House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was libyan.


LibyaGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I had the delightful opportunity to spend some time on Friday evening in Quebec City with the members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies who were there for their annual meeting prior to their meetings in Geneva in November.

I am very pleased to say that the International Red Cross is very pleased with the assistance that has been given, particularly by Canada. The medical situation is under control right now. It feels that it is moving on to other humanitarian needs as they present themselves.

LibyaGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the things the hon. parliamentary secretary talked about in her comments was that there is a hope that in about two years there would be a democracy that would start to take hold in a bigger way than it has. Part of what we are doing is actually backfilling, along with the security that we provide, which is part of the solution. We cannot just walk away now when we are so close, as we are providing food, medical and infrastructure support to the people in Libya.

Since we have unfrozen a lot of the Libyan assets, that would now give the country and its people the financial ability to help rebuild. I wonder if that is an important part of what we will be able to help them with in terms of rebuilding needed things such as food, medicine and infrastructure.

LibyaGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, indeed, it is the hope of Canada that we see Libya move to a full democracy with fair and transparent elections. I am sure Canada would have a part in that.

Unfreezing Libyan assets has been very important to allow the Libyan people to start making their own plans for the future. Canada will continue to work with our international partners on all fronts.

As I said earlier, the International Red Cross is there on the ground. We have many partners there who are working with the Libyan people and Canada will be a tremendous asset for them in providing guidance.

LibyaGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario


Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to speak in this House again in support of our continuing engagement in Libya. I also have enormous pleasure in rising in this House to add my voice to those paying tribute to our fighting Canadian Forces, to the men and women in uniform of our Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy who remain in action off the coast of Libya and in the skies above Libya.

This operation was already well underway when I joined the defence team in May. Even as our last general election was taking place, Canada had stepped up in response to the cries of the Libyan people under attack by their own government and under a mandate from the United Nations Security Council.

We quickly coordinated our military effort with the international community and thanks to the Canadian Forces' ability to deploy quickly, Canada was well placed to actively participate in protecting Libyan civilians.

When NATO took command of the international mission on March 31, the Canadian Forces were already well engaged. We heard some of that history reprised in the debate already today. We were active in the evacuation of Canadian nationals in February. HMCS Charlottetown had left port for theatre as early as March 2. Canada has been and continues to be at the forefront of the international effort to bring a peaceful and more stable Libya into being.

Thanks to the brave contribution of Canadian sailors and air personnel, Canada has played and continues to play a significant role in the NATO mission. We have contributed significantly with 6% of all sorties flown, 9% of strike sorties, and 7% of the air-to-air refueling sorties. A story that remains under-acknowledged in our media and in our debates is the story of maritime surveillance where two Canadian aircraft have played a role out of all proportion with our size delivering absolutely essential information intelligence about the deployment of Gadhafi forces on the ground to all of our allies and contributing mightily to the success of this mission.

HMCS Charlottetown contributed to ensuring the navigability of the waters to make sure that humanitarian aid could reach the people in need. It participated in the imposition of a weapons embargo and a no-fly zone. In this way, it helped in protecting the Libyan people, especially in the Misrata port region, and weakening an oppressive regime that was attacking its own people.

While performing its duties, as many members of the House will already know, the frigate was fired upon on two occasions by forces loyal to Colonel Gadhafi. This was the first time a Canadian vessel has been fired upon since the Korean war. In spite of this level of threat, our men and women in uniform successfully accomplished their important mission. They have paved the way for a democratic transition that we are now witnessing in Libya.

We have achieved much with our allies and partners in only six months. Today, the will of the Libyan people is being fulfilled. Colonel Gadhafi has been ousted from power and has gone into hiding. His ability to wage war has been reduced. The Libyan people are beginning to build a future under the guidance of their new government, the national transitional council.

Through the effective enforcement of the UN mandate we have save countless lives. We are helping Libyans rebuild normal lives and take the future into their own hands. For the first time in 42 years the Libyan people are out from under the yoke of a tyrannical despot. This is the dawn of a new day for Libya.

The decision of the House to support the Canadian armed forces military mission in March and June was the right thing to do, and I am pleased to hear many members of the House acknowledging the depth, the richness of briefings we have all received or had access to over those six months. There were briefings in the committee on national defence, the committee on foreign affairs, as well as informal briefings of opposition leaders and members.

