.

We wish to encourage open and honest dialogue with our partners regarding our common and respective problems. Together, we must define the results we expect to achieve in order to clearly establish our priorities.

The Organization of American States can play a decisive role in our hemispheric relations, and Canada wishes to make this organization more effective and dynamic.

This government's creation of a position of Secretary of State responsible for Latin America is an indication of our interest in the region. My colleague, the hon. member for Northumberland, has already made two trips to Latin America to promote Canada's ties with its hemispheric partners. I will leave it to her to talk about our objectives in more detail. She is also responsible for Africa. It is in this latter capacity that she will lead the Canadian delegation to the election-monitoring mission in South Africa and visit some African countries to maintain our very close ties with that continent.

The Asia-Pacific region has become a major economic power.

As we stated in our red book, our economic prosperity partly depends on our determination to develop our trade relations with the Pacific rim countries. We will work continually with our private-sector partners to increase export opportunities for our businesses.

We also expect to see the region play an increasingly active role in politics and security as its economic power grows.

To show the importance we attach to this area, we have also appointed a Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific. I know that the hon. member for Richmond has already taken initiatives to improve Canada's ties and exchanges with the countries of the region, and that he intends to explain them to you later in today's debate.

With its west coast open to the Pacific, it is in Canada's interest to develop and diversify its economic and social ties with the countries of the region, as the Prime Minister demonstrated at the APEC summit in Seattle in November 1993.

Canada's interests are worldwide, and we will continue to have an active foreign policy that reflects our interests. Over the years, Canada has played an important role in the quest for peace. We are actively participating in the Middle East peace process, and we chair the refugee working group.

Last month, we chaired a meeting in Montebello to co-ordinate the work of all multilateral groups involved in the Middle East peace process.

We are actively participating in South Africa's transition to democracy. Elsewhere in Africa, either bilaterally or as part of the Commonwealth and la Francophonie, we are actively working with governments and NGOs to contribute to the economic and democratic development of these countries.

We will, of course, continue to be active around the world. In these days of budget constraints, however, we must restrict our scope of action. Changes in the world and in our own country are forcing us to make important choices.

If we want to have a coherent and effective foreign policy, these choices must be guided by our desire to build regional and inter-regional mechanisms that will serve us well in the fast-approaching 21st century.

We will remain globally active and committed but we cannot be everywhere in equal force any longer. That is very important. We could continue to be present but not everywhere with equal force. Change in the world and in our own capacity means that choices will be necessary. This parliamentary committee will have to help us make these choices and these priorities.

In closing, I would like to address the issue of human rights in our foreign policy. Some people would like to see a foreign policy aimed solely at promoting human rights and their values, while ignoring Canada's other interests. Others insist on a foreign policy that would serve only Canada's economic interests.

It is far too easy and dangerous to simplify the debate in this manner. In so doing, we would only compromise this country's foreign policy. We must recognize that such a cut-and-dried version of the world is wrong. Of course, our economic interests are important. Of course, we want to promote human rights. Nevertheless, we do not have the right to impose one at the expense of the other. Insecurity, instability and war are detrimental to international trade. Human rights, democracy and good governance are the best defences of peace and security.

History shows us that economic development and respect for human rights sometimes go hand in hand. Increased prosperity often triggers social change. When we talk about economic prosperity, we are also talking about international trade and investment. The development of international trade and investment is clearly vital to Canada. We depend on it for our own development, for job creation and for our economic recovery.

There is thus a complex interplay of values and interests, both in developing countries and here at home.

Is there no way to better reflect our values and interests in our foreign policy? Is there no way to combine them? Can we build economic and political mechanisms that will show that the way to universal prosperity lies through fundamental rights for all?

It is my profound belief that the concept of intervention as a right and a duty represents a turning point in the history of humankind. The world has only recently understood and accepted this concept which, to some, constitutes interfering in a country's domestic politics but to many others is a sign of hope.

I say this because I have seen the results. In Haiti I spoke to Canadian members of religious orders who work in that country, and these quite remarkable people taught me that intervention could be a duty. Considering Canada's intervention capability, we cannot afford not to use that capability to advance the cause of human rights. We cannot remain indifferent to the fact that throughout the world, millions of human beings are being denied their most basic rights.

Indifference is the modern barbarism, and we must therefore make every effort to advance the cause of democracy where we have an opportunity to do so as Canadians, because democracy remains the highest value, in the Northern snows and in the rice paddies, in the tall grasses of the savannas and the tropical rain forest, on the hot sand and in the desert. Everywhere, democracy remains the supreme value.

And if democracy is to be truly synonymous with peace, we must support it through our foreign policy. Where there are democratic governments, these governments support the cause of peace and promote peace in the world. In a democratic system, there is respect for minority rights and human rights are protected.

We must act as tireless promoters of democracy throughout the world, and in doing so, we will have an impact on world peace and security. This does not mean we must cut our political and economic ties with countries that do not respect democracy and human rights. If we isolate them, we will never be able to influence them. That is why I say, to those who insist that we make respect for human rights a pre-condition for our trading relations with certain countries, that they are on the wrong track.

We must persevere in our efforts to advance the cause of democracy in countries where it does not exist. We must do so carefully and with respect but we must persevere. I believe that if we do, if we are determined, Canadian values will be appreciated and indeed emulated by these countries which we must help, not for the sake of their leaders but for the sake of their people who are suffering and who deserve a better life.

This brings me to our development assistance program. Canadians are proud of our development assistance record, but they are concerned about program delivery and the long term effectiveness of aid.

The pressure for review of the aims and utility of the development assistance program is increasing as governments and societies struggle with deficit, debt and structural adjustment. The countries we assist are also coming under increasing pressures to provide proof that aid works and to show that the aid provides value. Developing countries will have to demonstrate they have or are prepared to adopt the social, political and economic policies that will maximize the impact of development assistance programs.

