This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was troops.

Topics

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to this mission, I voted no to the extension of the mission when the motion was before the House.

The Conservative government is not clear whether it will go beyond the commitment of February 2009.

We brought forward this motion to make clear the government's position on whether it is extending the mission beyond 2009. I am supporting this motion and the mission to 2009 because it has been approved by a majority of the House. Now we have an international commitment that we Canadians need to follow until February 2009.

I certainly would agree with my hon. colleague that we should be putting more effort into the reconstruction and the development of Afghanistan than spending money on defence. The mission has changed and most of the energy that is put into this mission is in defence and only 20% of resources are put into the area of reconstruction.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing how the Liberals like to twist facts to suit themselves.

He mentioned that there was no debate. First, perhaps he does not know that the foreign affairs committee, as we speak, is doing a full-fledged study on our mission in Afghanistan. Four of his members are over there. Witnesses have been invited, including the Minister of National Defence, who will appear next week, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who has appeared. A thorough process is currently going on in the foreign affairs committee.

Second, perhaps he has not seen today's reports that say all human rights groups are saying that the Taliban is committing war crimes in Afghanistan by targeting civilians. What would he like to do? How would he like to help those civilians, by leaving them by themselves?

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, we would like debate in the House where members of Parliament, the representatives of Canadians, make decisions. This is the place to have that debate. I suggest the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs move a motion in the House so we can debate those issues.

I also ask the hon. member to go to the defence minister, make his position clear and not flip-flop on the issues day in and day out. When will we end this combat mission? It is not the mission he described. He asked what we were doing about schools.

I repeat that 20% of the money is spent on reconstruction and development of Afghanistan and 80%, which is 900 times more than what it is supposed to be, is put toward the combat mission, which I do not support.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I begin my speech this afternoon by offering condolences to the families and loved ones of the Canadian soldiers who have fallen since we began this mission.

It is a privilege for me to have this opportunity to speak today. I know all members in the House, the people of the Churchill riding, and indeed all Canadians, join me in honouring our brave young men and women in uniform.

I would also like to express how pleased I am to have the opportunity to speak on Canada's mission in Afghanistan, as it remains the most important issue in the minds and hearts of all Canadians. Moreover, the recent heightened incidence of casualties, since moving into the conflict-ridden southern Kandahar region, highlights the significance of constructive dialogue among parliamentarians on our current role and direction in Afghanistan, such as the motion we are debating today.

For me to fully contribute to the debate on this mission, I feel it is necessary to begin by explaining why I feel our current mission is important to Canadians, to the Afghan people, and to the world.

The horrific events that took place on the morning of September 11, 2001, undeniably impacted not only the United States, but Canada as well. Since this time we have witnessed changes to both our domestic and foreign policies that have been directly related to these events, which many will agree reflect the changing realities of the world we live in today.

When 9/11 occurred, it made it clear to the world that the instability in Afghanistan was a threat to the world. The Taliban was consciously harbouring terrorist groups such as Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

To help bring stability to the Middle Eastern region and Afghanistan, the United Nations Security Council authorized the creation of an international security assistance force. This UN mandated force would be composed of soldiers from NATO countries, Canada included.

Under the leadership of a Liberal government, Canadians would embark on a mission of hope. It was a mission that would bring strength to an otherwise failed and dismal state, a mission that would bring rights and education to women, and a mission that would provide opportunity and peace to the Afghan people.

To achieve this mission, the Liberal government established the 3D approach in dealing with our tasks in Afghanistan. We were to focus on diplomacy, defence and development.

Canadians across the country maintain that this is the most appropriate direction, as this mission cannot be won by focusing efforts and capital on military above the rest. We must acknowledge and embrace our genuine partnership with the Karzai government. Through diplomacy we can build stronger ties and assist the Afghan people with their emerging democracy.

On the ground, we must continue to work hard to earn the trust and respect of the Afghan people. This aspect of the relationship must obviously be addressed through economic opportunities and developmental aid toward reconstruction efforts.

However, Canadians also acknowledge the challenges of such a complex mission and the attached risks.

As I mentioned earlier, we have witnessed a drastic increase in fatalities, the vast majority of which have occurred during combat or in bomb attacks by insurgents. This is why it is absolutely imperative to provide adequate military support to the Canadian armed forces and not put them in harm's way.

