Mr. Speaker, the summit of the Americas was an essential step in promoting balance and a collaborative vision for deepening co-operation among the nations of the western hemisphere.
Certainly economic integration was on the summit agenda. However the summit was much more a vehicle than just to promote economic growth. The summit declaration and action plan supported Canada's interest in strengthening democracy and human rights, increased people's access to benefits of growth and provided opportunities for all nations in the Americas to improve the quality of life of their citizens.
The leaders and peoples of the Americas know that democracy, human rights and observance and respect for the rule of law are the best ways to ensure human security and the well-being of our citizens, both individually and collectively.
The Quebec City summit produced a clear and vigorous commitment to democracy and equity, a commitment that extends to our democratic institutions, our electoral machineries and to impartial systems of justice, as well as the protection of human rights and freedom of expression.
As the Prime Minister said, it was not responsible for an elected member of parliament representing the diverse views of his electorate to encourage civil disobedience in the context of the summit of the Americas.
With respect to the summit, the government worked closely with the province of Quebec and the municipalities involved to provide the most appropriate policing and security measures for what was the largest international summit ever held in Canada.
The Government of Canada was committed to ensuring the safety of everyone at the summit of the Americas, including community residents, protesters, observers, police officers, as well as visiting dignitaries and delegates. Security measures at the summit struck an equitable balance between protecting the rights of protesters to demonstrate and maintaining public safety and public order during an international event.
Through the summit of the Americas, Canada worked to expand opportunities for more countries to participate in the benefits of globalization, including democracy, human rights and stronger economies. Through the security arrangements on site, we ensured that this dialogue and collaborative effort was supported in the most responsible and appropriate manner possible.