The government's earlier policy statements recognized the interdependent relationships between developed and developing countries. There are those who argue that we should abandon our commitment to the developing world because we cannot make a difference. My answer to that is that we must make a difference or we will see the level of global insecurity, instability and uncertainty increase to our peril.

We must work domestically and internationally with other donors to ensure that our assistance is applied coherently, consistently and to the maximum possible benefit.

We believe economic and social development in developing countries is a basic element of our own security. The consequences of underdevelopment, such as uncontrolled population growth, environmental damage and mass human migrations, have a long term effect on our security. Perhaps even more dangerous than the threat of nuclear war is the gap between rich and poor on this planet, a gap that is widening steadily. Unfortunately, the poor are very much aware of this situation.

With the communications media we have today, we can no longer hide this fact.

The people of the south who are suffering and destitute know that the people of the north live in wealth and opulence. If we cannot act to ensure that the people in the south benefit from the wealth of the north, we are going to have a very serious problem, because ultranationalist, extremist and fundamentalist movements will use this human misery to turn people against the richer countries and take advantage of this situation to become a

revolutionary force in the world. It is therefore imperative for us to collaborate with other partners and the world of poverty.

I believe that when formulating our foreign policy, we must ask ourselves the following question: What kind of world do we want to live in?

In formulating a foreign policy, questions of Canada's future should never be separated from the wider question: What kind of world do we want? This will be the question that the members of the parliamentary committee will have to answer in formulating suggestions for our foreign policy. I look forward to receiving their views and advice in this regard.

Let me indicate the kind of world I would like to live in. I dream of a world where there will be no more arms race, no more famine, and no more economic deprivation. I dream of a world where every child will go to school during the daytime in a safe environment and will go to bed at night well fed and in a decent home.

This is obviously a dream. But Canada should work hard to make this dream come true. After all, great events, unthinkable a few years ago, have given rise to a renewal, a new sense of hope, and must inspire all of us as parliamentarians engaged in this democratic decision making process for this country.

Nelson Mandela was released from his prison cell and now leads his party in South Africa's first democratic election. The Gdansk naval yard electrician and underground union leader, Lech Walesa, is now Poland's democratically elected president. A political prisoner and playwright, Vaclav Havel, is now the Czech republic president.

This was unthinkable just a few years ago. But dreams came true.

I believe we must work hard to give Canada a foreign policy that meets our foreign aspirations and this includes maintaining our presence on the international scene, in accordance with a tradition of excellence that we will maintain in the future.

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11:20 a.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec


Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the government for giving us this opportunity to address some very important issues that will most certainly generate some very interesting discussion in this House and in the committees that are formed to address the twenty-first century and determine the kind of relations we want to have with the rest of the world.

I would say that I found the minister's approach to the problems and the issues facing us today most interesting. I felt there was a certain vigour in the approach to the future taken by the minister and the government, and I believe this augurs well for the coming series of extremely important discussions.

We know that such discussions were long overdue and that it was very important to get this process under way. Tremendous changes have taken place within a very short period of time. In 1989, we saw the Berlin wall crumble, and subsequently, everything that happened in the Soviet empire.

These changes, and I assume we will have an opportunity to discuss them at length in committee so I will not describe them all today, are taking place as a result of two important facts. The first one is, of course, the end of the cold war, and as a result, the end of the polarized state of international relations which had lasted for several generations.

However, the situation that existed before the present changes took place had the advantage of a certain simplicity. At the time, there were the good guys and the bad guys, and it was relatively easy to define Canada's role, for instance, in the struggle between the oppressors and the other side that wanted to liberate the oppressed and acted in the name of democracy. We all knew where we stood, so there was no need to sit down and wonder whether or not we would support the forces of democracy against stalinism.

Today, things are not that simple. The fragmentation process had led to the emergence of many new players on the international scene, where conflicts have become far more diverse and complex. As far as Canada is concerned, the situation is a far cry from the problems that existed in the golden age of Canadian diplomacy, in the days of Lester B. Pearson, for instance. After World War II, in which Canada had fought on the side of the Allies and helped to win the war, Canada played a very important role and won the recognition of the whole world. The Canadian economy was in excellent shape.

It was a time when there was no deficit and Canada's public finances were not in the vulnerable state they are now. When people talk about changes on the international scene, there have been changes that affected everyone, and these I mentioned earlier: the end of the cold war, the advent of many different players on the international scene, and so forth.

However, for Canadians and Quebecers, there is a new dimension with respect to the international environment. We have a debt that exceeds $500 billion, 40 per cent of which is financed by foreign interests. When we speak of independence, we speak of a concept that is no longer the same. When one is grappling with $200 billion in debt financed abroad in the very short term, a new kind of vulnerability enters the picture and becomes one of a range of factors to be considered when the time comes to define our collective future in terms of our foreign relations.

Clearly, independence does not have the same connotation it had in Mr. Pearson's day. Mr. Pearson did not have to concern himself with the reaction of Canadian lenders. He did not have to worry about the reaction of those abroad who finance Canada's debt. He could, with full knowledge of the facts, define with his government and with Parliament the country's foreign policy directions which depended very little on the reaction of others, in any case, but certainly on the reaction of financial markets. Therefore, many questions arise and it is not my intention, or was it the intention of the minister, to suggest a set course for our foreign policy in the future. What we are beginning here is a process of reflection.

This debate must fuel this process and provide an opportunity to formulate the major questions that we need to ask ourselves. Thus, we must devise a framework for action for the committees that will be sitting. The parameters must be more or less defined so that more specific proposals can be put forward.

