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House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was iraq.

Topics

IraqOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, that still does not excuse the government's absence on this issue. It has been proven that Saddam Hussein has engaged in a campaign of genocide against the Iraqi people. His refusal to disarm has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis over the past 12 years.

How many more people will have to die until the government feels it is justified to support the allied coalition that is currently freeing the people of Iraq?

IraqOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said before in my answers to the House, we supported resolution 1441. We supported the United States, Great Britain and others in working through the multilateral process to achieve the aim, which I believe all members of this House and all members around the world wish to achieve, which is the disarmament of Saddam Hussein.

What we are seeking to do is through a different path than that followed by the United States, but one that is equally valid in terms of international relations, and we will continue to seek that path. It is a Canadian path and it is one that we are proud of.

IraqOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the soldiers from the logistical units who were taken prisoner could very well have been Canadian soldiers. The whole world could have learned that one or more of the soldiers taken prisoner came from Canada, when Canada is not even at war. How does that make sense?

By making the mistake of not withdrawing Canadian soldiers from the American and British units in which they are integrated, does the government's position not become a clear contradiction? Canada is not taking part in the war, yet its soldiers are.

IraqOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois wants us to withdraw soldiers, the consequences of which would result in increasing the risk for our allies' soldiers.

The Bloc Quebecois wants us to withdraw our ships, right when the risk of terrorism is increasing. This, too, would increase the risk for our allies' ships.

Canada supports the allies. We will not exercise either one of the options the Bloc Quebecois supports.

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the more the minister talks, the more he demonstrates that he is at war with Iraq. That is what the minister is saying.

The Prime Minister described the war as unjustified because it was not being carried out under the UN. How can the Prime Minister now justify accepting that Canadian soldiers are taking part in a war that is unjustified?

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Yes, Mr. Speaker, we are taking part in a war, but it is the war against terrorism. We are taking part in the war against terrorism, and we are very proud of this fact.

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, we all know that Saddam's regime is probably the most brutal in the world, responsible for over a million deaths including 100,000 of his own civilians. There have been efforts to create an international criminal tribunal through the United Nations to indict Saddam and his thugs for crimes against humanity. Those efforts have been derailed by threatened vetoes by Russia and France, according to Human Rights Watch, because of their extensive business interests in Iraq.

Is it the position of the government that there should be a special tribunal created by the Security Council or is it willing to not support it because of France's threatened veto?

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government and the Canadian people, and Canada in general, have demonstrated the desire to see international law applied by our strong support for the establishment of the international criminal court. Of course, we would look at ways in which the international community could come around to a solution to having an internationally established tribunal which could judge war crimes by those responsible in Iraq.

Any suggestions that the government does not recognize the danger of Iraq, the danger of Saddam Hussein, and participants in the regime are totally erroneous. We too wish to see them brought to justice in accordance with the rules of law.

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, not only is Canada standing on the sidelines right now rather than joining the effort to liberate Iraqis and bring Saddam to justice but we have done precisely nothing at the United Nations to advance the creation of a criminal tribunal. Indeed on Friday, the government vetoed a motion in this House to create such a tribunal.

Given that France is again threatening to veto the creation of such a tribunal, will the government be consistent with its position on the war and refuse to support bringing Saddam to justice because Jacques Chirac is against it?

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the government vetoed no such thing in the House of Commons on Friday. No notice of motion was provided and no consultations between parties have ever taken place in this regard. The hon. member is playing a little fast and loose with the facts when he makes the gratuitous statement he just made.

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated that he feels the post-war administration of Iraq should come under the aegis of the United Nations and we agree. However, he must put his words into action.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us what concrete measures Canada has taken so far to ensure that the reconstruction of Iraq is carried out under the UN's authority?

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister has said and has stated in the House, Canada hopes every country will do its part for reconstruction efforts. Of course we expect the United States to be part of this but Canada also will work in collaboration with other countries under the umbrella of the United Nations.

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not what I asked. We know that the U.S. administration is currently awarding lucrative contracts to major American and British firms.

If the Minister of Foreign Affairs' commitment in this House is to mean anything, should he not immediately raise this extremely troubling situation in the United States with the United Nations?