Even since our last briefing at the national defence committee last week, we have seen progress on the ground. The region of Sabha, which had been still under the control of pro-Gadhafi forces, came under the control of the new government, releasing a population from those bonds in which they had been held, opening them to the humanitarian assistance that is now flowing into Libya and making it possible for the new government to start delivering services.

We should be justifiably proud of these very concrete results that our men and women in uniform, and our civilian officials, operating with United Nations agencies, operating in NATO, operating with NGOs, have managed to accomplish.

While there is cause to be cautiously optimistic, we must temper our enthusiasm and resist the urge to hastily declare victory and go home. Yes, Gadhafi and his forces are wounded and on the run, but as evidence found, there is ongoing fighting in around the towns of Bani Walid and Sirte. He and his loyalists still pose a grave threat to the population of Libya. A share of the population in those central areas and the areas south of them may amount to 15% of Libya, but we cannot abandon those still in danger. That is why we must extend our military contribution and continue to work with our allies to ensure civilians in Libya are protected.

Simply put, there is still work to do. Even as the threat of Gadhafi passes, we must be mindful of the challenges ahead. It is up to the people of Libya to decide their future. We should be encouraged by the national transitional council's road map for transition, that it has begun to create a new Libya based on democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and reconciliation, values that we took with us in joining this mission and in agreeing to do so much under United Nations authorization.

Nevertheless, during these critical first days, we must remain engaged and offer our help to Libya, which is rebuilding and entering a new phase. Just as it was our moral duty to intervene in Libya when its people were being killed by an autocratic tyrant, it is essential that we continue to offer our support and participate in building the foundations of a new Libya and that we reinforce the significant freedoms that were gained as a result of Canada's efforts.

The challenges will remain numerous. The new government has to undertake immense tasks, restoring public security, establishing the rule of law, co-ordinating humanitarian assistance. It has to begin national reconciliation.

For all of these reasons, we cannot abandon Libya now. We must remain engaged. We must remain engaged until Libyans have a civilian government that is able to protect them itself.

Our military and diplomatic efforts, as the minister said during his speech, remain essential to achieving this goal.

There are still several campaigns under way, not only on a military one, a humanitarian one, a diplomatic one, and they are linked, as we have seen in places like Zabul. Without military progress, there will not be humanitarian relief. Basic needs of a vulnerable population will not be met.

In closing, let me simply remind the House that the reasons to stand against the Gadhafi regime, which brought us all together in two previous votes behind resolutions of this House, have not changed. It is simply not acceptable to assume that eroding defensive positions around Sirte and Bani Walid will just melt away, without a continuing effort on the part of NATO allies, non-NATO allies, and Canadian Forces. That is simply not true.

Nor is it possible to claim that Canada's civilian effort has lagged behind its military effort. It is simply not true. When the member for Toronto Centre tells us that $10.6 million in humanitarian and other forms of relief is not enough, that releasing over $2 billion, far more than any other country, to the Libyan government to help it deliver basic services is not enough, that the instrumental role of Canada within the friends of Libya group has not been enough, that re-opening our embassy among the first countries to do so is not enough, we part company with him on those points, even while appreciating the support of some members of the opposition for this resolution.

I want to thank the House for its support, for the brave men and women of the Canadian Forces. As the Minister of National Defence said, we cannot afford to leave Libya now. The gains, while substantial, are still fragile. The stakes are simply too high.

I encourage all members to support the extension of our mission in Libya.

LibyaGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I, too, want to personally thank the military personnel and diplomats for their hard work in accomplishing the job that they have done so far.

New Democrats supported the Canadian military mission and its extension in June in order to ensure that civilians were protected from the Gadhafi regime. The member just very well acknowledged that Gadhafi has been ousted from power and that regime is no longer there. He also indicated that people from Libya need to decide their own future. We know that the conflict is coming to an end and, as one of my colleagues mentioned a while ago, it could be just a matter of days, if not weeks.

Since the conflict is coming to an end, does he not think, based on his comments, that we should not be there on a military mission, that we should actually be there providing civilian expertise and resources for humanitarian assistance and helping with institution-building and democratic development? Should that not be our role? If we get into all of these other roles and we continue going down this road, will we not be setting a precedent for every other civil war that is out there?

LibyaGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Chris Alexander Conservative Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the reasons that led Canada to be involved in a military mission to protect civilians in March, renewed in June, are still there. There is absolutely no reason that any of us on this side of the House see to consider the well-being of civilians in Tripoli, Benghazi, now liberated, and Misrata as somehow more important than the well-being of civilians in Bani Walid and Sirte. This is one country. Libyans have the right to be treated equally.

The Gadhafi regime is out of power in the capital, out of power in most of the country. However, Gadhafi is still at large. He is still paying mercenaries. Members of his family are making inflammatory statements, threatening the life and limb of the most vulnerable parts of the population, including women and children, hiding themselves in schools and hospitals. And the member opposite wants us to drop the military mission, to give them, these tyrants, some breathing space.

This side of the House, this government, will never accept such hypocrisy.

LibyaGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently, Ambassador Sandra McCardell returned to Libya. She made a clandestine visit and now she is moving back. Newspaper comments attributed to her having some business interests, promoting Canadian business interests, which I think are useful but possibly may be interpreted in a negative light by those who wish to see Libya transition to a fuller and more democratic state. It may particularly be seen in a negative light by those who think it is “all about oil”.

I would be interested in the hon. member's comments with respect to the issue of how we, as a nation and as part of a larger allied effort, engage in North Africa so that the fears of those who reside in that part of the world will be assuaged?

LibyaGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Chris Alexander Conservative Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member opposite knows just as well as we do on this side of the House that the main voices calling for the involvement of Canadian companies, of Canada's private sector, in the reconstruction of Libya and in the rehabilitation of the petroleum sector, which is the lifeblood of its economy, have been Libyan voices.

The new Libyan representatives to Canada have spoken in this regard. We have heard it from Libyan representatives at the many international conferences that have taken place. By encouraging our companies to be involved, as they were to some extent involved even before the conflict, we are simply responding to the deep-seated aspirations of the Libyan people to have an economy, to be able to pay their bills and to raise their standard of living after a year of hardship.

LibyaGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP supported Canada's military involvement and also supported extending the mission, in June, in order to protect the people of Libya from the violence of the Gadhafi regime. The NDP's support for the two motions was in large part motivated by and based on the doctrine known as R2P, responsibility to protect. Canada was particularly proactive in developing this doctrine at a time when it truly believed in the prevention of political crises and genocides at the international level.

There are a number of pillars, a number of important elements, in the responsibility to protect. The first pillar is that the state carries the primary responsibility to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. However, what this doctrine says is that when a government is incapable of protecting its population from such crimes or dangers, or when it is the perpetrator of possible genocides, war crimes or crimes against humanity, the international community has a responsibility—an obligation—to intervene to protect the population, provided that it has the agreement of the Security Council.

We supported the first two motions regarding the mission in Libya because of this principle, this doctrine. We can say that it was a great success. The intervention went well and the situation on the ground has drastically changed.

I heard my colleague opposite say that Gadhafi has been ousted.

Recently, we have also heard Libyan leaders saying that the horror is over. The situation on the ground is therefore extremely different from the one that existed six months ago.

In light of what I believe we can refer to as this success, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our soldiers and diplomats, who worked very hard to achieve this goal.

Now that the situation on the ground has changed so much, we must focus on other things. Our job is not to extend the military intervention but, rather, to provide the expertise and civilian resources needed to give humanitarian assistance to the people and promote the building of state institutions and the development of democracy.

Just two days ago, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, said that, a few months ago, the Security Council and a number of regional agencies and arrangements took on the challenge of taking accelerated and decisive action to protect the people of Libya from violence. He added that, today, we once again have to take accelerated and decisive action, this time to strengthen peace and democracy.

Canada can play an essential role in helping Libya to rebuild peace. It will not be easy. I would like to quote from a very interesting document that was published by the World Federalist Movement-Canada, which aptly states: peacebuilding is extraordinarily complicated. Many states relapse into armed conflict, due to a variety of factors including persisting ethnic rivalries, lack of economic opportunities and social cohesion, and the inability of international actors to adapt their assistance to the political dynamics of the societies they seek to support. A transition to a democratic Libya, in an ethnically diverse country that has experienced over four decades of authoritarian rule, will not be easy.

