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CANADA

Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development


NUMBER 014 
l
1st SESSION 
l
39th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1545)  

[English]

    We'll call this meeting to order.
    This is the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), a study on Canada's role in complex international interventions that involve multiple foreign policy instruments focusing on Canada's efforts in Haiti, we're pleased to have with us this afternoon Rights and Democracy.
    First of all, we have Nicholas Galletti, Latin America's regional officer. We also welcome Jean-Louis Roy, president of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, known simply as Rights and Democracy. He has held this position since August 2002. Mr. Roy holds a PhD in history from McGill University in Montreal and a master's degree in philosophy from the Université de Montréal.
    We look forward to hearing from you in respect to Haiti, which we are studying as a committee.
    The way our committee operates is that we allow you approximately 10 minutes to bring a presentation, and then we will go into the rounds of questioning--five minutes for question and answer, and then we move to the next member.
    Welcome to our committee. The time is yours.

[Translation]

    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for welcoming us and for the opportunity to have this conversation with you about perhaps the poorest area of the world in the richest region of the world.
    Everything I'm going to say stems, we think, from one fact, which, in our judgment, is the most important fact in Haiti's recent history, and which, I believe, warrants Canada's continued interest in that country. That decisive fact is that Haitians have exercised their civil and political rights: 63% of Haiti's electorate voted on February 8. I was in Haiti just before the election, and everyone said it wasn't possible, that the risk of violence was great, that the electoral lists and everything else made it virtually impossible for the vote to take place and that Haitian citizens would have a lot of trouble getting out to vote, also for reasons of poverty, travelling costs, waiting and so on. And yet 63% of the Haitian electorate went out to vote, thus giving all those who had long invested in the transition, particularly in the past two years, a resounding response that the transition would end in a lawful manner and in the assertion of democratic values. That, I believe, was the will expressed by our Haitian friends.
    Even though it may appear somewhat rhetorical for those who were in Haiti at that time, I believe we must hail, and never lose sight of, that dignity and responsibility shown by people living in the greatest indignity.
    Our view is that these democrats must be heard and that their commitment must be met with a similar commitment by the Haitian government itself. I wouldn't say here that we should be hard on the Haitian government, but we should definitely be demanding of it. The Haitian government, Canada and the international community must show a similar commitment to that shown by the Haitians themselves.
    I was very interested in Prime Minister Harper's statement, when he spoke with the president elect of Haiti and said that we were in that country for the long run. I was also very interested to read Minister MacKay's answer to the question by your colleague Mr. Patry on Canada's long-term commitment. You are members of this committee, and I'm not going to quote the minister's answer in full, but he said:

  (1550)  

[English]

The government intends to remain in Haiti for as long as necessary to complete the reinforcement of international efforts undertaken with other partners. Our work is not done. Canada will therefore be there for an indefinite period of time.

[Translation]

    I believe that's the first thing we should recall: it will be hard, long and complicated in Haiti, and Canada is there to stay, according to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
    As you will understand, we are dealing with the future of Haiti. In the 10 minutes you have generously granted me, Mr. Chairman, I will focus fairly little on Haiti's history and past. I even believe that everyone interested in that country must make a considerable effort to turn toward the future, rather than get stuck in endless historical analyses of factions, groups and so on.
    We think that Canada must promote the establishment of democratic governance in Haiti very soon, that is to say by the end of the decade—and we aren't the first to say so. We must provide Haitian citizens with proof that the choice they have made and the period in which they find themselves will yield positive results, particularly with regard to respect for the rights of every Haitian, the operation of government and democratic governance.
    What must be done to bring about democratic governance in Haiti? First, second and third, there must be security. The Government of Canada must fight in New York so that the mandate the Security Council gives to MINUSTAH includes, in the most imperative terms, an obligation to disarm the private groups that have the resources to overturn in a few hours—we see them at work right now—the efforts of many people by spreading terror and murder. These people must be restrained and controlled. Haitian society must be summarily rid of these elements that can quickly underdo all the work that others, including Canada, could do in that country. That's an absolute necessity.
    The experience of the international community must be put to use, its resources assembled, its programs in place supported, particularly by the National Disarmament Commission in Haiti. The country must become a living civil society again, sustainable and secure. I would remind us all that security is a human right. It isn't a manifestation of power, a force used against each other, but rather a fundamental human right.
    Second, there is the question of impunity. Haiti's prisons are full of men and women living in unspeakable conditions. Some may be guilty, others may not be; no one knows. How do we resolve this matter and prove to our Haitian friends, these democrats I referred to earlier, that the judicial system in Haiti will once again be honest?
    I have a few ideas that are not currently very popular, but that I think are essential. The special representative of the UN Secretary General has mentioned the possibility of sending a number of judges from Francophone countries to Haiti to conduct judicial investigations and prepare the basic files on the basis of which the justice system will be able to work. Obviously, we won't send judges from Africa, Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Mauritius or Cameroon without the Haitian government's consent. I hope Canada is working toward obtaining that consent.
    When I was Secretary General of La Francophonie, we sent Francophone judges from a large number of African countries to Rwanda following the genocide, and they did precisely that: conducted investigations, and the judicial process was expedited as a result.

