Mr. Speaker, we have among us today Mr. Bill Sampson, who was here to appear before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade about his more than two years of detention in hellish Saudi jails. This is his first visit to Canada since his release, in August. This is also the first opportunity I have had to see him since I visited him during his imprisonment, in March of 2002. Today's events understandably bring back strong emotions in me.
He survived during all that time because of his uncommon courage and strength. In his cell, thousands of kilometres away from home, he was isolated, tortured and awaited death by beheading. I want to pay tribute to him for being an example of courage and tenacity to us all. I also want, on his behalf, to thank the people of Canada and Quebec for their unrelenting support.
The evidence he gave this morning was extremely unsettling, especially with respect to the attitude of members of the Canadian foreign service, who apparently presumed he was guilty rather than innocent. Canadian citizens must be able to rely on their government to protect them against this kind of abuse abroad. This evidence makes an independent public inquiry into this matter all the more necessary.