Canada's efforts in Afghanistan have been extraordinarily successful. In fact, I recall when Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited Canada last year, he praised the work of our Canadian soldiers and development workers. He said in an interview with the CBC:

Your military presence is a must because without that, we would not be able to keep our country together, and your reconstruction activity is necessary because it gives us economic opportunity and employment and a better quality of life...

The president was truly thankful for our cooperative support and commitment to stability and development in his ravaged country. However, his visit was underlined with his persistence to address the situation with a balanced approach.

The Liberals balanced foreign policy for Afghanistan was clear for our Canadian soldiers who would be fighting, as well as their families and communities watching from a distance.

Members on this side of the House are able to contrast that initiative with the ambiguous and misguided direction that the current Conservative government seems to be taking, most notably the shameless news to hold a parliamentary vote on a two-year extension of our mission after a mere six hours of debate in the House.

In the Prime Minister's speech in the chamber on May 17, 2006, he cited the willingness of other NATO countries to contribute their forces to the joint mission, such as Netherlands and the United Kingdom. However, perhaps the Prime Minister can take some notes from our Dutch counterparts, which participated in 10 weeks of constructive debate rather than six hours of debate with 36 hours' notice prior to a vote.

To date, our military commitment is scheduled to end in February 2009. As always, Canada will live up to our word to the international community and the Afghan people and not pull out early as many have repeatedly demanded.

Members on this side of the House believe that the Conservative government is not holding other NATO countries accountable to contribute their fair share toward military and reconstruction efforts in the volatile Kandahar region. To make matters even worse, two weeks ago the Conservative defence minister said that Canada would stay in Afghanistan until 2009 and that the Conservatives would re-evaluate next year whether to extend the mission. Now the minister has admitted that the mission has not even been discussed in cabinet.

The minister's incompetence is insulting to Canadians and, quite frankly, draws into question the minister's overall credibility. I know the constituents in my riding expect more from their government when it comes to responsible foreign policies and defence. They expect clear and strong leadership as opposed to the uncertain and contradictory sentiments we have been receiving from the government.

As Liberals, we unequivocally support Canada's troops. We believe supporting our troops means providing clear, responsible leadership on Afghanistan. Out of respect for our courageous soldiers and their supporting, loving families, we demand that the Conservative government begin to take this mission seriously and stop misleading the House, our soldiers and their families.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is confusing trying to keep track of where the Liberal Party stands on this. The deputy leader of the Liberal Party said:

“Liberals need to remember this is a Liberal mission”, he said. “We're in Afghanistan because of the leadership of the two previous Liberal governments...We, as a party, cannot abandon what is right or what we believe for political convenience.”

Why have the Liberals opted for political convenience today rather than what is right? Why are they abandoning the children in Afghanistan, for example, the 4.3 million who were vaccinated against childhood diseases, or the 4,000 new medical facilities? Why are they abandoning hope in Afghanistan for political convenience?

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am as shocked and confused as the member opposite. When he talks about confusion, I will take the opportunity to quote the Conservatives' defence minister, who has not been clear, has not provided clarity and has in fact misled the House. It is troubling. The defence minister stated last Sunday, on April 15, that not only had cabinet failed to discuss the timeline of the current combat mission, it had no plan to discuss it until next year.

That admission came at a time when Canada suffered its bloodiest week in combat in 50 years. Therefore, why is the Conservative government not taking steps to ensure that our NATO allies can take over in Kandahar by 2009.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, last year I faced the choice in Parliament to support the mission in Afghanistan or not. I chose not to support it at that time. Since that time, I have read many documents. I have attended forums. I have looked at all the evidence I can and have come to the conclusion that I was right in not supporting the mission, and I will continue, along with my party, not support the mission.

The position the Liberals are adopting with this motion is one that will ask for an end to the mission in 2009 rather than today. This says to the soldiers that whatever happens in Afghanistan they are finished in 2009. How does that make the soldiers feel, who have to continue this mission for another two years—

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Churchill.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that I was not able to hear the rest of the question from the member opposite.

I too voted in the House not to support the extension. I did so not with any intent to hinder the support for our forces in Afghanistan, but certainly because I felt it was an unfair vote that was put to this House. I think that without debate and without clarity about the mission it was unfair for parliamentarians to have to vote on this extension.

In fact, it was the first time in approximately 70 years, I think, that parliamentarians were expected to vote on--

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

We have time for one more very brief question and comment. Because it is a Liberal member speaking, I cannot take a Liberal question at this time. I will go to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale B.C.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Briefly, Mr. Speaker, the member cites the need for a lengthy debate, but the reality is that when her Liberal government sent our troops to Afghanistan it gave the army 15 minutes' notice and had no debate and no vote in the House of Commons.