  (1555)  

    As you know, in the past two or three years, our Haitian friends have done some extraordinary thinking on these matters pertaining to the operation and reliability of the judicial system. There is the Haiti citizens forum, which I believe is funded by CIDA, and is a partner of Rights and Democracy in Haiti. There's Group 184, which has prepared a proposal for a new social contract, also with CIDA's support, I believe. In the area of justice, these people have made extremely interesting recommendations. The hope that what they call "the judicial chain" is established on a priority basis and followed. What's the relationship between the police and the judges? What's the relationship between the judges and prison? What is the relationship between prison and the police?
    Second, they want training to start now for young judges in order to renew the supply of judges, some of which, in the opinion of many, should eventually disappear from the justice system in Haiti. In that spirit, they hope that a national judicial council is established and developed, a kind of judge of the judges, which would make it possible to determine when a Haitian citizen is no longer fit to perform judicial duties in that country. They also hope that a consultation mechanism, a kind of grand council in which civil society in particular could be represented, is established.
    Third, I believe MINUSTAH's upcoming mandate must absolutely dissociate the security requirements I've just referred to from those stemming from the need to promote and protect human rights. In the past two years, the security and human rights mandates have been combined in a single team, under the same authority, and so on. We are no longer in a transition phase. We are in the implementation phase—we hope—of a state governed by the rule of law and democratic governance. We hope so.
    We hope that the Office of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights receives the necessary resources to open a permanent office in Port-au-Prince, to determine the status of the situation, as it has done in many countries of the world—the last most interesting case in this hemisphere was in Colombia, and that had some significant effects—and, after determining the status of the situation, which is largely known, to propose that a legislative and institutional structure be put in place for the protection and promotion of human rights, in accordance with international standards. I repeat that the Office of the High Commissioner has done this in a number of countries. I'm pleased to see that La Francophonie has made a commitment to reforming the ombudsman office, which absolutely needs that. It's a fantastic team whose leadership is said to need to be enriched by a board of directors and be supported by a broader authority than that of a single individual. La Francophonie says it will take care of that. The Office of the High Commissioner could help create a national human rights commission in Haiti, as 138 countries of the world have done in the past 20 years.
    I see that time is running out. I'd like to say a word about the police. Tomorrow, in 18, 24 or 30 months, or in five years at most, MINUSTAH will be leaving Haiti. At some point, MINUSTAH will leave. There's no army in Haiti; there's no police. I believe that the vice-president of CIDA, Ms. Laporte, gave you some figures on the ratios: one police officer for so many citizens in Canada, Europe, Latin America and Haiti. I'm not going to repeat them. This situation makes no sense. Based on a small survey of some of the resources in Canada, particularly in Quebec, we estimate that the 100 police officers we have in Haiti, in addition to the 25 retired police officers, form a minimum base for Canada's action in this essential area.

  (1600)  

