Mr. Speaker, there are five very brief points I want to make. The motion we are debating today asks us to take into account the political, humanitarian and military dimensions of the possible future direction in Canadian peacekeeping policy and operations.
The five points I wish to commend to our government and to the minister are as follows:
First, Canada is a small country comparatively speaking, with limited resources. As such we cannot act alone. We do know however that there is strength in unity. We can support each other. Therefore, we must in my view maintain our membership in international organizations, including the United Nations and NATO.
Second, we must work to cleanse the hypocrisy of these organizations. What do I mean by that? Contrast the swift action of the coalition forces in the gulf and the billions upon billions of dollars spent in the gulf in a very short period of time with the inaction in Yugoslavia where children are being killed daily, with the inaction in East Timor where Roman Catholics are being slaughtered by Muslim extremists, and the inaction in Tibet where China is committing cultural genocide against the people of Tibet. What about the countries in Africa where tribes are slaughtering each other by the tens of thousands? These organizations are doing nothing in these tragic places.
Third, we must continue to speak out forthrightly and forcefully on behalf of human rights, dignity and the inherent worth of all human life.
Fourth, we must lend our military expertise and reputation where warranted. We cannot be in all places at all times.
Fifth, our military are in the business of warfare. They know the risks. They have chosen their profession. But we cannot ask our military to put their lives on the line unless we are prepared to ensure they are adequately equipped, supplied and supported. As we would not send our children into a full contact hockey game dressed only in pyjamas, we cannot send our sons and daughters into the world's most dangerous and volatile areas without proper protection, training and equipment. Anything less is irresponsible. Anything less is indefensible.