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House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:35 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Chair, I can directly confirm for that member that the Minister of Foreign Affairs has raised this Coptic issue directly with the Egyptian ambassador since the events on October 9, and has directly informed him about the resolution of this House. It was just confirmed to me, so I am happy that I was able to confirm that.

The member also mentioned the very Reverend Father Angelos Saad of St. Mary's Church in Mississauga. I know him very well. He called me the very day that these tragic horrible events happened in Cairo on October 9 and asked me if I could establish, as soon as possible, a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and we did exactly that. He came to Ottawa about a week ago with more than 30 Coptic priests representing virtually every church in the greater Toronto area and also Ottawa and Montreal. They had a very long, productive and successful meeting with both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

They expressed a great deal of support for the office of religious freedom and expressed the hope that the government would use this office of religious freedom, as we have committed to do, to put a spotlight for the world on the plight of the Coptic people in Egypt. I pledge to members tonight that is what our government will do.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:35 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Chair, every one of us, all the parliamentarians, are in agreement that what is happening in Egypt to the Coptic Christians is unacceptable. I do not think there is any disagreement among us.

This week, I had the privilege to sit at committee and listen to presentations being made by representatives from the Coptic community. They were very moving.

I think tonight we should see what is happening here. For the first time, we are here in this august House of Commons; it is now 9:40 at night and we are going to continue until 11 p.m. to debate and to shine the light on a persecution that is happening against a religious minority group in Egypt.

I think we need to take a second to absorb that and say that this is how we bring about change. We do not bring about change by raising our voices, yelling and screaming, and throwing darts and arrows. The way we bring about change that is long term, that is sustainable, is through naming the problem, shining the light on it, speaking out, building coalitions and getting support and then supporting the very community to build strong civil society structures so that community in itself, the Egyptian community, with Muslims and Coptic Christians side by side, can build the kind of Egypt where they can all co-exist and cohabit.

I know that when the government held the meeting with different religious groups, as the member said, and announced this new bureau, so to speak, more than 100 people showed up. However, every one of those hundred people have the privilege, and I think it is a privilege for me, to live in a country that is so inclusive and so accepting.

So, why did we not leave this just tied up with the humanitarian work that we do and, instead, focus on—

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

I will have to stop the member there to give the parliamentary secretary enough time to respond.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:40 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Chair, the hon. member and I have had the recent opportunity to work together on the foreign affairs committee. I would like to congratulate her on her appointment as associate critic for foreign affairs for the New Democratic Party.

She mentioned the office of religious freedoms and the consultations that took place. I can tell members there was representation by people from across Canada of every religion and religious persuasion, many of whom have lived under persecution in other countries around the world. The reason our government has chosen to do this is that freedom of religion and other human rights have always been a focus of Canadian foreign policy.

In our view, in recent years, the persecution of religious minorities has been getting worse. It has been getting worse in many places in the world, especially in places like Egypt. We need to do something extraordinary, something new, something different to shine Canada's light to the world on what is going on with the persecution of religious minorities, because we believe that we cannot have a real democracy without the protection of the most fundamental of human rights, the right to freedom of religion, conscience and belief. It is enshrined in article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every member of the United Nations is supposed to adhere to that and protect that in their countries, and yet we know that many countries in the world do not do that. That is why we are putting a focus on it. We are going to make it a principal focus of Canadian foreign policy.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:40 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Chair, I want to thank my colleague, the parliamentary secretary, for his very passionate speech and his informed responses to the questions that were raised tonight.

Again, it is clear. We are all agreed that the importance of freedom of religion is paramount. And we are all agreed that violence and persecution has no place in any modern society, whether that be Egypt or anywhere else.

However, there are other forms of oppression. There can be oppression that is brought to bear against those who choose to convert from one faith to another. Earlier, my colleague used the phrase in his speech that people must have the right to practise their chosen faith. I think that is key.

I want to ask my colleague to underline whether or not he agrees that freedom of religion must include the right for people to change their faith, to convert to another faith, should they wish to do that and to be sure that they are not subject to other forms of oppression, whether it is violence, economic oppression, social oppression or any of those kinds of oppression.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:45 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Chair, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his question. He is absolutely right: the right to choose one's religion is enshrined in article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That declaration is agreed to by every member of the United Nations, and the right to practise one's religion includes the right to choose one's religion. It also includes the right to change one's religion.

