Mr. Speaker, I appreciate you hearing this question of privilege. I know this matter has come before you once before as a question of privilege about question period and the veracity of members in the House during question period.
However, I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I would not rise on this matter if I did not believe that question period today revolved around a question which is essential for the security of Canada, the security frankly of the western world, and the security of individual citizens in our country. This is an extremely grave matter when the government members in this House believe as if they were reading from a textbook written by Mr. Goebbels when he was preparing for power in Germany. It is absolutely shameful.
Yesterday the Prime Minister alleged that this party and myself as foreign minister did nothing. He said that we did not utter a peep in respect of Mr. Arar. Today he repeated that allegation and the Minister of Public Safety did the same and sought to distort the evidence before the House and yourself, Mr. Speaker.
The O'Connor report clearly shows the following facts: that I attended on the minister from Syria at the United Nations, that we had regular phone calls, and that I attempted to write a letter to the minister himself, but was unable to do so because of instructions from the RCMP to the solicitor general at the time.
This matter was only resolved because of the intervention of the then prime minister, Mr. Chrétien. While all this was going on, all these efforts being made to get Mr. Arar out of jail, we were unable to do so because of the actions of the RCMP and egged on by the present public security minister who in this House alleged that we were helping a known terrorist. He said it on the floor of this House. It is disgraceful to have him stand up and say what he said today. It is dishonourable.
Some of us here have spent our lives in honourable service to our country and to this House of Commons. To have dishonourable allegations of that nature made on a file of such importance to the security of Canada and Canadians is not acceptable to the House. It is not acceptable to the country. It is not acceptable to our decorum and I suggest it affects the privileges of all members of the House.
It is just not possible to have a question period in which hon. members are allowed to distort the truth so much and tell lies about what took place on the public record. It totally destroys the credibility of this House of Commons and I raise it as a personal privilege.