Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the member specifically whether he supports the motion before the House and in particular the provisions in subparagraph (c) directing the government to table a report setting out the steps that Canada will take to implement an action plan. I ask this question because his colleague, the spokesperson for foreign affairs, indicated that he did not support this provision. He believed that we were exaggerating the extent of racist attacks in Canada. Is that the position of the member who has just spoken?
I also want to raise another issue and perhaps he could comment on it. The member has spoken of the importance of tolerance and respect for fundamental human rights. As one member of the House, and I emphasize I am speaking only for myself, I want to say that I reject the criticisms and the attacks on the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism which were made in the House by a number of members in the context of the comments that were made at a women's conference recently at which the secretary of state was participating.
Surely one of the most precious and fundamental rights in a civilized and democratic society is freedom of speech. I would hope that the member would join in recognizing that it is inappropriate and unfair to attack the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism for not criticizing comments that were made by Sunera Thobani during that conference.
I want to ask the member to comment both on the motion and also with respect to the importance of freedom of speech and respecting freedom of speech.