With your permission, I would like to identify a number of questions and problems that need to be resolved, new problems stemming from the changes that have taken place.

The geopolitical changes alluded to carry enormous implications. For example, the end of the cold war has also signalled an end to ideology clashes. Today, few people in the world are arguing about who was right, Marx or Henry Ford. I am not saying that the issue is settled and that theorists now believe that Ford was right, but I will say that fewer and fewer people are interested in engaging in this kind of intellectual debate which, what is more, affected the political life of nations.

In Europe, it was extraordinary; some societies were torn by these debates, even at the political level. We were not affected to the same extent but our American neighbours lived through the excesses of McCarthyism. That a great democracy like theirs could be sidetracked by the fears born out of the cold war shows the impact ideology had on the world scene.

We ourselves witnessed the impact of Marxist-Leninist schools of thought and the emergence of various political movements on the evolution of life in Canada and particularly in Quebec. But it is now over in the sense that there is no longer any ideological war. We will not see a Canadian Parliament or a Quebec or other provincial legislature divided between Marxists on one side and capitalists on the other. It is over. This ideological war has been replaced by-

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11:25 a.m.


Patrick Gagnon Liberal Bonaventure—Îles-De-La-Madeleine, QC

Oh, Oh.

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11:25 a.m.


Lucien Bouchard Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to continue my speech and deal with these issues at the appropriate level instead of responding to sarcastic comments from the other side. I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, but I would like the hon. member to be called to order.

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11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

We all want to listen to what all hon. members have to say and we hope that we will be able to listen attentively to what the Leader of the Opposition is telling us.

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11:25 a.m.


Lucien Bouchard Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to sound presumptuous but the ideological war has been replaced throughout the world by a trade war. Competition is now at the centre of international concerns and has given birth to a very widespread anti-protectionist movement. We saw that the GATT has been reopened, that free-trade movements are gaining momentum and that we, in North America, are at the cutting edge of this trend, having taken concrete action and signed with our great American neighbour and now with Mexico a free-trade agreement that will be extended, we hope, to other countries of this hemisphere. Chile may be the next country to apply; the last treaty that was signed contains an admission clause. Some very important changes have taken place.

All these changes have created new problems. For instance, since international economic development erases borders, economic boundaries will become the fundamental criteria on which international movements will be based. There are dangers on the horizon. For example, it is not a coincidence that concern for the environment surfaced at the same time as the trend towards global economic development. People saw another threat to the environment. We saw that if economic development becomes the rule, we must find ways to subject it, for example, to the constraints of sustainable development. Develop the economy, sure. Create a huge area transcending political boundaries for the movement of goods and services and capital, sure. But not at the price of increasing the pressure on this planet and our environmental heritage to meet such demands. Economic development should not mean killing our forests with clear-cutting, allowing our rivers and lakes to be polluted with toxic substances for the sake of market globalization or clearing our rivers and the oceans of fish. When you see what is happening on the coasts of Newfoundland for instance, it is obvious that economic development is not a cure-all and that such factors will have to be taken into account as we consider and develop our foreign policy.

There are other risks as well. Who will benefit from this economic development? If we are not careful, is there not a risk that only the mighty will gain? Is it not to assert the "survival of the fittest" principle in a new way to allow unrestricted, unrestrained economic development and trade? We must therefore look for ways of making all of this work. We are in favour of free trade. We know this is the way of the future, but we must make sure large, powerful nations are not the only ones to gain. So, we have to ensure that we too, in Canada and in Quebec, can

benefit from this arrangement and that the mighty, such as Japan and the USA are not the only ones that stand to gain from this.

We must look for solutions. What can be done? I will come back to this in a minute. But there is a risk. If commercial interest becomes the golden rule, what will become of the third world? The minister mentioned earlier the widening gap between developing countries and ours. That is a fact we are aware of, but mentioning it does not solve the problem, especially since the Western economy, the have nations are largely responsible for this problem. Take our international development programs for example. We did spend a lot of money on supporting development efforts abroad. Yet, the gap widened. On the whole, we can see that what we have given third world, developing countries in terms of assistance is less than what we have gained from that investment in terms of commercial interest.

So, if market globalization means allowing free trade without taking any of that into consideration, there is a risk. A new economic order is required. So we must think about it here in our country and take concrete action to provide a minimum structure not only for making speeches deploring the widening gap between south and north but also for ensuring ways to remedy the deficiencies which we have observed.

Another very obvious problem also arises. Since international relations are no longer governed by two superpowers confronting each other, we have witnessed a great increase in the number of players on the international stage. I believe that the UN now recognizes 175 sovereign countries. Some claim that there may be nearly 200 or 275 by the end of the millennium in a few years. And it goes on. It goes on because the small and middle powers who had little say now have the opportunity to act themselves-it is no longer just a monologue between the Soviet empire and the Americans. It is growing because the natural lines of force have resurfaced. As the imperial structures break up like the Soviet Union, we see nationalism coming to the surface again, this old nationalist feeling which sets political boundaries. So there will be more participants in international life.

What should we do about it? Obviously the situation is more complex than it was. It has become more difficult than it was in Mr. Pearson's time, for example. It is no longer a question only of managing a relationship with two players confronting each other; now it is a matter of establishing a certain order in relations among nearly 200 actors. Imagine all the permutations of bilateral relations.

There are two dangers there. First is the danger of disorder and disorder leads to threats to peace. We finally realize now that in this tense face-off that we lived with during the cold war, there was a sort of stability, the stability of deterrence; we know how we learned to live with it and it worked in a way that prevented direct confrontation between the two superpowers.

Now we are hundreds and it is not so easy, especially since there are many more sources of conflict and I would say in a way, paradoxically, that the conflicts are somewhat less rational since they involve religious, territorial or ethnic conflicts. Sometimes the irrational takes the upper hand so that the sources of tension and threats to peace are increased. They may be less serious because those countries are not armed with the destructive capacity that the nuclear powers confronting each other had, but there is still a danger.