This transition will indeed be extremely difficult, but it is essential. It is of the utmost importance. We must start now if we do not want to face other problems 5, 10 or 20 years down the road that might force us to once again resort to the use of bombers or other such action. We must seize this opportunity now. The Arab spring must be able to fulfill all its promises.

LibyaGovernment Orders

2 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member. He will have 13 minutes to finish his remarks after question period.

We will move on to statements by members. The hon. member for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission.

Jacynthe GeschkeStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to recognize the achievements of one of my constituents, Jacynthe Geschke.

Jacynthe was recognized last night for her volunteer efforts with a community achievement award at the Naturally Autistic People Awards and Convention. This was one of only 11 awards given out worldwide this year.

What makes Jacynthe's achievement special is that she, herself, is a young adult with autism. Jacynthe participates in Naturally Autistic training workshops and provides insight as a speaker and role model. She enjoys gymnastics and working with horses and she shares this love by working with young autistic children in various programs.

By giving of her time, she is showing how those with disabilities can use their talents to help build our society.

October is Autism Awareness Month in Canada. I ask all members to please join me in congratulating Jacynthe who, in spite of her challenges with autism, is contributing to the lives of others. She is setting a good example for us all to follow.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the recent coroner's report on the suicides in Pikanjikum shows the systemic negligence being faced by first nation children on reserves across Canada.

Children are losing hope and killing themselves because they do not even have access to a proper school. However, first nation children are not giving up.

In her short life, Shannen Koostachin became the voice of a forgotten generation of first nations children. Shannen had never seen a real school, but her fight for equal rights for children in Attawapiskat First Nation launched the largest youth-driven child rights movement in Canadian history, and that fight has gone all the way to the United Nations.

Shannen did not live long enough to see her dream of a proper school realized because she died in a tragic car accident, but her dream lives on.

Today, I will reintroduce Motion No. 201, Shannen's Dream, which lays out the steps needed to close the funding gap and give first nations children the opportunity for equal education.

This is what Shannen wrote before she died:

But I want to also tell you about the determination in our community to build a better world. School should be a time for hopes and dreams of the future. Every kid deserves this.

I thank Shannen.

Mississauga Chinese Business AssociationStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, I had the honour of attending the 20th anniversary celebration of the Mississauga Chinese Business Association.

Over the last 20 years, the MCBA has made significant contributions to our local economy and cultural diversity by increasing engagement and communication between members of the Chinese community, local organizations and all levels of government. The MCBA's activities aid in community integration and touch all aspects of community life in Mississauga.

During the anniversary celebration, the MCBA paid tribute to the Chief of Police, Mike Metcalfe, for his 40 years of service to the Peel Regional Police Force.

The dedication and selflessness of police officers are integral to our government's mandate to make Canadian streets safer.

I would like to take this opportunity to speak on behalf of residents of Mississauga and thank Chief Metcalfe for his 40 yeas of dedicated service to protecting our community and for making Mississauga the safe and prospering city it is known to be.

SeniorsStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of a group of seniors in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's who are proof learning is indeed a lifelong process.

The Random Age-Friendly Communities Office in Clarenville has been offering a program for the past three years, computers for seniors. The program has become so popular that currently there is a waiting list of over 40 seniors who are anxious to learn how to be computer savvy: how to use email, online banking, download government forms and a host of other tasks previously unavailable to them.

The volunteers who run the program are to be commended for their commitment, as are the seniors who, instead of refusing this modern technology, are now using it to make their lives richer.

I ask all members of the House to join me in congratulating this fine group of seniors who are confirming it is never too late to embrace new ideas.

Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial DayStatements By Members

September 26th, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.


Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, yesterday thousands gathered for the 34th National Police and Peace Officer Memorial on Parliament Hill to honour the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep Canadians safe.

Peace officers from hundreds of agencies across Canada and the United States attended to witness and pay tribute to officers who had fallen in the line of duty this past year.

One of those officers, Constable Michael Potvin, served as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the small community of Mayo in the Yukon Territory.