    One day, the police that we now have to train will be the only force capable of keeping the peace and stability in Haitian society.
    I believe that Canada should evaluate its resources. I know there are considerable financial implications. However, doing everything I've referred to in this decade would cost less than starting over in 2014 or 2015, as we're doing because we left Haiti too soon in the 1990s. That's absolutely fundamental.
    Canada must absolutely make a direct and constant contribution in the next two or three years to establishing a professional and depoliticized national police force with the necessary standards, resources and equipment to perform its mission and duties. Canada is already intervening, and I should have mentioned that earlier, for the courthouses and certain police stations. We're not talking about that; we're talking about the need to train several thousands of police officers in the next two or three years. Perhaps we could do that in the context of La Francophonie and also, of course, of the OAS. That's an absolute necessity.
    Mr. Chairman, since we have to choose, I'd say there's a lot of literature on Canada's support and on the general support for Haiti's civil society. I don't think we can maintain these programs as they are, because we're no longer in the transition phase, or in the crisis that preceded the transition. We're in the process of building a state governed by the rule of law and, we hope, democratic governance. Some elements have remained in Haiti, and they are women's groups, defenders of human rights, young lawyers and other groups. I've seen them; they're our partners, and I know them. CIDA knows them and has given them considerable support, and that's very good. I hope that, rather than help individuals or groups one by one, we'll have a policy designed to consolidate sectors of civil society. There has to be a domestic federation of Haitian women. There has to be a major coalition of human rights defenders. It exists, but it needs to be enriched. There has to be a coalition of youth associations, which I'll come back to, since 52% of Haitians are under 25 years of age.
    So the idea is to provide systematic support for the consolidation of a sustainable civil society of these major sectors, to ensure its cohesion for three or five years and to make it capable of proposing economic, social and cultural policies and of playing by the democratic rules. It seems to me we should consider three- or five-year partnerships to ensure that what we do isn't undone in two or three years.
    Mr. Chairman, in Morocco, in 2004-2005, Rights and Democracy organized 12 regional forums on democratic culture in the 12 major administrative regions of Morocco and one national forum on democratic culture in Rabat. We propose to do the same thing in Haiti between 2006 and early 2009. People have to be educated in democracy and democratic culture. Mr. Chairman, I'll close by describing one last project that we are finalizing.
    In Canada, we have established 40 Rights and Democracy delegations at 40 universities. Each of our delegations is being twinned with delegations we've established in developing countries. Rabat is twinned with Sherbrooke, McGill with Kenya, Moncton with Ouagadougou, and so on. We are working on a program based on this experiment, but that obviously can't be a copy of it. It would be a network of delegations called youth and democracy in Haiti, so that, across the country, there are places for discussion and proposals for this generation of young people who, I repeat, form the majority in this country.

  (1605)  

    Mr. Chairman, I have no particular proposal for addressing this extraordinary scandal. We're talking about the economy and the private sector. We need investment in Haiti, obviously, but 40% of the children in Haiti will still never go to school in their lives. In terms of social rights, in terms of social development, in terms of economic development, in terms of behaviours of all kinds, this situation must be absolutely changed, and quickly. Countries have successfully completed large scale basic education operations.
    Will the Bucharest Summit, which the Prime Minister of Canada will be attending in September, be the opportunity to establish a major 10-year basic education program with the European countries, the African countries and the countries of the Maghreb region, so that we can put an end to this intolerable, scandalous situation in which 35 to 40% of the children in Haiti are uneducated? I know that CIDA is working on consolidation projects for the Ministry of Education, which must be done, but children must be in school in the world in which we live in 2006.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

[English]

    Thank you, Monsieur Roy.
    We'll go to the opposition side.
    Mr. Martin, go ahead, please. You have five minutes for your question and answer.

[Translation]

    Thank you very much for being here, Dr. Roy and Mr. Galletti.

[English]

    We have to be there for the long run, to be sure. For the taxpayer, as well as for the Haitian people, as you've said, we must see steady progress. And our investment must be making a difference.
    CIDA's evaluation over a 10-year period of time shows, as you know, that at best, there have been mixed results and, at worst, we're failing. As you know, MINUSTAH, by its own evaluation, is also failing. In particular, our health and education policies have failed. From 1996 to 1999 we spent $184 million on strengthening the public service in Haiti, and yet, arguably, their public institutions are worse now than before.
    My questions are really these. What do we need to do specifically to improve the outcomes of the considerable investments that we have made? What can be done to deal with the endemic corruption in the country? And last, faced with the staggering statistic that you mentioned, Dr. Roy, that 40% of Haitian children have never gone to school, what can be done to make sure the investments we're making in primary health and education are making a difference? Or alternatively, can you tell us why they have failed?
    Merci beaucoup.