As I mentioned in my remarks earlier, one of the things that I am particularly concerned about is that I understand in Egypt every citizen must carry an identity card, which not only must disclose their religion but must disclose whether they have changed their religion. That is a cause of much discrimination in Egypt. I would call on the Egyptian government to eliminate any required disclosure of one's religion in any identity document.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:45 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Chair, I am very honoured and hopeful as I rise to speak this evening. The riding of Pierrefonds—Dollard is about one-third francophone, one-third anglophone and one-third allophone. This last group is made up of new Canadians and Canadians who are already active and completely integrated into the community, but who have a different culture.

This diversity in my riding is one of my greatest sources of pride as the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard. I grew up in this riding and this has benefited me greatly. I am bilingual. I had access to a variety of foods and dishes. I do not know if there is a part of the world that is not represented by a grocery store or restaurant in my riding. As a student, a child, a volunteer, a teacher and now a politician, I have had the opportunity to discover the world through the people who live in my riding.

For example, the City of Dollard-des-Ormeaux organizes an event every year, during which people of all cultures are invited to share their food, music and culture with the people of Dollard-des-Ormeaux and to perform for them. It is a day for people to share cultures and educate others.

In addition to discovering the world through my riding, I have been able to get involved in international issues because of this cultural diversity. For example, a benefit dinner will be held soon to raise funds to help a school in Haiti. Many students as well as adults in the riding will be able to participate.

Why am I sharing all this? Why am I talking about my riding? I want to show to what extent cultural communities are integrated into our community and contribute to the life of the community.

I will even give one or two other examples that show to what extent these cultural communities make a contribution to society. Yesterday was Diwali or Bandi Chhorh Divas, and I was invited to a temple. I discovered that the community centre at the temple is open 24 hours a day and that food is provided to anyone who comes to the temple. No matter their religion or origin, anyone who knocks at the door and asks is given food. We also have Anglican churches that provide space to community organizations that fight poverty and Catholic churches that provide free space to Scout groups.

These are but a few examples in my riding. Just imagine what is happening across the country. This lets us see what can be done if we establish inclusive policies, the right to freedom, religious choice, the right to associate and form groups that can become very active and involved in the community, the right to equality before the law, and freedom from discrimination, no matter our origin or beliefs.

Can Canada intervene in a situation that is taking place in another country where a people is subject to discrimination? I believe it can. Of course we still have a long way to go in Canada. Tolerance and acceptance could be improved. Last year, a child was not allowed to wear a turban while playing soccer. He was asked to remove his turban or to not play soccer. In short he had to choose between a religious symbol that was very important to him, and his friends and favourite sport. We still have much work to do in Canada. However, we have managed to establish rights and freedoms that we now take for granted. It is high time Canada took a stand on a number of conflicts, including the one in Egypt that we are addressing today. I will now speak in more detail about the conflict.

Recently, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that Canada stands in solidarity with all religious minorities in all countries, including Egyptian Coptic Christians. He also called on the Egyptian government to ensure that the attacks stop and he asked that a transparent investigation take place.

I do not want to make this a partisan issue, and I want to congratulate each individual for what we have heard so far. We can see that the commitments made and the concern expressed here in the House today are all in good faith.

What the Minister of Foreign Affairs said is, in many ways, exactly what we are also calling for. First, what we are calling for most urgently is an independent, transparent investigation. We want to shed some light on the situation; we want the most objective view possible. That is something we can do, something we can call for, and we can ensure that the investigation is truly independent. We want to know what role the military, the police, have played in this drama and ensure that we understand the scope of the situation. We feel that this is a first step in defending freedom of religion and ensuring that the discrimination and violence in Egypt end as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, allow me to share my concerns. In 2008, a non-partisan democracy promotion agency was promised. Such an organization has yet to be created. Last year, an ambassador was sent to visit, take a certain stand and share our disagreement with the violence that was occurring in Egypt. One year later, this situation has clearly not been resolved. Now, we are taking a stand, we are making statements and we are demanding an investigation. That is promising. What we have heard tonight brings a lot of hope. However, what I truly hope is that the words that have been spoken and the stands that have been taken do not stop there and that we will not still be saying that were are taking a certain stand and that we are demanding a certain investigation one, two or even five years down the road, but that we will have turned these good intentions, words, visits and investigations into action.