The other danger is standardization. As you lower economic barriers and have one large area where all kinds of goods can move around, cultures also circulate, but which cultures? The issue has been raised and I think that we will have to discuss it thoroughly in committee. Cultural and identity issues will become more important than ever, because it is dangerous to have a standardized culture take over national identities. The one thing everyone needs when confronted with an intrusive culture is to have familiar anchor points.

It is here that the debate will have to take place regarding the concept of nationalism. I know that this concept has often been debated in this House. It has also been the subject of a recent debate in the Senate. Not long ago, I read a speech on the word nationalism made by a senator from the other place, and I think such a debate will have to take place because there are all kinds of nationalisms.

I was pleased to see earlier the minister allude in his speech to the emergence of this element in international relations and refer to ultranationalism. The minister talked about the bad consequences of ultranationalism, including the resulting intolerance, while in the copies distributed a little earlier the word nationalism and not ultranationalism was used. There is a big difference, because those two concepts are opposite.

I want to remind the House that not everybody thinks the same about nationalism. In fact, there are all kinds of nationalisms. It is somewhat like the comment made by the Greek poet Aesop when, referring to the human language, he said that it was the source of all evil but also the source of all good. It all depends on how you use it.

I want to refer to a speech made by Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the current UN Secretary-General, in Montreal, on May 24, 1992. If you will allow me, I would like to quote two excerpts of this speech made by the UN Secretary General, in which he wonders about the different connotations of what we call nationalism. He begins with this quote: "The best contribution one can make to the world is oneself", which is from the French writer Paul Claudel.

Mr. Boutros-Ghali goes on to say: "To enter into a relation with someone else, you must first be yourself. This is why a sound globalization of modern life is based on strong identities, since the globalization of a standardized culture could crush other cultures and melt them together, something from which the world has nothing to gain".

In order to communicate you must have something to communicate: To have a dialogue, you must have something to say. So, when you are present on the international scene and you want to transmit your culture to others, as the minister mentioned earlier when he said that he intends to spread our cultural values abroad, you have to know that culture. You have to preserve it, because it must exist. In other words, our identity must be affirmed at some level in our rapport with others abroad.

Mr. Boutros-Ghali also said this: "Each individual needs an intermediary between the universe which is greater than he is and his solitary condition, if only because he needs a source language to understand and decipher the outside world. An individual needs practical interdependences as well as a set of cultural references; in short, he needs an access code to the world. It is in the context of those needs that nation-states operate, in the sense that they go beyond the immediate interdependences of family, clan and village. A nation is a common will to live together which is the first step towards universal civilization. In today's world, if you destroy nations, you will not have a vast universal solidarity; rather, you will have tribes and primary links, whether ethnic or religious, such as in Somalia or in Yugoslavia. You will also have super states to exploit or dominate the former".

There is such a thing as chauvinistic nationalism, the ghetto-building kind, which is turned inwards. There is also the kind that produces great nations, like the United States, France, Great Britain, Germany, Spain and Russia, people who live their identity through political structures adapted to their needs and concerns and their relation with the rest of the world, and who in the process become assets to civilization. Nationalism, if properly understood, is a link to the universal. It is the bridge between the individual and the universal, between the individual and others.

No one will ever say anything against nations as such. Canada can hardly criticize nations because it is one. There is in English Canada a nation which to me consists of people who have a culture and language in common, people who speak English and have an anglophone culture, and the majority of whom occupy the rest of Canada.

In Quebec, there is a nation, predominantly francophone with a francophone culture, which has a francophone vision of the world but at the same time is linked through its language to a universal language, French, just as anglophones are connected by English. That is what culture is about. Culture is a way to reach the universal from what one happens to be, and we are not all the same. We are not all the same as individuals, and we are not all the same as communities.

In Canada, the problem is we have two communities. We have two groups that define themselves according to different elements. The basic elements in this case are language and culture. As long as we have not resolved this problem, we will have to live with the political consequences.

To support what I just said, I would like to refer to a passage from a report on UN activities, covering the forty-seventh session of the UN General Assembly and dated September 1993. I am not quoting a pathological nationalist but people who live at the apex of the pyramid of world diplomacy and know everything about relations between nations and countries. I will quote two short passages: "Individuals find their identity in a nation. Nations find their identity in universality. There can be no international communities without nations. Hence, the so-called incompatibility between the nationalist and the internationalist perspective is merely an illusion". A second and last passage from the same page: "Sovereignty is the art of making unequal powers equal".

I think that in the course of the discussions we will have in these committees, which should be held at the appropriate level, we will have to examine these issues, because the Canadian problem, the problem of relations between Quebec and Canada, the problem of our two nations, is, in my opinion, not unique. It is a universal problem. It can be found at the centre of all international relations, and if we are to define a new international policy without taking this into consideration, it will not be long before we have to start the review process all over again.

Earlier on, I spoke of the international disorder to which we become vulnerable when fragmentation occurs among players. We cannot oppose or prevent this phenomenon because there is some good to it, namely that it reflects reality and the will of the people. To this extent, we must respect it.

However, it increases the need for international relations which are more multilateral in nature. Fewer relations will be of the bilateral kind. Major international organizations will be called upon to play an increasingly important role. This is especially true of the UN which will become increasingly important, even essential.

Within this community of several hundred sovereign nations, there will have to be forum in which discussion can take place, general policies formulated, ideas on common values shared and

peacekeeping operations conducted. I believe that the UN will increasingly be called upon to serve as this forum.

