Mr. Speaker, since I asked my question on October 10, many things have happened to reinforce my belief that the Government of Canada is not taking the necessary action to help resolve the military conflict in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State armed forces.
The point I wanted to make was that a military intervention by the Canadian Forces could not in any way guarantee the safety of Canadians—which is what the people of Montcalm have often told me—and that even more people will start seeing Canada in a negative light. The suffering of the people must not translate into new supporters of the Islamic State.
I have no intention of systematically objecting to any military involvement by Canada, but this cannot be the only solution to rely on in the immediate term. Most importantly, let us avoid simplifying such a complex issue. At the very least, let us not make matters worse.
Canadians will not tolerate pre-election, pro-war populism. We have to determine whether there are other solutions.
We are all well aware that there are socio-economic factors that contribute to the radicalization of vulnerable people by global terrorist movements. You would have to be blind not to realize that. Extreme poverty seems to be a much more important vector of radicalization than any religion in the world. After listening to many people on this subject, I believe that we need to adjust our approach.
People all over the world are trying to bring about peace and co-operation, and we must contribute to that effort rather than being an agent of discord and division.
To that end, we must establish specific objectives, something that the government is dragging its feet on, unfortunately. The opposition is not asking for the moon; it just wants a clear and specific objective. We will not tolerate improvisation, let alone the exploitation of this conflict for political purposes. Canadians need to know what direction we are taking.
A multi-faceted approach would be desirable. It is absolutely essential that a socio-political component be added to the military mission. Canadians can no longer tolerate the disparagement of the importance of sociological studies in the search for solutions to this violence and barbarism. Please, let us leave arrogance at the door.
I am carefully refraining from making any connection to the attacks perpetrated in Canada in the name of this vicious terrorist organization that is currently occupying Iraq and Syria, but we need to face up to the facts. I asked this question on October 10, 2014, and I will ask it again today: how can we fight evil without creating more evil?
I think that before we get Canada even more deeply involved in a conflict whose outcome is far from certain, it is imperative that the Conservatives answer the basic question that I raised on October 10. It is not for reasons of political partisanship or to score a few points in the polls but because they sincerely want to help others, like the good men I am sure they are.
Historically, as a peacekeeping force, Canada has played a positive role in the resolution of world conflicts, frequently calling for moderation and constructive action. I said this on October 10 and I will repeat it: other than bringing about destruction, fear and death, what does the government intend to do to help bring peace to Iraq without creating new Islamic State sympathizers? Let us find the answer and act accordingly.