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously we are in the middle of a conflict. I can assure the House and all Canadians that we will do our best to ensure that the post-war reconstruction of Iraq is carried out in accordance with international rules and out under international authority.

Naturally, we will work together with our friends and allies, the Americans and the British, to ensure that Mr. Bush follows through with what he said in the Azores, namely that the United Nations will play a role in the reconstruction of Iraq.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence continues to dismiss an internal defence department report that raises very serious concerns about the safety and the capability of the Sea King helicopter.

The report was prepared by air force Captain Eric Hill, whose job it was to research key Sea King deficiencies, and it included the testimony of those who worked with the Sea Kings on a regular basis.

Is the minister saying that the work done by these expert Canadian Forces members is not accurate and that these people are not competent?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the only thing I dismiss is the credibility of the hon. member himself on the subject of Sea Kings. As I have told him repeatedly, I have received the assurances of the chief of defence staff, a former helicopter pilot, and of three other helicopter pilots that these are indeed safe, and we have seen them carry out at least 2,000 missions in the war against terrorism.

Sadly, events of recent days and weeks indicate to all of us that there is an inherent risk in flying in general, and in flying helicopters in particular, and we must all be conscious of that risk.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, will the minister have the chief of defence staff overrule all the reports done by experts who have done work like this report on the Sea Kings? Is that what he will do?

Captain Hill, who compiled this damning report regarding the dangers and deficiencies of the Sea King night vision equipment, is an expert who was assigned to find deficiencies in the Sea Kings. That is his job.

Why is the minister attacking the reputation of Captain Hill and all those who gave input in his report? He should be ashamed of himself.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I was not attacking the reputation of Captain Hill. I did not mention his name. I suppose if there was one person whose reputation I could be accused of attacking, it is the hon. member himself since I suggested that he was lacking credibility on the subject of the safety of Sea Kings.

The chief of defence staff has authority on this matter by virtue of the fact that he is the chief of the defence staff and this report is in the process of being reviewed by the appropriate authorities in the usual way.

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is World TB Day. This highly contagious disease has even begun to resurface in Canada. Globally between two million to three million people die each year from tuberculosis, one person every 10 seconds. Tuberculosis has always been virulently endemic in foreign developing countries. In India alone, 5,000 people develop active TB every day.

Could the Minister for International Cooperation tell the House what the Government of Canada is doing to support the fight against tuberculosis in developing countries?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency, has taken a leadership role in the fight against tuberculosis in developing countries.

We have made a real difference in the lives of millions of people who have come into contact with this disease each and every year. We have committed $80 million over the next four years to the Stop TB Partnership, and I announced today that we will contribute $10.4 million of that to treat and control the spread of the disease of tuberculosis in developing countries. This new money will have an immediate impact in the lives of over 100 million people.

IraqOral Question Period

March 24th, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question for the government is as follows. During the gulf war in 1991, then NDP leader Audrey McLaughlin was named a member of the Privy Council so she could be briefed on Canada's involvement in the war. As one of only two members of the opposition who is a privy councillor, I ask the government why have I not yet been briefed on Canada's involvement in this war?

IraqOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it may have been noticed by the hon. member that we are not combatants at the present time, as we were in 1990-91. He will know that if there is information which we believe would be helpful to certain senior parliamentarians in conducting themselves in the House of Commons, those matters will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

IraqOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot have it both ways. If we are not involved in this war, why are we then escorting the ships of war and why do we have military personnel on an exchange program in George Bush's war? Since we are involved because of these issues, why have privy councillors in the opposition not been fully briefed on these two specific issues, among others, in the war?

IraqOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, would the NDP have us withdraw our exchange soldiers? Given that this would put the lives of the soldiers of our allies at risk, this would be a callous act. Would the NDP have us take our ships back at the moment when the risk has gone up? That would be a cowardly act.

The government will do neither of those things because the government is neither callous nor cowardly.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice promised Parliament that he would make public the total cost of the firearms registry prior to the registry being shuffled over to the rookie Solicitor General.

Will the Minister of Justice guarantee the House that he will actually table the report before we vote on any more money going to the failed registry? Tomorrow we vote. Is this another broken Liberal promise or does he have an answer?