My question has to do with the fact that I am very disappointed that she is playing politics on the backs of our soldiers. Does she not understand that the Taliban follows the media and that by her party bringing forward this motion it is actually emboldening the Taliban to increase the attacks on our soldiers in Afghanistan? Does she not recognize the risk to which she is putting our men and women in uniform?

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I find it absolutely insulting not only to me and members of the House but to Canadians and to our troops that the member would even allude to such a thing. We did not vote in the House because this is the role of cabinet. The members opposite are aware that the previous government had been involved with the NATO discussions since 2001. It was a number of agreements at that level that Canada participated in at--

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Crowfoot.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in this place to again speak to the subject of Afghanistan.

I almost wish I was rising to ask a question of the person from whom we just heard who said that it is the role of cabinet to make the decisions about whether or not we are in Afghanistan. I am thankful that we have a Prime Minister who brought this to Parliament. Although we were not the government that sent our troops there, we supported the government in doing so. We also recognize that it is not just the role of cabinet. All Parliament should hear.

It is a real privilege to split my time today with my colleague, the member of Parliament for Prince George—Peace River.

I have the privilege of serving in this Parliament in a number of capacities, one being as chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. I want to commend all members of that committee from all parties and say that again we have the privilege of studying the issue of Afghanistan and Canada's role there.

It is important that we have this type of debate. We have had it in the past. It is important for Canadians to get as much information as possible about what our troops are doing in Afghanistan. It is not an exercise that Canadian troops and Canadian governments take lightly. We want to make sure that we are making certain achievements, and we see that, and it is good that Canadians can hear that today.

First, Canadians should be proud of the men and women of our troops, who are serving not only Canada in Afghanistan, but serving NATO and the United Nations. Afghanistan is a country that is emerging from years of war and destruction. Afghanistan is a country that is looking for hope. Its people understand democracies to a certain degree and they want to try to achieve a democratic country.

In this country, we know that it is not just a general election that forms a democracy, but rights, values, principles and the rule of law, all those things. Canadians wish to extend those same rights and those same benefits to countries and regions all around the world and very specifically to Afghanistan.

Canada is working hard to support this process. Not only are we working hard to back our military, our defence and our troops, but we are working very hard to support the process of extending human rights and those priorities that Canadians have.

Our soldiers, our Canadian development workers and our diplomats are helping Afghans pursue their legitimate aspirations of peace and security and a guarantee of a better future for their country and for their children.

The progress made by the people of Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime has been very impressive and we must take every opportunity to ensure that Canadians are aware of their own role in this success.

Today I would like to tell members of the House of Commons about what Canada has done to help develop and support development in Afghanistan.

A number of speeches have been given, and there will be more, but I want to look specifically at one of the issues that has come forward at our committee, and that is how women's lives very clearly have been changed in Afghanistan. I want to take a very brief look this afternoon at how we have made an impact for the women in Afghanistan.

We know that these women bear the lion's share of the responsibility for looking after the health and the educational needs of their families. In many places, the men, the husbands, are out working, but the mothers and the women of the communities are the ones on whom a great deal of the burden falls.

When the women have the opportunity to participate more broadly in their communities, development progress takes place at a greater pace and their families benefit even more. For that reason, Canadian development assistance places a priority on ensuring the equality of women.

In Afghanistan Canada has helped over 300,000 Afghans, 72% of them women, to obtain small loans and financial services to start their own businesses, their micro-businesses, or to purchase tools so that, even very primitively, they can become engaged in agriculture and farming in order to facilitate and meet their families' needs.

Another Canadian project supports the renovation of up to 4,000 community schools. For the first time, many young girls are able to attend these schools. Extracurricular activities are created around the schools so that these children and these communities find something to do with their time, something that is going to enhance their communities. Through all these schools, 9,000 teachers will be trained. This project, whose essential goal is to educate girls, has a budget of $14.5 million.

Why is the government responding in this kind of way? Because we recognize the importance of making sure that boys and girls and men and women get the type of education that is needed in the long term. It is not just to solve the problem of getting them into schools now, but to solve the problem in the long term so that we can see productivity in a country where it has been so badly lacking over the years.