  (1610)  

    Well, Mr. Martin, let's take the example of education. I think we have to decide first, and then maintain the decision for at least a decade, that we will change the situation and that kids in Haiti from ages six to eleven or twelve will be in school.
    We can build a beautiful plan, and we have done that for other countries. The net result after two, three, or five years should be evaluated this way: how many kids can we bring to schools, on a yearly basis, who were not in school? How many schools can we build? How many teachers do we need? Is it 300, 3,000, 30,000? And can we have a plan, with the Haitians of course, to be sure that after eight or ten years we will have substantially changed the situation as we described it? We have to have a plan and be able to measure results. We have to evaluate what we do. And we also have to be sure that the money we said we would spend in education is spent in Haiti in the building of schools, in the training of teachers, and in bringing the kids to the schools.
     I have a little experience in international cooperation. I've been in charge of multilateral institutions for 10 years. The most difficult thing is to be sure that at least two-thirds of the money that we say we will spend on education really goes into that country, in the form of concrete action, to help change the situation that needs to be changed.
    Curiously enough, this is exactly the opposite direction.... I agree with you, but this is the opposite direction as CIDA's going in. They have made an explicit statement that they're not going into bricks and mortar. I agree with you; they're going in another direction.
    Well, I cannot see how we will build a democratic governance, un état de droit, in Haiti if a third of the kids are not in school.
    I should add to this also a comment about the quality of the schools that exist. As it is today, half of those who go to school are out of school after three or four years. It means that very, very few are going to school until the end of the first elementary level of a school system. This has to be changed, otherwise we will have thousands and thousands of illiterate young people having nothing to do, and doing more than nothing, unfortunately, in many cases.
    As for the outcome of our involvement, we have to be extremely cautious and, at the same time, be severe and ask the real question--the one you asked--about the outcome. At the same time, what Canada has done has also produced results in Haiti. I have seen that in Port-au-Prince; I have seen that in other parts of Haiti. I have been there many times in the last 15 years. I mentioned earlier those groups of Haitian citizens who are trying to reflect upon the situation, to propose change and working.... Because of Canada, because of us, many of those people have been able to maintain social services, houses for women who have been raped. They have built private schools. They have maintained a certain semblant de fonctionnement in their society.
     I was really impressed in November when I was there for a long period of time--I was there for 10 days--and I think that what we have done in the last two years, during this period of transition, is that we have been able to maintain a strong connection with the political elite and the political class and the administration. Some departments, like the women's affairs and others, have made tremendous contributions during this transition, and we have helped them to do that.
    We have also, as a country, been able to maintain a very important link with those Haitians who have decided to stay in their country and try to build something, what we call civil society organization. We have a rare cooperation in Haiti that is all over the country. We are in the capital city, but we are also in agriculture, in reforestation, in various parts of the country. If I read correctly what the new government has in mind, in terms of decentralization, in terms of rebuilding the local communities, we are in a good position to help because we are in all parts. Then it's un bilan; it's active and passive.
     I don't think anyone can expect 100% results in a situation like the one that was prevailing in Haiti, but the situation has changed. We now have an elected government. The president has been strongly elected, and 63% of the Haitians who can vote, who went to vote, said that they want another future. I think that's why I said earlier that it will be complicated, even if our friends may have a reaction. We want them to have results. We want to have results with them. We cannot accept any sidetracking. We want results. We want kids in school, new schools. We want new judges, new courts of justice. We want this country to deliver; otherwise they'll fail and we'll fail with them.

  (1615)  

    Thank you, Mr. Roy.
    Madame Bourgeois.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, the questions can be put to my colleague Nicholas Galletti, who knows more than I do about Haiti.
    Good afternoon, Mr. Roy, Mr. Galletti.
    First, I'd like you to clarify something for me. You said earlier that we should be hard on the Haitian government. Mr. Roy, I'd like you to explain to me what you mean by those words. How should Canada be hard on it?
    Listening to you talk earlier, I thought that, when a certain climate of security is restored in Haiti, perhaps, through your Youth and Democracy in Haiti program, we could send our university students there so they can help this social climate you're so keen to blossom. One woman came and told us this week that there weren't a lot of places or resources to educate young people. There may be schools and infrastructure for older people, but the fact remains that everything has to be rebuilt in Haiti. We could send engineers there. There are young students in engineering, law, education and so on. We could go through organizations like yours, which are very familiar with the terrain. What do you think of that?
    Madam, I'd like to comment on the term "hard" and to tell you that I stand by it. At the donors meeting that will be held in July, where we'll expect them to make commitments for a five-year period, Canada will likely—I know nothing about it; I say it's likely—mention figures in the order of half a billion dollars over a seven-year period.
    We're choosing to spend considerable amounts of money to support our Haitian friends. When the Prime Minister of Haiti says, in his general policy speech, that the Haitians' highest aspiration is security and disarmament in his country, I applaud him and I say I agree with him.