Here in Canada, we are facing a dilemma, as the minister alluded to a while ago in his speech. Our dilemma stems from Canada's geographic location as described by the minister. Our country borders on three oceans and is open to the Atlantic and to the Pacific. We also have the United States as our neighbour. And, although it is true that we must participate more and more in multilateral relations, that is relations where everyone speaks within a common international organization such as the UN, we cannot overlook the United States.

We are fortunate to have the United States as a neighbour. We have to recognize that this country is a considerable asset to Canada. We also enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world and this is due, at least in part, to the fact that we are part of the vast North American continent which has an extremely prosperous economy. We should not lose sight of the fact that the United States are on the receiving end of 80 per cent of our exports.

Let us not forget that Ontario's economic development is closely tied to the Auto Pact. Let us not forget that the United States are vitally important to us. Most of our large companies that succeed are based on US capital. We must not forget this. In some ways, it will be impossible for us to avoid having bilateral relations with the United States. In our committees, we will have to find a balance.

So, I say yes to the UN and yes to multi-faceted relations with all international players. Obviously. There must be a more open relationship with Asia and Europe, too often forgotten in discussions at the Lester B. Pearson Building. But our relationship with the United States calls for a very delicate balancing act. I think there is a lot of work to do in this area.

I do not want to take too long, as my colleagues will speak after me. I think we can draw a few conclusions anyway. The first one is that we have the nation and we have the individual and that the individual now has a place in international life. In the past, we did not talk much about the individual in international relations but that has changed. We are now talking about it to the point of invoking the duty to intervene, as the minister was saying, in sovereign foreign countries that violate human rights.

I think that our policy should be centred on promoting individual rights. We must also realize that there can be no valid policy on individual rights without a national policy. Individuals form communities. It is very difficult to separate one from the other. Communities bring us to the subject of democracy. Democracy and human rights are, of course, the foundations of the international policies we must define together.

If we are looking for a role that Canada can play, it is to continue to promote democracy in concrete terms at the international level. To travel, for example, to the site of an election so that foreigners can benefit from the expertise of Elections Canada in this field. The Director General of Elections in Quebec also provides expertise and advice abroad. We must actively participate in operations like that in Eritrea, where we have to ensure that the referendum on access to sovereignty is held in a democratic fashion.

The second conclusion is that we must respect democratic rights everywhere. We must recognize the democratic decisions made by others in an appropriate framework under criteria we deem compatible with democratic principles.

Third, we must define methods of intervention. This is not easy because the concept of security has changed, too. For a very long time, security was seen as the need to protect ourselves against foreign military attacks or invasions. I would venture to say that the whole Canadian defense system is directed at the North where the threat has almost disappeared. So we must rethink all this and look at the new, very insidious threats to security, in particular social inequities.

The problems of overpopulation, illiteracy and poverty throughout the world will exert very strong pressure on immigration and create a gap so large that it could lead to all kinds of disasters. There is also the issue of the environment. In a way, the environmental issue is a matter of territorial integrity or should I say ecological integrity. In that context, the enemy is not only others but ourselves mainly. We are the first ones to pollute our lakes and rivers and to clearcut our forests. We are. So, a totally new concept of environmental safety and environmental threat is required.

As for the extremely important but sensitive issue raised by the minister, namely the right or duty to interfere, I think that refinements will nonetheless be required, absolutely, in certain cases. Which ones? Not everybody should have the right to interfere and arbitrariness should not be the rule. The nation exercising the right to interfere should not be the one setting the conditions under which it can be exercised. I think there should be an international process. It is imperative, in my opinion, that some screening be done, by the United Nations say, to determine when, how and by whom this right can be exercised. I would not want superpowers to decide for themselves where and when they can use it.

Of course it is understood that the intent is to promote human rights, but as we have seen, selective use can be made of this right. We all saw how quick we were to intervene in Kuwait against Iraq. Why was that? Because there was oil under the desert. In other cases, we were not so quick, in Yugoslavia for example. We had to be reminded often of the horrors happening in Sarajevo before we took slightly more drastic actions. Much remains to be done. That is what we see happening in Sarajevo,

but similar things are happening elsewhere in Bosnia, in other enclaves, where there are no TV cameras, and perhaps because there are no cameras.

So, yes to the right to interfere, but let us beware of facile enthusiasm where the obligations and conditions involved would be overlooked.

Finally, about the conclusions to be drawn, I would say that some targeting will have to be done because the minister was quite ambitious in his speech. He gave a very broad outline of what Canada should do, what its role should be in this world. That is all very fine, but there is a need to target our action to be more efficient. I think that very delicate and important work has to be done in that area too and that it should be done in committee.

In conclusion, we should be aware of the fact that one of the radical changes in the international environment is that foreign affairs are no longer foreign affairs. Foreign affairs are very much internal affairs.

When we speak about the creation of jobs in Canada, and we badly need to create jobs, we should know that we will never be able to create the jobs we need if we do not have the kind of international trade activity we need. More than 25 per cent of Canada's standard of living is earned through our exports. It is much less in Japan where it is about 12 per cent. It means that we have to be very active abroad. We have to be innovative. We have to implement a very positive relationship with the rest of the world in order to be competitive so we have a very intimate blend of domestic and international issues.

It would be the same when we talk about the question of identity. The identity question, which we thought was a domestic issue, is a very strong one all over the world right now. We believed it was only a question in Quebec but it is not. It is also a question for Canada because Canada will be a big player in the globalization of the economy. As such, Canada will be threatened by invading cultures. English Canadians will have to be very vigilant to protect their own identity. Quebec will have to do the same thing.

There is quite a rapprochement of issues, whether international or domestic. The fact that we have such a huge deficit should be in our minds when we address those questions. We might have great ambitions as far as Canada's role, visibility, presence, prestige and involvement in peacekeeping missions in the world are concerned but do we have the means? We should take a hard look at that. Until we redress the mess we have in our public finances we will not be able to play any real role in the world.