Things are happening and we all agree tonight, no matter what party we belong to, that they are unacceptable and we must take action. I hope these good intentions will turn into action very soon and as quickly as possible, in order to prevent these things from happening again. Whatever has been done so far is clearly not enough, or we would not be here talking about it this evening. What is the next step? I am not criticizing anyone, but I am appealing to all parties. I think we are all on the same wavelength here this evening, or almost. I hope that this will continue and that we will work together in order to really improve the lives of those people who are looking outside their country and hoping for help from all sides.

In closing, I hope that our country, which we can be so proud of, will be able to take a stand and influence the situation in Egypt. I also truly hope that an election will be held soon and that we somehow do our part to ensure that the election takes place democratically. The entire population, including women of course, must be able to participate fully.

Thank you for having tonight's debate and thank you for everything that has been said. I hope we will not still be discussing this a year from now, but rather that progress will have been made because we have taken a real stand and real action.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:55 p.m.

Newmarket—Aurora Ontario

Conservative

Lois Brown ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for her very passionate and eloquent speech. It was very well done, and she has expressed much of what all of us feel in knowing that these issues are going to be addressed.

I was at the meeting at the end of September for the establishment of the office of religious freedoms. Over 100 groups were in attendance at that meeting, including people from the Coptic community. The focus of that office, as established by our government, says that we are going to focus on advocacy, analysis, policy developments and programs related to protecting and advocating on behalf of religious minorities under threat, opposing religious hatred and promoting Canadian values of pluralism and tolerance abroad.

Could the member comment on how she sees those being worked into the issue of addressing concerns for the Coptic community?

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:55 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member.

It is great that she is reminding us that many things have already been done by the government and by all the parties together to try to take a stand and develop tools. Now, we clearly all agree that it is not enough and that we have to go further. I think we should take the time, a bit like we are this evening, to sit down together and put aside our partisan differences. This will enable us to talk about how we can integrate what we hope to do with what has already been done and with the expectations and demands of the people who are currently victims of discrimination.

We have to work together practically. We may not come up with an answer within a few minutes, but we might if we truly work together. We have to continue down the same path and make sure we get results.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, this a great and very important subject. We have members from all parties here, and I am just saddened that the Conservative Party has very few members here.

Does the member agree or disagree that this office that has been set up by the Conservatives is an office of smoke and mirrors, with not enough money and not enough teeth, and that it certainly will not be able to do anything?

I am willing to listen to her answer. The three members from the Conservative Party might even tune in.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:55 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member.

I get the impression that I have to keep repeating what I have already said. Indeed, intentions have been expressed. Indeed, the positions have been presented verbally. Indeed, a few little things have been done. That being said, it is not enough because if it were, we would not be here this evening. We would not be debating this issue.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The member for Scarborough—Agincourt needs to come to order. The parliamentary secretary needs to come to order.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:55 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, that concludes my response. We truly hope to see more concrete actions. I have hope. We will watch each other very closely to ensure that this takes a concrete form, and we will not settle for what has already been done; we will go much further and respond to this emergency.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

9:55 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for a very passionate and well-put-together speech.

Often when we talk about conflict and persecution, we get caught up with the technicalities and the big picture. My colleague has dealt with children. I want her to talk a little bit about the kinds of impacts this kind of persecution has on children and the kinds of systemic problems it can create, which really point to the imperative nature of our finding a solution to end this persecution.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

10 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question.

Yes, I used to be a teacher, and what I can tell you about it is that the feeling of belonging to a group that is strong and proud, to what you are and to the culture to which you are attached is hugely important. Obviously this is true for people of all ages, but it is particularly true for children. It does not take extensive studies to see that if you feel that there is nothing in place in your country, you cannot get any help and you cannot be proud of who you really are, that can have repercussions on children and therefore on tomorrow’s society. When the children grow up they will be the leaders of that community.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

10 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I was just Googling the Coptic Christian efforts, and it was nice to see that we have churches here in Canada, in fact in Mississauga, where they are interested in what politicians have to say in regard to this issue.

