Mr. Speaker, the member for Windsor—Tecumseh will know the high regard in which we hold him, so I rise only because I was surprised by some of the things he had to say, since I always associate his contributions in committee and in the House with wisdom.
I did want to put one simple question to him. His party keeps saying we are not going to abandon Afghanistan and the Afghan people. I was in Afghanistan three weeks ago. What would the hon. member say to the Afghan people, particularly the women I met, who said to a woman, and the men to a man, “Do not abandon us. Maintain a security presence. We will not last five minutes if you leave us. The Taliban will take over”.
I do not like the facts we face in Afghanistan any more than the hon. member does, but I do want a policy in Canada that meets the test of fidelity to the people to whom we have given our word.
I ask the hon. member in all seriousness how he can stand in the House and maintain that he wants to keep faith with the Afghan people and the people who want us to stay by withdrawing the security component on which their very lives depend? Can he stand in this House and explain what he would say to the Afghan women who said to me, “Do not abandon us. Maintain a security presence in Kandahar”?