  (1620)  

[English]

    What do we do to be sure that what you call the most significant aspiration of a Haitian today will be respected by you, will be respected by your government, and will be respected by us, your partner? That's what I mean by sévère.

[Translation]

    As for the Youth and Democracy in Haiti program, I take note of your thought on the movement of young Canadians who could travel to Haiti. We could draw on the Rights and Democracy delegation program in Canadians universities. You saw how we immediately twinned universities. All that's done in a partnership format. For example, Ouagadougou and Moncton proposed joint projects to us. These are students from Ouagadougou and Moncton. Exchanges between institutions in Quebec, Saint-Boniface, Moncton and Haitian institutions would take place in the same spirit.
    It would be, on the one hand, an exchange of knowledge and, on the other hand...
    Joint projects.
    Perhaps that would result in greater openness to the democratization of Haiti. Every year, many students ask us to give them funding or to help them go and do volunteer work in other countries.
    Why not open the door for Haiti? There are doctoral students who have gone there. There are some in my riding, and I think that would be fantastic. We'd be sure that knowledge would be transmitted, but the security of these people has to be guaranteed.
    And we'd also be sure that the Canadian students would learn a lot, madam.
    That's right.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

[English]

    Thank you, Madame Bourgeois.
    I think the main part of it is the security end of it. It wasn't that long ago when we were almost encouraging people not to be there, because of the lack of security.
    We'll go to Mr. Van Loan first, and then to Mr. Goldring.
     Among the 17 projects that Rights and Democracy has in the Americas, you have listed something called "Supporting Civil Society, Human Rights and Democracy in Haiti". What I heard from you in your presentation was this business of the exchange between institutions. Is that something you hope to happen, or is not happening yet? Am I correct?
    No, it's happening within our Canadian program, but in the case of Haiti, we're building it.
    Okay, that's what I meant. It's not happening back and forth between the two yet.
    No, not happening.
    The other thing is that you're hoping to have these democratic culture forums, if I got that right. Is that the substance of your organization's active involvement in Haiti, or what is that project that you identify? What is it that you're actually doing there?
    It's two projects for the future. I'd like Nicholas to explain to you what we're doing now in Haiti.
    We've been in Haiti for just about six months now. We have an office in Port-au-Prince and we've hired staff to run the project that you mentioned. We have six Haitians working for us—

  (1625)  