This evening we are having a good, healthy, challenging debate, and it is nice to see that it goes beyond what is taking place here inside the House. It is also being debated in churches, communities and homes. It is clear that Canadians of all political stripes and different ethnic groups are keeping in tune with a very important issue.

I would like the member's comments on not only the importance of our taking action inside this chamber but also on our continuing to encourage broader education on the importance of picking up the fight and doing the things that are important. Examples would be for the Prime Minister to talk directly to the Egyptian ambassador here, and for people to make calls and write letters to provide support in whatever way we can, including our prayers and so forth, for those Christians who are--

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I have to stop the member there to allow the hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard a chance to respond.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

10 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his comment. The reason we are holding a debate so late tonight, which we will hold for as long as possible, is to focus attention on what is happening, the discussions being held and the commitments being made this evening. As many Canadians as possible have to know that tonight the government is calling for an investigation and we are debating it, that all parties agree that we must not only talk about it, we must take action and make demands. We hope everyone will observe the conduct of the country in the next few days, the next few weeks, and will not stand for inaction. We hope this debate will enable people to encourage the government to do that and to applaud it once it has.

It is important to take a stand for the Egyptian Coptic population and for all cultural minorities that may be victims of discrimination. We will not delude ourselves. Discrimination is not going to be completely eliminated from the world because we are taking a stand today on a particular situation. We have to act now, concerning this situation, but our international policies also have to provide that we will fight for freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Egyptian government, in response to international horror at the attacks on Coptic Christians, has passed a law that makes a crime of religious discrimination or discrimination on the basis of gender or nationality, yet I think we all remain very skeptical that this would be anywhere near enough to protect the lives of Coptic Christians in a systemic response of increased religious intolerance.

I ask my hon. friend, the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard, what more can we demand of the new government in Egypt?

I hope she would agree with me that we should demand that international observers be present in the elections as they take place.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

10:05 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member. Our demands, our calls for an investigation and our public stance are a first step. Undoubtedly, much more needs to be done and other questions need to be raised about our role in similar international situations and the role we will actually play.

Now, this will not happen in the 30 seconds I have left, unfortunately, but since there seems to be a consensus tonight, I imagine that we will be able to sit down together, in a non-partisan fashion, and advance a cause that is obviously important to us.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

10:05 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as Egypt felt the warmth of the Arab spring, the Coptic Christians of that land felt an ever colder and darker winter setting in. Let us recount the recent events of the Coptic experience in Egypt.

On October 9, 2011, around 25 people were killed and more than 300 were injured at a protest against attacks on churches in Egypt. The violence appeared to include army gunfire against civilians.

On September 30, 2011, violence against Christians erupted in the village of al Marinab in the southern part of the country. After a group of thugs attempted to demolish a church, they faced protest and turned their attention to the victims, the Christians of that community. Residents then attacked local Christian-owned shops.

On March 5, 2011, a mob attacked Christian homes and set fire to the Coptic Church of St. Mina and St. George.

On January 1, 2011, at least 21 people were murdered and more than 70 were injured in a bombing in Alexandria. This happened just outside a Christian church as worshippers were leaving a New Year's service.

On January 7, 2010, seven people were killed in a drive-by shooting outside a church in the southern town of Nag Hammadi, after a Coptic Christmas eve mass.

These are but a few examples of the many odious crimes that have been systematically carried out against the Christian minority in Egypt.

Why should we care? After all, we are here and they are there. Why is it our problem? We should care because these attacks strike at the heart of the ancient liberty of freedom of religion.

As I have travelled the world and seen the experiences of other lands, I have learned the degree to which we are blessed to live in one of the freest nations on earth. For reasons unknown to us, we in this chamber and across the country were born in this land of liberty. However, liberty is not a gift to be jealously guarded for oneself, but rather to be shared with the peoples of the world near and far.

In quoting J.F.K.'s inaugural address in 1961, he said:

And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe--the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

These rights coming from the hand of God and not from the generosity of any state are the birthright of every man and woman around the world. It follows that we who are blessed to possess them must do our best to extend them to those who are not.

