Mr. Speaker, first off, I want to express my disappointment for having to be here tonight to re-address a simple question. It is a question of transparency and openness from the government on lessons learned from the fall of Kabul last year.
The first thing I want to do is read into the record the mandate of the Special Committee on Afghanistan. It reads:
to conduct hearings to examine and review the events related to the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, including, but not limited to, the government's contingency planning for that event and the subsequent efforts to evacuate, or otherwise authorize entry to Canada of, Canadian citizens, and interpreters, contractors and other Afghans who had assisted the Canadian Armed Forces or other Canadian organizations
That was our mandate. I am going to read the definition, from the defence terminus database, of what an after-action review is. It is “A professional discussion of...[an] operational event that focuses on identifying what happened, why it happened, and how it can be improved.” In reality, we are asking for the same thing. It is just to get those after-action reviews.
I put a motion forward at the Special Committee on Afghanistan for the government. We brought it up during testimony, and we had Global Affairs Canada officials admit that they had conducted an after-action review or a review of what happened last summer in Kabul.
After that, we had defence officials there, including the chief of the defence staff. They admitted that they went through the Canadian Armed Forces after-action review process or post-operational review and conducted that. In fact, they fed into a PCO-led interdepartmental review of what went right, what went wrong and what we needed to improve going forward from last summer, all great stuff that made sense. Considering the mandate of the Special Committee on Afghanistan, would that information not be invaluable to our hard-working analysts and committee members so they can put together the report?
I therefore put a motion forward. I asked the officials about this, but unfortunately we did not get the information. I put it forward at committee. Unfortunately, the Liberal members of the committee decided to filibuster. It never got to a vote before we ran out of time, because the Special Committee on Afghanistan is wrapping up. In fact, the chair will table the report tomorrow.
I have gone down every possible avenue. I submitted an Order Paper question, a written question, to see if I could get the information that way. Then I stood up during question period, which brings me here tonight to ask for the information.
Again, I am just looking to get all of the reports, including any of the draft reports, to committee so we can move forward. We are lacking them, and it was obvious, based on testimony, that the interdepartmental coordination between the three departments involved in this, particularly with respect to immigration, was weak, if not non-existent. The committee was unable to get all of the reports to provide an effective response going forward.
This is really the key point that I want to hit. In the end, this is all about setting the conditions for the future. If Canada ever commits, whether it is militarily or diplomatically, to another mission around the globe, we need to rely upon the cultural advisers, interpreters and linguists who are willing to step forward. If they are unwilling to do so and do not trust us to have their backs if things go sideways, as they did in Afghanistan, we are the ones who will lose out.
We are likely going to hear from the parliamentary secretary. I am glad he is here to answer my question. However, I think he is going to use national security as an excuse, which is not the case. Ultimately, the sad reality is that the Afghans who should be coming here are the losers in this whole circumstance.