Last fall the Minister of International Cooperation announced another project, with a $5 million budget, intended to help some 1,500 Afghan women develop horticultural operations in home based gardens. By growing fruits and vegetables, they supplement their families' diets, they supplement their families' incomes, and they generate an income and again become productive.

Canadians are encouraging women to participate in local development. More than 16,000 community development councils have been elected across Afghanistan. On many of these councils women are participating for the first time as full members, making important decisions and playing a role in how these projects can be delivered to improve, for example, public health in Afghanistan. As well, the women are the ones who are making decisions on the curriculum and the education for their communities.

Canada is working to make women's rights known in Afghanistan. Again, it is not simply that we want to educate the children. We want Afghans to know what is acceptable when it comes to women's rights. We have helped to open centres where women can get legal advice, find shelter, take literacy training or obtain health services.

We are supporting the democratization of Afghanistan. The country has adopted a new constitution. It has held presidential and parliamentary elections.

I am not certain of the percentage of women in our Parliament. The other day here many people wore pins that stated, “Elect more women”. I know that 25% of the parliamentarians in Afghanistan are women, a higher percentage than Canada's. They are contributing in that manner and they are showing the country that there is a place for them in their democracy.

We are promoting the education of girls. Today 5.5 million Afghan children to go school. A third of these children are girls. This is something that country has not seen before.

These initiatives show the very concrete steps that Canadians are taking in Afghanistan to help Afghanistan rebuild. There is a long road ahead.

Today in committee, a former journalist and an expert on Afghanistan, Mr. Van Praagh, stated the following in his presentation: “Democracies and would-be democracies near and far will suffer a great defeat in the greater game if Afghanistan, Canadian credibility and NATO effectiveness are lost”.

I ask members to listen again as I repeat it: “Democracies and would-be democracies near and far will suffer a severe defeat in the greater game...”.

What is that greater game? It is the greater game of spreading these rights and freedoms, the democracy, the values and the principles that we appreciate here, and this will suffer a great defeat if the credibility of Canadians and NATO there in Afghanistan is lost.

We can make a difference in that country. Canada has always looked for places where we can make a difference. It is one thing to talk about sending aid here and sending aid there, but when we are in a place where we can make a difference and when we make that difference, let us make sure that we continue to do that. Let us make sure that we continue to do the fine job that we are doing.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:55 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the very vocal member for Crowfoot, for whom I have great respect and affection. The problem is that I felt his speech was aimed more at the NDP than the Liberal Party.

Today, it is important to understand the mission. We all support this mission, or at least our respective parties do. Not only do we support this mission, but we are also saying that, based on what the government decided in light of the motion we adopted at the time, February 2009 will be the end date.

In our opinion, it is clear that this is not a Canadian mission, but a NATO one. And to better serve Canada, the Prime Minister should call for the resignation of the Minister of National Defence.

I would like to ask my colleague a question. I am happy that he spoke about rights and so forth. In fact, I would have liked him to have celebrated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but his government did not want to. Does he think it is right to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on equipment, when we know perfectly well that it will not be ready for the mission? I am talking about the tanks.

Here is the real question: since he is not afraid of giving his opinion, can he say if he thinks we should stay after February 2009? What is his position on that?

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, do I believe that Canada should stay past 2009? I will say that is what I do think. I think that Canada in the long term will be providing humanitarian aid in Afghanistan. Right now Afghanistan is our number one recipient country around the world. We have always been there for countries like Haiti. We have always been there for sub-Saharan countries in Africa. We have always been there in many of those countries and we have not been asked for total exit strategies from any of those countries.

Certainly in the long term I hope that Afghanistan is secure, that the Afghan army and the police force can secure the country in Afghanistan so that Canadians stay there and continue the fantastic work that they are doing in education and many other areas.

Brian MacDonald, a senior defence analyst with the Conference of Defence Associations appeared before our committee yesterday. He said that without the military provided security, there is not any chance of any type of development. We want to assure that development.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:55 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, I listened with a great degree of interest to the member's speech. He really did speak of a lot of things which I think most members of Parliament could agree are good things that are happening in Afghanistan. However, this motion deals with the counter-insurgency efforts in the south of Afghanistan.

Last year the Dutch as well entered southern Afghanistan in another province. Their approach has been remarkably different. Has the member looked at other approaches to what could have happened in Afghanistan and recognized where the failings of this mission have taken place in south Afghanistan?

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, this mission is not failing. This mission is succeeding. This government is only looking forward to success. Someone has said the best exit strategy is success. That is what I believe we are going to look for in the long term.