What have we done? In May 2009, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration met with key civil leaders, including Coptic Pope Shenouda III in Egypt.

On January 7, 2010, Canada condemned the attacks on Coptic Christians in Nag Hammadi.

On January, 1, 2011, Canada condemned the attacks on a Coptic Church in Alexandria, Egypt.

On February 23, 2011, there were statements by then-minister Cannon on Egypt and the rights of Coptic Christians right here in this chamber.

On March 15, 2011, then-minister Cannon again speaks out, but this time does so in a visit to Egypt.

On May 26, 2011, at the G8 in Deauville, there is a declaration on the right to practise religious faith in safety and security without fear of violence and oppression. Fundamental freedoms and rule of law are highlighted.

On September 26, 2011, the present Minister of Foreign Affairs addresses the United Nations General Assembly making specific reference to the Egyptian Coptic Christians.

In October 2011, the same minister releases a tough statement on the situation in Egypt.

In October 2011, the House passes a motion proposed by the present Minister of Foreign Affairs condemning the vicious attacks on Egyptian Coptic Christians and their institutions.

This gift of religious freedom with which we are blessed in this country was handed down to us by visionary leaders like Macdonald and Laurier at the time of our founding when they rejected sectarianism and ethnic religious violence. Our government understands that that these gifts that were passed down to us from our ancestors but handed to our land from the hand of God, as President Kennedy put it, are gifts which we must do our best to share with the peoples of the world.

I will quote another great prime minister and former occupant of the House, the author of Canada's Bill of Rights, one of the first legislative enactments to enshrine in statute the values about which we are speaking tonight and which we hope will be extended to people around the world. The right hon. Prime Minister Diefenbaker said:

I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

10:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, while the events of the recent past have been adequately relayed by the hon. member, what most people are interested in, what I am interested in, what the Coptic Christian community is most interested in right now is specifically what action the Government of Canada is going to conduct to prevent the atrocities which have been well documented in recent history and by the hon. member. What specific action will the government be conducting to ensure that they cease and desist?

These people are very important. They have faced unbelievable circumstances, circumstances which are beyond contemplation by any of us here in Canada, except those who extend the hand of trust and faith within the Coptic community who are now imparting upon us a knowledge and understanding and appreciation, begging us for compassion and decency.

In a world where there is a duty to protect, does the Government of Canada have a specific action plan, beyond words, that would entail interventions of some specific variety which the government could relay to the Coptic Christian community?

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

10:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is important that we as supporters of religious freedom convert words into action. Actions have been taken by this government. I have listed nine specific steps our government has already taken in addressing the persecution of the Coptic Christian religious minority in Egypt.

Beyond those nine steps which have happened in Canada, in Egypt, at the United Nations and around the world, we have also begun the process of setting up an office of religious freedom. It will have as its mandate to promote the values that we cherish in this chamber and which are of particular importance to the Coptic minority being persecuted now in Egypt. This is due to the good work of the hon. member for Mississauga—Erindale, who is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. It is great to have him participating in this debate this evening. We will work with him, with the minister, with our entire government to make religious freedom a paramount, central, guiding principle of our foreign policy put into operation by this new office.

Coptic Christians in EgyptGovernment Orders

10:15 p.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his interventions earlier. It shows a clear interest in having a non-partisan approach to resolving issues.

I think we all agree in this House that every step we are taking toward peace in Egypt will have an impact. All of the steps the government is proposing will certainly lead us toward a solution.

There was one aspect that seemed to be omitted in his list of things with which he is willing to go forward. Back in 2008, the Conservative government in its throne speech promised it would set up a non-partisan democracy promotion agency. I am wondering how the government is planning on integrating that within its proposed solutions which it brought forward to the House today.

If we stress the non-partisan part of this series of solutions that we are proposing today, expeditious actions by the House will be much more assured. Although there are several options the government has proposed, I am curious as to why that one in particular, which is so clearly non-partisan, was omitted.

I am wondering if the member could address that particular issue and how that could be integrated within the solutions that we are looking at today toward a peaceful resolution of what is going on in Egypt.