Mr. Speaker, I thank the government for agreeing to give opposition MPs an opportunity to respond on this pressing matter. I thank the minister for his remarks.
The chemical attacks that occurred this week in northern Syria were nothing short of horrific. The images of suffocating and paralyzed children have shocked all Canadians. The story of one man who lost 25 members of his family, including his twin baby girls, is something I will never forget.
Officials from the United States, Britain, and Israel, as well as numerous witnesses on the ground, have confirmed that it was the Syrian government and its fighter jets that deployed a deadly nerve toxin on the civilian population. This is a crime against humanity, and it must not go unpunished.
We cannot allow crimes of this magnitude to go unpunished. The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has to be held accountable. To that end, the Conservative Party strongly supports the United States' efforts to prevent Syrian military forces from further launching chemical attacks.
The global community cannot stand idly by when deadly neurotoxins are being used on innocent civilians.
We cannot allow crimes of this scale to go unpunished. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must be held accountable. To that end, the Conservative Party of Canada strongly supports the United States' actions to prevent Syria's military from launching further chemical weapons attacks. The global community cannot sit by idly while deadly nerve toxins are unleashed on innocent civilians.
It must be said that the United Nations Security Council has been completely ineffective in dealing with this developing crisis. Part of the problem has been that the Russian Federation has deployed repeatedly its veto power at the UN Security Council, preventing actions to hold the Assad regime accountable. Meanwhile, our Prime Minister has said one thing yesterday and something completely different today. Just yesterday, the Prime Minister said in New York that there are “still questions to be answered around who is responsible” for these attacks. The Prime Minister also said the solution was for the Security Council to pass a resolution that would allow an investigation to “determine...who was responsible”. That was after the whole world knew precisely who was responsible for these crimes.
Less than 12 hours later, however, the Prime Minister changed his position. He now says he fully supports the U.S. unilateral missile strikes against the Assad regime.
What is the position of the Government of Canada? It seems to keep changing. It is precisely this type of laisser-faire attitude that the Conservative Party rejects.
The Prime Minister has yet to take concrete steps to hold the Syrian government to account, as well as that of Russia, which supports Bashar al-Assad.
Just what is the position of the Government of Canada? It seems to change with the wind. That is exactly the type of “go along to get along” thinking that the Conservative Party wholeheartedly rejects. In addition, to date, the Prime Minister has done little to hold the Russian—