    That's the conference, the forum?
    No, this is the one you mentioned, which is supporting....
    The university exchange?
    No, it's the one that's on our website.
    Oh, it's a totally different one. Okay.
     These are projects that we're in the process of reflecting on whether to continue in the future. The one we're currently working on is what you mentioned.
    The crux of the project or what we see as essential, given that our mandate is to work on the promotion of democratic development and human rights, is the participation of different sectors of society in the democratic process. In Haiti there have been instances of marginalized sectors of society or groups of individuals coming together and attempting to participate, but it has never been at a level where the impact has been noticeable. Certainly there are examples of that, but a lot of the time we'll see NGOs and civil society groups protesting and denouncing. When it comes to making propositions and engaging with government officials and those who are deciding on public policy, the connection between the government and civil society is not as strong.
    So what we propose to do is to work to train civil society organizations on conducting advocacy campaigns, including how to do research on a particular issue, whether it's on the right to water or the right to education, or civil and political rights, judicial reform, or women's rights; and to find out who are the deciders in government who will make decisions on these public policies; and to know how to engage them in a constructive dialogue; and then basically to lobby for these public policies to come forth. This is basically the project that we're working on. It's very much centred on training NGOs to negotiate and dialogue with their counterparts in government.
    All right. My perception is that it's not a very strong civil society to begin with, so I don't know if you're working in a vacuum in trying to train a very small group of people on what to do.
    I'll go back to a reference that Mr. Roy made. You talked about a 100% result or whether or not we can get 100% results at the end of the day, and I'm beginning to come to the conclusion, the further we get into this study, that one of the problems is that we don't ever measure anything. We don't measure the results of any of our interventions. We have no way of knowing whether we're getting anywhere or getting success. Perhaps we should be using or should have, in the "techno-lingual" metrics, some sort of goals and objectives and have a way of knowing how many police officers we've trained and whether they result in the rule of law, and whether things are relevant.
    Is there anything you're going to be doing that would...? Let me ask first, in setting up this project—and presumably you got funding from the government—were you asked to establish measurable results and to report back on those? And how would you measure success?
    Finally, since you do say security is the number one priority, objectively speaking, would it make more sense for us to be funding more efforts on that front, rather than the kind of stuff you're talking about doing?
    I know that may create a bit of a conflict of interest for you, but—
     Thank you, Mr. Van Loan. You have about a minute.
     If we don't have security, the rest will not stand.
    How do we measure success? Even in human rights, we have to be able at some point to know how many people, how many women, how many kids, how many Haitians have been protected because of the mechanism that we hope the high commission will put in place. This we can measure. How many people in jail today in Haiti will have a decent trial and will be in a position to say at the end of it that it was a fair trial? We can measure that at some point, if you want to measure things.
    Thank you, Mr. Roy.
    Madame McDonough, go ahead, please.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I very much apologize for having been late. I had to be in the House until I made my way over here. I apologize if I'm backtracking on some issues that you've dealt with.
    I'd like to pick up on two things quickly. One is the reference to democracy building through strengthening the participation of civil society, which means learning skills advocacy and the working of the democratic process.
     My recent trip to Haiti was a fabulous exposure to much of what was going on. I came away with the sense that there is genuine optimism and some basis for optimism that some things could really get on track and stay on track. But I was actually quite distressed by the sense that I got, at least in the limited time we were there, that those representatives of civil society with whom we were meeting really seemed to be there more as the eyes and ears, or the spokespersons, for either American commercial interests or the American notion of what would be acceptable in Haiti to keep the U.S. from pulling the plug.
    That's a bit of an overstatement, and I don't want to characterize everyone that way. But I was really distressed that when one asked why in any of the gatherings, given the rural agricultural predominance on which the economy is based--about 90% of it, I think--there were no representatives of, say, agricultural workers or small cooperatives that might be involved in agricultural marketing, or production, or whatever. There were no representatives of teachers, or of health personnel, or of anyone you could remotely call workers, whether they would be factory workers or jail workers.
    I'm just trying to get a sense of how you identify with whom you're going to be connecting and working. And I'm wondering if in your run-up to launching this project you have some comments you could share with us about the existing nature of the civil society on the scene.

  (1630)  

     I will ask Nicholas to give a substantive answer to the question, but I'll just make a general remark.
    Of course, the civil society has, in the last decades, been dispersed. Four million Haitians have left the country, many of them because they were fighting for rights, and they were forced to go. But we still find in Haiti women's groups, student groups, agricultural workers, people working in coopératives d'épargne et de crédit, who have stayed there and who want things changed.
     As I mentioned earlier, we have been able to help them in the past--and by "we", I mean Canada and CIDA--but I think we have to ask whether we can rebuild the women's movement in the larger sense, whether we can help rebuild the student movement in Haiti. I think we have to answer yes to those questions and start in the new context. When 63% of Haitians have voted, have exercised their political rights, this is a new context, and we have to give our trust to those who have stayed in Haiti to rebuild, and there are a lot of them.
    Your question is very important because there is a tendency in Haiti to focus on the groups in Port-au-Prince and not to see all the groups that are working all over the country.
    Maybe I can answer a bit of your concern, too, Mr. Van Loan, at the same time.
    The first thing we did when we went to start this project was to see what groups had done positive things already, things that we could build on, use as examples for other groups. We so often go to a country and take examples from across the world and say, "Look, it worked in Morocco, and it can work here," and that's a complete disconnect. We wanted to find very good Haitian examples of success. And there are many. It's just a matter of taking those and really systematizing them and getting some lessons learned from them.
    Monsieur Roy mentioned the women's movement. There are a lot of women's rights groups who have worked very hard to get a decree law to criminalized abortion. That was a huge success. It took them a long time to do that. They worked a long time to create a ministry for la condition féminine, which is a ministry specifically charged with working on women's rights and the gender issues in Haiti and to mainstream that across the government. It's a very big success. In fact, the new minister comes from civil society.
    There are also groups that have worked on justice that have done national consultations. We've tried to take these groups and say, "Okay, what have you done that's been a success? Let's try to show that to other groups." We've done that.
    We are currently identifying other groups that may not have been traditionally the groups we hear about all the time, the ones you may have met with, that have had partners in the U.S. and so on. One of the networks we plan to work with on giving this advocacy training is a network of handicapped people. Blind patients--nobody thinks of handicapped people in Haiti because there are so many other problems. How do we deal with that issue? There is the right to water, and groups that are fighting for that. There are a lot peasant groups and labour groups in the north and in all of the different regions that are working very hard to bring their proposals to government. Because everything is centred in Port-au-Prince, it's very hard for them to get their voice heard. We want to give them the tool.
    Thank you, Mr. Galletti.
    Mr. Goldring, please.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
    Mr. Roy, on your comments earlier, where you suggested that certainly security is one of the things that must come about first before many other issues can, I think it would follow through with the interim cooperation framework that was set out as a master plan some three years ago. It was very specific in outcomes. It had 25,000 homes to be renovated; it had some 600 schools to be renovated. These are hard numbers that I think it would be very easy to account for now. It would be easy to give some measurable listing of successes and outcomes on it, as well as many of the other initiatives that are on here. I think it would be helpful for us if we could have some kind of countering update on each and every one of these sections, as to who is working on it and what organization, and what their success has been to date; and then maybe try to work from that same framework on a continuation of what successes you would have in the future.
    It would seem to me that one of the major reasons we're hearing for why so many of these initiatives weren't brought to fruition is security. Would you agree that the first and foremost place would be to start...? And this is the Prime Minister himself who in his speech said we must maintain order and security, ensure the safety of people and property, number one, and then possibly we can look at all of the other initiatives in the order of their priorities.