The government should be very vigilant and realistic and clean up our domestic mess before thinking we can be present all over the world. We cannot do that. We cannot sustain an army. We cannot fight the environmental threats with the finances we have. The government is now trying to sweep it under the carpet but we all know that the deficit is a terrible one. It is a cancer eating up the country. If we do not address it, all those exercises and features are useless.

I would like to conclude with two reservations that we in the Bloc Quebecois have about the process, not about the content.

The first reservation is that we are concerned that two processes are going on in parallel, the defence committee and the foreign affairs committee, to review fundamental government policies.

However, the two are closely related. I would say that they belong together. We cannot define one without defining the other. The ties are so close that we are worried about having two different operations going on parallel tracks, especially since the deadline for producing reports is not the same in both cases. The left hand does not seem to know what the right hand is doing and it is impossible to define a foreign policy without including the basic elements of a defence policy; similarly, it is impossible to define a sensible defence policy without harmonizing it with a foreign policy.

It all goes together. In reality, there is only one policy. We will have four groups working: a group from the House on defence, a group for foreign policy, and two joint committees that overlap the previous two and will consider the same things, without co-ordination and without having to present their reports at the same time. I find that very disturbing. I wonder where we are going with that. We risk scattering our efforts and fragmenting our thinking, which will not lead to as logical and coherent a conclusion as we might wish.

My second concern is the creation of joint committees. First, two committees of the House already exist. I think that is quite enough, in terms of cost and consistency and efficiency, and now we add joint committees with representatives from the Senate.

The Bloc will vote against the resolution. We want to form a committee where we can work, an effective committee of elected members who democratically represent Canada, Quebec and the various provinces, not unelected senators who are appointed for life by an order in council, a stroke of the pen, and do not represent the people.

By their presence, the senators will make the committees more cumbersome, increase expenses and drag out the discussions, because they are not so in tune with the contemporary

everyday reality of electoral democracy; it is not really worth knowing what the senators think. We can do anything and not bother about what the senators think.

I am convinced that it is a very serious mistake to involve senators in these committees. Elected people should do the job. We are mandated to do so and I am sorry that the government decided to include them. I would like the government to rethink this matter, because then we could vote with it on forming a committee of people who should really deal with these important issues.

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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

I would advise members in the House and particularly those following in the gallery or elsewhere that while the first two speakers, the hon. minister and the hon. Leader of the Official Opposition, had unlimited time and no question or comment period, we will now enter the next stage of the debate pursuant to Standing Order 43.

I will recognize the member for Red Deer who will now proceed with a 20-minute intervention followed by 10 minutes questions and comments.

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March 15th, 1994 / noon


Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, initially I would like to say that we are very strongly in favour of this proposed review of foreign affairs and international trade.

Canada needs a new foreign affairs policy that is more flexible and able to meet current issues quickly and effectively. The review must bring us to a foreign affairs position which allows us to leap into the 21st century.

If Canada wants to regain its middle power role in international relations in the post-war period, it must a choose particular global issue and then diligently follow that issue to its end, utilizing our solid skills and resources. This will make Canada's influence felt. There are simply too many current issues for Canada to be involved in each.

Before getting into some of the details of what I feel this review should incorporate, let me outline how I intend to deal with this issue today. First, I would like to evaluate the process itself. I would like to look at the forces that I see operating in the world. Then I would like to look at the specific areas that this review should cover and, finally, what the goals should be of this whole process.

Regarding the process itself, while agreeing with the need for review and modernization I would like to make several comments about the process itself. First of all, there is the involvement of the Senate. I was very pleased to hear the last speaker agree with our position on involvement of the Senate. We feel this will greatly weaken our ability to present a policy that is truly representative of the people and one that will be accepted by the people.

The Senate is not accepted by the grassroots of Canada and I would defy any member here to disagree with that. The public view is one of being a bunch of members overpaid, big spenders, political appointments, no credibility, no accountability and no constituents to represent.

The international view is much the same. It is a position that cannot even be explained. They are not elected. They have no credentials other than political. They are out of touch and they have no constituents. Their only role is as consultants and advisers but not as equal participants. This will immediately affect the credibility of this review. It may be seen as just another unrepresentative political study to be put on the shelf.

The argument given by the minister as to why we should include them was simply that they may duplicate the effort and the cost. My answer to that would be let them do that. Let them carry out their own study. I submit that it would be like the $6,000 Senator raise. The public would hold them accountable.

In the area of travel, I believe it is justified for the subcommittee to travel. I believe it is a very strong point to go out and get the views of the grassroots and let them speak on this very important matter.

Canadian policy should not be defined by diplomatic relations. It should not mirror what the consultants and what the political people want. It should be from the people. Direct democracy methods need to be instituted and this is a good way to do it. Consult Canadians directly. If you do not do that, at least go to the elected members.

On public hearings, while the need for consultation is vital in developing a credible Canadian foreign policy, there must be a constant vigilance by the committee to avoid being over influenced by the many very efficient and sophisticated lobby groups which have been catered to in the past by previous governments. These hearings could easily become a honey pot, attracting a disproportionate number of special interest groups to the exclusion of many grassroots Canadians. A special effort should be made to hear the concerns and desires of the majority of Canadians.

The timeframe I think also has to be dealt with. While all of us would deplore a study which might drag on, it is important to note that this foreign affairs policy document must be open to change. This policy must be designed to take into account the constantly changing world in which we now find ourselves. I ask members to think back just a few years: Who would have forecast such major changes as the end of the cold war, the

collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin wall and so many other economic changes that have occurred all around us?