Have we looked at other ways that we could have, would have, should have? Yes, we have. Some very strong experts have said that as soon as Russia exited from Afghanistan, that is when NATO, the UN, and countries should have picked up the dropped ball. But we did not. A regime came in that helped facilitate terrorism. A regime came in that ignored the rights of men and women. A regime came in that said there is no such thing as religious freedom, there is no such thing as young ladies going to school, there are no such things. Perhaps that is when we dropped the ball.

Do we have an exit strategy? I always say the best exit strategy is to win.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeSecretary of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and privilege for me to speak to this motion today. I appreciate that my colleague, the member for Crowfoot, is splitting his time with me and is allowing me this opportunity.

I want to begin by talking about the greatest privilege and honour that I have had certainly in my nearly 14 years as a parliamentarian, but also probably the greatest privilege I have had in my lifetime. That was to spend Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day on the ground in Afghanistan with our troops celebrating Christmas there in Afghanistan.

Why was that such a great privilege? Because I passionately believe that the greatest gift any citizen can give to his or her country is to serve it in a time of war. The greatest sacrifice any citizen, and by extension one's family, can make for one's country, is to put one's life on the line defending the things and the values in which we believe so strongly, the values of freedom and democracy, the things that have been granted to us by the sacrifices of thousands in the past. That is why it was such a huge privilege for me to be in Afghanistan at Christmastime.

I remember speaking in the forward operating bases with the young men and women, and there are many women who are there fighting the Taliban as well as young men, and having some come up to me afterward and saying that I must have drawn the short straw to have to spend my Christmas away from my family and there with them. I said it was quite the contrary. My two colleagues and I who were privileged to join the chief of the defence staff, General Hillier, and others in Afghanistan had to lobby to get there. We wanted to be there to show our young men and women in uniform who are over there doing this tremendous job for us that they and their mission have our unqualified support.

Regarding this whole nonsense that somehow we can support the troops and yet be opposed to the mission, I can say, having visited with a great many of these young men and women there, that they do not draw that distinction. Why? Because they believe heart and soul in what they are doing and so do their families. Their families support them. Obviously they are worried about them, worried sick about them, but they know why they are there.

I believe that we should be taking the lead from the troops. If they and their families are willing to make that sacrifice, if they believe in the mission, then who are we to doubt it, for it is they who are making the sacrifice.

I made a promise when I was there at Christmastime. I made a promise to those young men and women that I would carry their message back here at every opportunity. I have done that in my riding; I have done that at every opportunity I have had, like today, to speak about the successes they are gaining, inch by inch, yard by yard, at the cost of their blood. I made a promise that I would carry that message back to Canada, as did my colleagues who were there on that trip with me.

I want to bring forward in this debate a rather famous quote from Edmund Burke, someone who is highly regarded as perhaps the father of modern conservatism. He said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”. I think that statement could be amended in this modern age to refer to good men and good women, but the sentiment is right.

We should never lose sight during this debate of why we originally went to Afghanistan. We went there to track down and bring to justice Osama bin Laden and his henchmen as the evil mastermind and financier of 9/11. We went there to ensure that Afghanistan would never, ever again be a bastion of terrorism, a home for the training ground for terrorists to launch their attacks around the world.

How is it that we have forgotten that, that we have lost sight of that? We need to remember the lessons of history, and I will get into that in a second.

I want to read the part that I find most offensive about the Liberal motion. It is this, and I quote from the Liberal motion that we are debating today:

--this House call upon the government to confirm that Canada's existing military deployment in Afghanistan will continue until February 2009, at which time Canadian combat operations in Southern Afghanistan will conclude;

Think of that, imagine, reflect back. I fashion myself to be a fairly elementary student of military history and the lessons of the past. Think about if this place had passed a motion in 1939 saying that we will engage in combat--

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Oh, come on.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, they do not like this but it is the truth. They should learn from history.

Imagine if in 1939 this place said that we were going to engage in combat, that the evil of Adolf Hitler and the evil of Benito Mussolini should be brought to justice, but--

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

This is outrageous.

There is no need to make comparisons to Nazi Germany. We support the mission and what he said is completely indefensible and unconscionable. I would ask him to withdraw his statements.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. I do not think that is technically a point of order. I did not hear the Chief Government Whip disparage any kind of motives.

Opposition motion—AfghanistanBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

How dare he say that.