Mr. Speaker, before I start, I would like to say that I will be sharing my time with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade.
It is with great sadness that I again have to rise to speak on a motion that is very clear, contrary to what the opposition is saying, about another campaign out in the Middle East. As I was the parliamentary secretary when we had a mission going on in Afghanistan, I participated in the special committee on Afghanistan. Now, I am standing here again today, discussing another motion where we will be asking our great soldiers to take part in stopping a murderous organization from killing all kinds of people, including women and children.
Terrible atrocities have been committed, as we have seen. As the Prime Minister has said, it is very necessary to stop this organization. If we do not, it is a threat not only to the region but to Canada.
Let me talk about my first-hand experience on this. I represent a riding in the city of Calgary. Numerous reports have indicated that Calgarians have been radicalized and gone to the region to join this terrible organization to fight.
A couple of months ago in my riding, the mother of Damian Clairmont came to see me. For those who do not remember, Damian Clairmont was a young Calgarian who became radicalized and went to Syria to fight. He lost his life in Syria. His mother came to me to talk about the pain, suffering, and grief that had hit her family. She was absolutely astounded that this radicalization had taken place and that her son had gone over there. She could not understand how it had happened. She came and talked to me at length about how we could stop this radicalization. We discussed matters of how it is possible to help.
I must strongly commend her. Not only did she do this at the time of her sorrow and the loss of her son, but she has picked up the fight to stop this radicalization from taking place. She is fighting to set up a support group for other families who are losing their children to the propaganda that has been coming out from the terrible organization in this region.
We have had a debate going on with the official opposition and the third party, talking about how they do not want to participate, and they have given various reasons for it. Of course, their focus has been on humanitarian assistance. Indeed, humanitarian assistance is extremely important. We have seen that these people have been uprooted from their homes and that women have been sexually violated. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has just announced money going toward counselling services and other help.
Humanitarian assistance is necessary. Both of the critics have indicated that they have gone down to the region. They have seen humanitarian assistance. Indeed they have, and it is a priority for Canada as well. Canadians are very generous and they are quite strongly willing to do that, and they will continue doing that.
However, Canadians are also appalled by the reports coming out of the murderous rampage of this organization. How do we stop it? We heard in the debate about a coalition of 40 nations going out there. Others are doing air strikes. Others are providing humanitarian assistance. We have been given numerous examples by the NDP that Germany is doing that. Germany is giving humanitarian assistance.
The NDP is picking at everyone here to fit into its thinking.
The NDP leader got up and read an actual newspaper editorial out there by this person. Anybody can read that. However, there are also numerous other editorials saying the opposition is wrong, and of course he did not bother talking about those.
The fact of the matter is this. How do we stop them? We have the expertise, we have the capability, and we have the means to stop them. That is why, after careful consideration, this government came along and said that we will be joining in the air strikes with what we can do, refuelling aircraft and reconnaissance, to the best ability we have. In the past, we have always stood up when our values have been under attack. In the First World War, the Second World War, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, we have always been there. Now it is happening again in this region.
There are lots of excuses. I have gone to the region many times. I have attended many conferences with friends of Iraq, and all this time we are seeing what we can do to help Iraq with friends. We all came along and we all tried to see how we could put Iraq back on its feet. I remember attending a conference in Istanbul. I remember attending a conference in Kuwait, which was called by the friends of Iraq and its neighbours, and all of us were very much committed to bringing Iraq back to its feet as a nation.
Despite our efforts and everything else here, there is no point in blaming Mr. Maliki, who as we all heard and we know was not a very inclusive man in creating the situation over there, which antagonized the Sunnis and the Kurds. Henceforth all of this is part and parcel of what is happening today. We should forget all that. It is something that we need to learn and is one of the reasons why strong pressure was put for Mr. Maliki to go and for bringing in another government in Iraq, an inclusive government that would include the Sunnis and the Kurds, as well as the Shiites, as they all share one country called Iraq.
However, the point at this stage is this. What do we do now, today? As we speak today, the fight is going on in the city out there, Kobani, about to fall to ISIS. The Kurds over there have appealed that, if we do not stop it, there will be massacres. We see that today the reports are that air strikes are taking place to dislodge the ISIL fighters. This is one of the ways we have decided we would contribute toward stopping this murderous regime from killing innocent people.
Henceforth, our motion is very clear as to what we are going to do, that it is for six months, as well as which aircraft and what the capacity would be. We are all agreed on our side that there will be no boots on the ground. We have learned that the people who live in that region are the best fighters for their own safety. As it is their country, the Kurds and the other Sunnis and the Shiites should be fighting for their rights, and their rights are the same rights as ours. Therefore it is natural that we provide them with air support, but we are also providing them with ground-training support so they can fight to maintain their dignity and their home, which is of critical importance.
Therefore, I fail to understand. Yes, there is no question about the fact that we need humanitarian assistance, and I agree with my colleagues on both sides here that humanitarian assistance is an important part of it. However, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs has said, when the firefighters combat a fire, so does the ambulance come at the same time. The firefighters have to come first to put out the fire. To put out this fire here is to stop ISIL from killing people, and the only way we can stop ISIL is by joining in a fight to stop it.
What the government has proposed in this is the right course of action. As I have indicated, there is radicalization taking place, but the message is clearly being sent that we are protecting not only the region but our own country as well.