For Michael's wife Allison, brother Sean, mother Patricia, father Mark and, most of all, his little boy Jack who, sadly, he will never know, Mayo, the Yukon and indeed the country mourn with them.

For the family, friends and colleagues of Constable Garrett Styles, Sergeant Ryan J. Russell, Constable Sébastien Coghlan-Goyette and Constable Michael Potvin, the four officers who died in the line of duty this past year, we are so very sorry.

We thank those fine young officers on behalf of Canadians for their service. Rest in peace. We salute them.

Food BanksStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 1, Moose FM in Elliot Lake will be holding its radiothon to drum up donations for the Elliot Lake emergency food bank. This annual event highlights the spirit of volunteerism and showcases the generosity of the people of Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing.

It is a sad fact that too many Canadians are turning to food banks as belts get tighter and budgets get squeezed. Many Canadians might think of hunger as an urban problem, but Food Banks Canada tells us that about half of Canada's food banks are located in rural communities.

While the government dishes out $90,000 a day to high-priced consultants, volunteers and organizations are soliciting donations to fight hunger in their communities.

Whether it is organizations such as Moose FM in Elliot Lake and Kapuskasing, Jane's Pantry in Iron Bridge, Iris House in Wawa, Le Samaritain du Nord in Hearst, Manitoulin Help Centre, or all those who donate, these people deserve recognition for their dedication to fighting hunger.

I ask the House to join me in thanking them for their advocacy.

Natural DisasterStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, on August 21, an F3 tornado with winds estimated to have reached 280 kilometres per hour tore through the town of Goderich, Benmiller and surrounding areas, causing severe damage. The downtown business community was devastated and residential homes were torn to shreds.

Over the last month citizens of Goderich, businesses, municipalities and NGOs have worked selflessly to cut down trees, remove rubble and help neighbours in need.

I would like to commend all of the police officers, firefighters and emergency personnel from Huron County and across the province who responded quickly and worked around the clock to clean up the destruction left by the tornado.

I would also like to recognize the leadership of the mayor, Deb Shewfelt, council and staff for their hard work and perseverance in uniting this community and rebuilding the town of Goderich after its worst natural disaster.

Together we will rebuild the “Prettiest Town in Canada”.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government's top priority remains completing the economy recovery. Canadians and the voters of North Vancouver gave our Conservative government a strong mandate to stay focused on what matters: creating jobs and economic growth.

Canada has now created nearly 600,000 net new jobs since July 2009. That is why our Conservative government is staying the course with our low tax plan to create jobs and growth. The last thing the Canadian economy needs is a massive NDP tax hike that would kill jobs, stall our recovery and set Canadian families back.

Our fragile recovery must not be put at risk by opposition politicians who want higher deficits, more debt and an end to Canada's historic status as a trading nation.

Instead, we must implement the next phase of Canada's economic action plan, a program that calls for low taxes, enhanced training opportunities and expanded trade, which will preserve this country's advantage in the global economy.

Ian MacDonald and Maurice SnookStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, this August, shortly after the 69th anniversary of the raid on Dieppe, our community lost two veterans of that raid, Sergeant Major Maurice Snook and Lieutenant-Colonel Ian MacDonald, who died within days of one another.

Veterans Snook and MacDonald were two of the 553 soldiers of the Essex Scottish Regiment who fought at Dieppe. With their deaths, only five regimental veterans of the raid remain. While the raid proved to be a military disaster, with the death of 970 Canadians and 1,946 prisoners, it provided valuable lessons that were used for D-Day. The Essex Scottish Regiment alone lost 121 men with only 52 managing to escape. The remaining, including MacDonald and Snook, were taken prisoner.

Despite the hardships they endured in German prison camps, both men survived. They returned home, had families and built our community. They continued to be engaged with the militia, with Ian becoming the commanding officer, and both visiting Dieppe on the 60th anniversary of the Dieppe raid.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ian MacDonald and Sergeant Major Maurice Snook, as well as being active within the community, were living links to an important part of our history. They will be missed. I hope that while they have passed away we will never forget their sacrifices and contributions.

Our condolences go out to their family, friends and the regiment.

PolandStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was troubled to see that in last Friday's print edition of The Globe and Mail an article on the new war museum in Dresden used the erroneous phrase “Polish concentration camps” in reference to the Nazi German concentration and extermination camps in occupied Poland.

