Mr. Speaker, as I did yesterday, I rise because the Liberal Party believes there is, in fact, a need to have an emergency debate today with regard to the ongoing crisis taking place in Ukraine.
In particular, over the last 72 hours we have seen the deployment of Russian military troops in the Crimea area. There is a great deal of apprehension and concern both in Ukraine, obviously, and also throughout the world, particularly in Canada, where it is estimated that there are more than 1.2 million people of Ukrainian heritage and other Canadians who are very much concerned and want to convey one message as much as possible on the Ukraine crisis. This would emphasize issues such as the need for Canada to participate in observing what is happening with regard to sanctions, the issue of those who perpetrated violence during the protests, and of course, most importantly, what has been happening over the last few days regarding the deployment of military personnel.
Yesterday, when I moved the motion, the Speaker thought there might have been a day as an opposition day today or a supply day. We know that is not the case. The urgency exists today. Many are watching to see if we will move ahead and allow this emergency debate to take place. It is only four hours of our time to address what is a very important world issue that is having a very profound impact on the citizens of Ukraine. We want to send a very strong message to the people of Ukraine that we are supportive and, as a nation, will do what we can to demonstrate that we care and are prepared to act as one, wherever possible.
That would be the purpose of having the debate today. I trust, upon reflection, you will see that there is merit for it, Mr. Speaker. If not, maybe you could canvass the House to see if there is unanimous consent for it to take place.