What are the major factors that are operating in the world that must be considered? The department of foreign affairs and international trade needs to be able to explain its relevance to the Canadian public. The Canadian people must think of foreign affairs and international trade as a way for us to enter the new era and play an important middle power role.

There have been an enormous number of changes on the world scene. Let us examine just a few of them. Let us start off with some of the political ones. Of course the most notable is the end of the cold war. Predictability is gone and now we have a rise of international, religious and ethnic wars which have plagued us in the past but were suppressed by the cold war. Of course we could talk about examples such as Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ireland, the Baltics, the former Soviet Union and many parts of Africa.

We have as well on the scene Zhirinovsky, the wild card, the possible threat to eastern Europe. That must be considered in all of our deliberations, the growing gap between north and south, between rich and poor, and the lack of a real solid superpower or are there other superpowers which are going to rise and become a problem to world peace.

Second, we have to look at globalization. This is possibly one of the most important phenomena occurring in the world today. Globalization is moving Canada toward an alignment with the western hemisphere and away from the alignment with Europe. It is clear that our military presence in Europe is not essential to Canada-Europe economic ties. Canada will succeed in the European market on the strength of its diplomats and entrepreneurs, not its soldiers.

It is likely therefore that Canadian-European defence policy will now be one that integrates its European interest into a more global co-operation and security force, possibly using the United Nations.

Having said this we should re-evaluate our policy commitment to NATO and NORAD to determine if these alignments are in the best interest of Canada in 1994 and beyond. Globalization is also moving Canada away from the European trade links and toward the western hemisphere and the Pacific rim. Furthermore, with the European Economic Community coming into place, Canada needs to secure its trade position within North America. The Canadian-American position is without a doubt the most important bilateral relationship in Canadian foreign policy. This is especially true with regard to the FTA, NAFTA and a possible future strengthening of the OAS to a level comparable to the EEC.

While the western hemisphere is of utmost importance to Canadian trade, we must carefully evaluate our future trade in light of all the alternatives. We must look to the assortment of possible trade alignments, especially in the Pacific where we will have to work hard to overcome our reputation as a small player.

While this is a highly competitive market, it is one in which we can successfully expand and do well. Some of our Canadian entrepreneurs are already leading the way.

Third, we have environmental concerns. The environment must also be addressed at the national and international levels. The continuing dangers of ozone depletion, loss of species, accumulation of hazardous waste, loss of arable land all become serious potential international crises. This will be a particularly difficult issue for Canada.

On issues such as the forests in Brazil, Canada has asked that other countries begin a process of sustainable development in a way that mirrors our national plan. Unfortunately for some countries, this becomes an issue of environment versus development. Likewise, these countries look for financial assistance from the north to offset their development losses. Currently Canada cannot afford to provide this assistance in light of our present domestic economic situation.

Failure to address these environmental concerns will greatly handicap our ability as a country and, more significantly, the world in total to move ahead with normal sustainable development.

Fourth, we have to look at the world population. With shrinking fiscal resources our ability to help in the ongoing problem of overpopulation only worsens. However, it is essential that efforts continue to try and control this overriding world problem.

The International Monetary Fund must also be considered. Putting our domestic affairs in order is of obvious importance to our international affairs. We must remember that our public and private international indebtedness is the highest of any G-7 country. If the IMF is forced to become involved in our domestic policy, we would suffer a major setback in our international reputation. This threat remains as long as we fail to deal with our rising debt and deficit.

Next I would like to talk about the areas that I and we as a party feel should be reviewed and covered in this overall look at foreign affairs policy.

First, what is the role of Canada in the world? In response to the new challenges of global competition, environmental problems, emerging nation states, in a time of shrinking fiscal resources and greater political uncertainty, what role should we

play in the world? We must target effectively those areas in which we can be leaders and target areas in which we can build a domestic pride inside Canada and a reputation as leaders internationally.

Canada can play a leadership role as a major middle power, not by big spending and glitzy, showy consulates, not by being me too U.S. followers but by being ourselves; hard working, reliable, good managers of money and people. This is one area of government where we really can recreate a national pride which has been tarnished by recent governments.

What about our foreign affairs and international trade department? The operation of this department must be part of our evaluation. We must be sure that some basic criteria are followed. The group must be efficiently managed. Emphasis on Canadian strong points are of most importance.

A lean mean group of dedicated, highly motivated individuals is critical. The group must be flexible in this rapidly changing environment. Cost must always be uppermost. Overexpenditures and waste will not be tolerated by the public any longer.

We also have to ask if privatization is feasible. Another speaker will discuss this further. We must get more for less from this department.

Two of my colleagues will be discussing the area of peacekeeping further. Conflict resolution must be seen as an international growth industry with new hotspots continually emerging. We must enhance our reputation as international peacekeepers.

Furthermore I advocate using our conflict management experience to create international peacekeeping centres to train other countries in effective peacekeeping. International training would not only bring in funds but it would also present us as a world power and would allow us to use some of our abandoned military bases.

In the area of trade, Canada is a trading nation. One of my colleagues will be developing this topic further a little later. We must remember however that only by developing our position in international trade will we truly be leading into the 21st century.

The role of the United Nations has been discussed. There is reason to question the current ability of the financial and political capabilities of this whole organization. The UN's administration and guidelines that shaped international reaction must be reviewed. Therefore we support the call for a United Nations charter review conference in 1995.

With respect to the issue of Quebec in the short term we must review the ramifications to Canada internationally should the Bloc Quebecois and Party Quebecois realize their goal of separation.

Specifically we must look at trade and trade agreements as well as the international treaties. Quebec would have to renegotiate some 170 treaties with the U.S. alone, including the FTA. Also to be considered would be Canada's international position with the absence of Quebec.