  (1635)  

    The Prime Minister, in his discours de politique générale, said that the most significant aspiration of the Haitians today was the security question. At least it was like that prior to the election. When you were with new friends in Haiti, people who you didn't know except that you were with them the day before, working together, and then you had a chance to have lunch or a beer with them, were always talking about security. Everyone was talking about how they would return to their home that day, about what happened to their friends and to their neighbours in other parts of the city. People were fearful. How can you behave normally? How can you do what you have to do when you're really fearful?
    I'm sure that some members of the committee have seen people going for groceries with arms, people going to get gas at the gas station with arms, people going to buy drugs in small shops taking arms along because of the looters. I think it's very difficult to understand.
     I'm sure you don't understand what I'm talking about. It's in another context, another experience.
    But would you not say that one of the reasons they still live in fear is that there have been ten police officers killed since May, two of them decapitated? I would certainly say there's still terror, in the public's eyes, in many of these situations. It was clearly delineated here in the report three years ago, under security and police, that there were thousands and thousands of police officers to be trained. Disarmament hasn't happened. Work in the justice penitentiary institutions that was supposed to take place didn't happen either. Should we not have an update on why these things didn't happen?
    I think there would have been organizations earmarked to apply for and to look after these projects. Would the project that you're proposing be a duplication of somebody else's effort that might just be stalled for now?
     I think you're right to say that we have to evaluate what happens and who is in charge, and why in some instances we have had limited results or in other instances no results at all. I certainly believe we have to do that.
    But we have also to take into account that this period of transition is over. There was an election. It was a very costly experience, in all senses. It was a success, and 63% of the Haitians went to vote. Sixty-three per cent of them went to vote: that's quite a message for me.
    That's why I used the expression "severe", and I know people did not like that very much. At this time, we are not in the nineties; we are in the first decade of this century. We'll not do that for a third time. We have to succeed. We have to measure, and we have to be sure that we progress. If we don't progress after 18 months or 24 months, maybe we should return to the program itself and change it. We have to succeed this time.

