Mr. Speaker, this is to complete just briefly the arguments that I was presenting prior to the vote, so I do not need to take much more of the House's time.
As you will recall, Mr. Speaker, we were entering into the record here again, actually, examples of where the Minister of National Defence and other ministers of the government had spoken out, indicating such statements as the following. This particular one is from the Minister of National Defence on November 18:
I state again that there has never been a single solitary proven allegation of abuse of a Taliban prisoner transferred by the Canadian Forces.
He was echoed by the Minister of Transport, who said on December 4:
There has not been a single proven allegation of abuse of a Canadian-transferred prisoner.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs joined the chorus, saying on December 1:
Let me be perfectly clear. There has never been a proven allegation of abuse involving a transferred Taliban prisoner by Canadian Forces.
We had the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs for the Americas on November 18 saying:
The Government of Canada has received no proven allegation of abuse since instituting our strengthened detainee arrangement in 2007.
The Prime Minister himself said on, and I do not have the date right in front of me on that quotation, but he said:
Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, the reports that the hon. gentleman is talking about, by their own admission, are not credible evidence of torture of Canadian detained prisoners. They are simply evaluations of the Afghan prison system based on second-hand and third-hand evidence.
Mr. Speaker, one of the most important things that has to take place in this place is that the government needs to tell the truth to the members of Parliament who are assembled to discuss important issues.
My point of privilege, as I mentioned before, is that the members of Parliament should have had an acknowledgement from the government benches that the statements that had been made in this place were in error. There should have been an apology for having led the House of Commons down a path which did not represent the truth, given the statements that we now have from the Chief of the Defence Staff.
Mr. Speaker, the privileges of members of Parliament are very important. I hope that you will rule that the government must take action to make amends for this breach of the privileges of members of Parliament.