There are many other areas that should be examined. Some of our future speakers will be discussing such things as CIDA and the whole foreign aid situation and certainly the area of human rights. I will leave those issues to them.

Finally, what should be the goals of our review and of our subsequent foreign policy that we will be developing?

This review should cover all of Canada's affairs outside our borders such that all other related reviews and agencies can focus their policies and concerns solely on Canada's domestic situation. The last speaker mentioned there are many studies going on. We must focus these studies and this one particularly. Conflicting points of view in this area will do nothing but send the wrong signals to our international partners.

The goals can be summarized simply: First, to raise the profile of Canada as a truly influential middle power player on the world scene. Second, a policy which will allow us to move our human and capital resources on to the world scene quickly to take full advantage of opportunities presented by new technologies or new demands. Third, send a message to government, business and labour that we are open for business and that co-operation will be the only way to open and enlarge our status on the international scene. Finally, a policy of aid based on respecting human rights and basic democratic principles and on our ability to help those who want to help themselves.

We in the Reform Party look forward to working with other members to achieve a truly representative foreign affairs policy to serve Canada well into the 21st century.

Given my comments, I move the following amendment to the motion:

That the motion be amended by:

a) Deleting in paragraph one the word "joint" and the words "and the Senate";

b) Deleting in paragraph four the words "and seven members of the Senate";

c) Deleting in paragraph five "on behalf of the House";

d) Deleting in paragraph ten (i) the word "twelve" and substituting the word "eight", (ii) deleting the words "so long as both Houses are represented", (iii) deleting the words "joint Chairpersons" and substituting the word "Chairperson", (iv) deleting the word "six" and substituting the word "three";

(e) Deleting in paragraph eleven the words "Senate and";

(f) Deleting in paragraph fourteen, (i) the words "either the Senate or the House are" and substituting the words "the House is", (ii) deleting the words "Clerks of both Houses" and substituting the words "Clerk of the House", (iii) deleting the words "both Houses" and substituting the words "the House"; and

Deleting paragraph sixteen.

We do this to complete the review and allow it to be more effective, more cost effective and more meaningful as a Canadian foreign affairs policy.

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12:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

The amendment is deemed acceptable.

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12:20 p.m.


Louis Plamondon Bloc Richelieu, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will just speak briefly, mostly on the amendment proposed by the Reform Party. I will say that we, Quebecers, have the same concerns about the involvement of the Senate, that we should call the other place, I believe, when we refer to it in the House. I am totally in agreement with the amendment which would remove any mention of that other place.

I think that the government-as the leader of the opposition was saying a moment ago-is putting two trains on different tracks, and we do not know where they are heading. There is already a committee on defence, and then a joint committee on defence policy was agreed to a few weeks ago. There is a House Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade and now we want to set up a joint committee. I agree that the other chamber does not need to sit on the committee, does not have to be part of our reflection, because it does not have a democratic mandate. The leader of our party said so in his speech. We certainly are in favour of a review of our foreign policy, as it is necessary, but it should be done by a committee of the House only.

In that sense, the amendment of the Reform Party is certainly desirable. I hope we will do without this relic of colonialism that we call the other place and that is made up of people without a democratic mandate, people who sit there as a political favour, former fund raisers for the two main parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives. There is no reason why these people should be involved in defining our foreign policy. There are enough elected members, including 205 newly elected ones, who have something to say. I could say too that expanding a committee or creating a parallel one is a waste of money.

I wish to congratulate the hon. member for introducing this amendment. I share his views on the relevance of senators in this committee and also on cost, since increasing the number of members would increase the cost should the committee be called upon to travel. This, in my opinion, is a shameful waste of money and, as far as we are concerned, we would rather see the Senate abolished that have it participate to committees.

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12:25 p.m.


Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, certainly I appreciate that support. As I mentioned in my speech we feel very strongly about it. I trust many of the members on the other side will agree that the other place does not need to be represented. We certainly look forward to the vote on that item.

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12:25 p.m.


John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I also enjoyed the presentation of the member for Red Deer.

One thing that made me very happy was his indication that Canada should identify its role by being what we are. We are good money managers and I thank him for that recognition.

He also made reference to Mr. Zhirinovsky. About a month back I read an article in one of the papers about how Mr. Zhirinovsky was carving out his own version of Europe, chopping borders here and there. Today as we are dealing with a global economy we need to bring rest within our trading partners and throughout.

How do we deal with those issues when we have comments such as those where at the utterance of one word we could create stability or instability? How do we address those types of outbursts from people such as Zhirinovsky?

How do we force new players in this world which is unfolding before us almost daily? How do we recognize newly formed countries? Do we set preconditions? Do we ask them to come to the table and before handing out any blank cheques say that we should resolve those differences before recognizing them? How would we address those types of comments?

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12:25 p.m.


Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, this points out what we have pointed out a number of times in the past. That is we must have a little bit of a go slow attitude when it comes to reacting to certain individuals and what has happened in those unstable places like the Soviet Union.

I heard an interesting comment from a speaker yesterday. It was that in Russia the Reagan poodle has died and we are now waiting to find out whether a Rottweiler or a Labrador retriever will take over the country. I particularly like that interesting analogy.

I agree that the poodle is dead. I wonder whether Mr. Zhirinovsky is the Rottweiler. His answer was that for a number of reasons he is not. There are other people to fear in that area. In particular to the Soviet Union, there is a rise of nationalism. The change in the economy has not been good when we look back to the good old days. We must be conscious of all that. It is to our folly-and the last government fell into it-to jump in too quickly and so on.

I suppose NATO recognizing places like Poland should be looked at very seriously. We should take our time. We would

agree with the government and certainly those people on the foreign affairs committee in that whole area. I would say go slowly and intelligently, not with knee-jerk reactions.