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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was question.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Vancouver South (B.C.)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Afghanistan April 19th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, yes, the facts are there for all to see. The evidence of detainee torture is mounting. We have Colvin, Anderson, Gosselin, Malgarai, the U.S. Department of State, our own human rights reports and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. The government makes the feeble defence that none of these allegations is true and if the allegations are true, nobody has told it.

Whether the Conservatives have been guilty of continuing the torture of detainees by sending them to the NDS or the subcontracting of torture ought to be determined by a judicial inquiry. Why would the government not have the courage to call one?

Afghanistan April 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the witness yesterday said that he was at the point of transfer of prisoners to the risk of torture, particularly for rendition to the NDS. Now a former cultural adviser, a translator, accuses the current government of transferring a sick prisoner to the NDS, despite the fact that the NDS was prepared to have him shot and justify it.

The government is mired deep in lies, in scandal and in cover-up. When will it shed its cowardice? When will it have the courage to put these allegations from the generals, from the translator, from Colvin, from Anderson, to a sitting judge so we can have some proof?

Afghanistan April 15th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, it is only before a judge that allegations turn into evidence and that is why we cannot dismiss Mr. Colvin, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Gosselin, Mr. Mulgarai and a number of memos that all point to a systematic transfer of prisoners to risk of torture and for rendition, and allegations of innocent civilians being sent to the NDS for further questioning.

Yesterday there was an allegation of a teen being shot in the head.

If General Natynczyk can call an inquiry overnight and has the courage to do that right away, then why the cowardice on the part of the government and not a public inquiry?

Afghanistan April 14th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I remind the government benches that they are the government of cover-up and it is a continuing cover-up.

The fact is the unredacted documents of Colvin, other memos, including the evidence adduced at the Military Police Complaints Commission this morning, all indicate the government has been in violation of the Geneva convention and the Criminal Code by forcing our military to transfer detainees to a substantial risk of torture.

It is the government that has to be accountable. If the government believes it has nothing to hide and it is right, why not call a public inquiry and make full disclosure to Canadians?

Afghanistan April 14th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, Richard Colvin told us previously and yesterday that there was actual knowledge at the highest civilian levels in the government of substantial risk of torture. Other memos and all other evidence, including evidence adduced at the Military Police Complaints Commission this morning, indicate the same. Yet the government deliberately set out to obstruct the ability of the Red Cross to monitor the detainees.

Do the Prime Minister and the defence minister not realize that, if true, this means the Conservative government has been in violation of the Geneva convention and the Canadian Criminal Code?

Afghanistan April 13th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the government knew full well that Khalid was a torturer. Chris Alexander had told it that he was a killer of UN workers. This morning, Colvin testified that Khalid was an extortionist, drug smuggler and a torturer.

Knowing all of this, the government continued to support him and continued to pay him $12,000 per month.

Why did the current government not sever all ties with this butcher of Kandahar?

Afghanistan April 13th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, in 2007, Chris Alexander, Canada's former ambassador and deputy UN special representative in Afghanistan, had warned the government that Asadullah Khalid was the culprit behind the murder of five UN workers and possibly behind other attacks on the internationals in Kandahar.

Why did the Conservative government continue to protect Khalid from being fired by Karzai? And, why did it continue to pay $12,000 per month to this butcher of Kandahar?

Afghanistan April 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Anderson spent 20 months on the ground in Kandahar. He testified that the NDS was not a viable partner then, is not a viable partner now and that a real risk of torture still exists.

Having met with Cory Anderson, having met with Colvin, having been warned by Colvin and by a series of national and international reports, when will the minister own up to his responsibility for ignoring warnings of torture and, as General Laroche said and wrote, for putting our troops in a difficult position?

Afghanistan April 1st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence says that he never received any face-to-face warnings about the risk of torture. However, senior diplomat, Cory Anderson, says that he met the minister five times on the ground in Kandahar when he was a political adviser. They discussed torture in Afghan jails as a mission killer. The minister did not listen to Anderson, did not listen to Colvin and denied ever being warned.

The minister has been misleading the Canadian public and the House. Why?

Afghanistan March 31st, 2010

Mr. Speaker, it is the irresponsible conduct of the government that is at issue. In November 2007, Brigadier General Guy Laroche, Commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan, told the government he was unable to guarantee that detainees were not being tortured. He told the government that continuing transfers in this situation would put the Canadian Forces in a difficult position.

Yet, the government has always denied that anyone advised it of a real risk of torture. It is time to stop the denials, end the cover-up, tell the truth, and call a public inquiry.