Polish citizens were victims of the brutal Nazi occupiers during the Second World War. This phrase is offensive to the Polish people, who formed the largest home army resisting Nazi tyranny and fought shoulder to shoulder with Canadians on the western front. It insults the thousands of Polish righteous among the nations, who risked their lives to save Jewish neighbours from certain death in Hitler's death camps.

This is not the first time this erroneous phrase has been used. Canada has been clear in our support for the UNESCO designation of Auschwitz as Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp.

It is important for Canadians to be aware of this distinction, and I hope journalists will take this matter seriously and never again refer falsely to Polish concentration camps.

Burnaby—DouglasStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, on May 2 the voters of Burnaby—Douglas elected me to represent them in the House. I am honoured to serve as their MP and to have been appointed by the late Jack Layton as critic for western economic diversification.

My main goal as MP is to make Burnaby an even better place to live within a more prosperous Canada.

To begin this work, I am meeting with local residents, elected representatives, businesses, unions and NGOs. I am also consulting the public to help set policy directions on two critical local issues.

The first consultation concerns TransLink's proposal to add a gondola to our local public transit network and includes phoning and surveying every affected household.

The second concerns Kinder Morgan's proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline and includes surveying local residents and voters across the province.

I am pleased to announce that the results will be reported to residents as well as the House.

International TradeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Ed Holder Conservative London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know our government's top priority remains completing the economic recovery. That is why Canadians gave our Conservative government a strong mandate to stay focused on what matters, creating jobs and economic growth.

We know that one in five Canadian jobs is dependent on trade. As the Minister of International Trade has repeatedly said, Canadians understand that free trade is a jobs issue, because trade is good for the Canadian economy, trade is good for Canadian workers and trade is good for Canadian families.

Today, the Prime Minister and the prime minister of the state of Kuwait witnessed the signing of the Canada-Kuwait foreign investment promotion and protection agreement. This agreement will help increase two-way investment, open new markets and support Canadian efforts to explore the growing investment opportunities in Kuwait.

This is a strong demonstration of our Conservative government's commitment to create the right conditions for Canadian businesses to compete internationally.

We know when Canadian companies succeed abroad, workers and their families benefit in my city of London and throughout Canada.

International Day for DemocracyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the International Day for Democracy, I participated in the official founding of the Parliamentary Forum of the Community of Democracies, a diverse coalition of parliamentarians who have come together to promote and protect democratic principles, and in particular: to stand in solidarity with people struggling for freedom and democracy around the world, as in Syria and Libya; to strengthen democratic parliaments, particularly in new and emerging democracies; to advocate for greater and more effective democracy and governance assistance; to promote international norms that protect the rights of people to advance the cause of freedom and democracy.

I am pleased that the first decision made by this forum was to establish a task force to promote and protect democracy during the Arab spring and to stand in solidarity with the courageous people of Syria who are fighting for freedom and dignity.

LibyaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, today our government is asking Parliament for authorization to extend Canada's mission in Libya by three and a half months in order to continue protecting innocent Libyan civilians.

The mission was launched in the wake of a UN resolution in March. Our government is proud of the contribution that the Canadian Armed Forces have made to the mission, which aims to protect the Libyan people from their leaders. Canada and its international partners must continue to show their willingness to see this through and help Libyans secure their future.

There is still plenty of work to be done, but each effort made by Libyans to help their country reach its full potential and continue its progress is important. Thus, Canada will stay in Libya as long as it takes.

Our government remains firmly committed to supporting the Libyan people in their next steps, so as to help them in their determined effort to rebuild their country and make the transition to a peaceful, prosperous and democratic society.

Keystone PipelineStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, last year the Transportation Safety Board recorded over 100 leaks in Canadian pipelines, including 23 leaks in the first section of the Keystone project, which is supposed to link Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. The Keystone pipeline will prove detrimental to ecosystems, the rights of aboriginal peoples and the interests of workers.

By promoting the Keystone project, the government is placing the interests of big oil companies before the interests of Quebeckers and Canadians who are calling for more balanced economic development and better environmental protection for future generations. The government should put an end to this project, which is what the people want.