  (1640)  

    Thank you, Mr. Roy.
    Certainly I think that's what a lot of people are suggesting here: we need to go back to the programs, take a look, re-evaluate, and put in some methodology to be able to assess what's working and what isn't. We've had people come before our committee who have said, "We have been involved for two years there. We've spent lots of money there, but we can't show one step of improvement since we started." That is problematic for most members of this committee.
    Mr. Wilfert, go ahead, please.
    Mr. Chairman, very briefly, in a society where democracy is alien, in a society where the culture has not known a real, true democracy, we seem to have, from all the reports of the witnesses, in my view, a failure to understand the situation. We have a failure to plan properly, we have a failure to evaluate properly, and the results have confirmed that. It's like putting people of goodwill in a row boat and giving each of them an oar. They're all rowing in all sorts of directions, and they're going absolutely nowhere.
    After all of the time and all of the money and all of the different governments--we started at the top, and I won't bore the committee with my thoughts on that—we haven't really, at the local level, dealt with trying to empower people, whether it's with clean water or it's with employment. We haven't done the basics. At the same time, we have another government, which we had hoped for, as we did before.
    Why is it that we, along with the international community, have had, in my view, such a very bad record on this subject? I haven't heard one witness come forth to say they understand what's gone wrong and that here is the kind of solution with which we, along with the right partners, can correct the situation.
    Is it correctable?
    Thank you, Mr. Wilfert.
    Mr. Roy, go ahead, please.
     I share the question. I'm not sure whether I have an answer, except to say, as I think I mentioned earlier, we maybe also have to try to build a little more balanced view.
    Elections Canada succeeded in the last 18 months in Haiti. They started from nothing, and there were two elections with quite decent results. People who know the media in Latin America will tell you that the coverage of the presidential and legislative campaign in Haiti was one of the best done in the Americas by national television. I think we have spent money to help this television rebuild itself, etc.
     I quote the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who said we'll be there for the long run. Maybe it will take more than four or five years to turn over such a situation, and we will have to be there longer than that. It may be less costly to be there for 12 or 15 years than to return four times over five years and start from scratch each time.
    In order to be there for the long run we would have to plan effectively with other governments, the Government of Haiti, NGOs, and different organizations, but I don't hear that. I don't hear that there is in fact any real sense of coordination. We understand these mistakes have occurred, but we haven't been able to see the political will to deal with it, either there or elsewhere.
    It may look like that, but to be fair to all, I can say that in the last months we have been in many meetings in this country with CIDA and others. Rights and Democracy have had meetings with 40 groups that work in Haiti and came from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick--all over the place. There is a sense that we have to do that more and plan together.
    I mentioned earlier that we have this project trying to organize the younger generation in Haiti around the democracy culture question. We do it with many partners--Canadians, Americans, and others who are in Haiti and can help us because they have their connections, their networking.

  (1645)  

    Mr. Goldring.
    Monsieur Roy, one of the concerns of the committee is what has been happening and whether there is any accountability for the money that's spent. But the other question might be that if we've seen no improvements on the ground and we're not seeing any changes over the period of time.... In this case there's an allotment of $90 million for security and police, and another allotment of $22 million for the justice system--justice and penitentiary.
    Would that indicate that the money simply hasn't been spent or that those projects didn't go ahead? Are you offering to start a project that would not have been instituted, and perhaps that money and commitment might still be there, earmarked for your project?
    You force me to return to my wording. Maybe we have to be more severe with partners. We also have to take into account fully the fact that two years before the transition and in the last two years--which means in the last four or five years--all conditions were adverse for working in Haiti. But even in those conditions, some villages and cities have electricity because of Hydro-Québec and the help we brought to those people.
    Eighty credit unions were established in Haitian villages and small cities. Some of the money we spent gave spectacular results or real results, but the conditions were really not there. We have to build on the fact that we are out of the Aristide period; we're out of the transition. They have been correctly elected--I have said that many times. We have to jump quickly, as your colleague has said, and plan with great exigences the work we will do with them. We need results, period.
     In conclusion, I have a couple of very quick questions.
    First, you've been involved in some of your projects there in the short term, for six month and so on. How long have you been involved in Haiti in the long term? You do many different projects there, but when did you begin?
    We have been there in the past—
    The mid-1990s?
    Yes, the mid-1990s, and we quit and returned. We started planning to return and started going to Haiti a year ago, and we started our new project six months ago.
    What is your total budget as an agency or a group? From the Government of Canada, I think you receive roughly $4.8 million a year. Is that correct?
    Due to the work of this committee, Mr. Chair, unanimously last year, we had a substantial increase. We will have a parliamentary allocation of $7.3 million this year.
    So did that increase happen? Did it show up in the budget?
    Yes.
    Is that your total budget?
    No. We were also able to raise some money outside of government. Our budget is a little less than $10 million.
     How much of those resources from your annual budget would be earmarked for Haiti?

  (1650)  

    We have a budget of $450,000 for this year in Haiti.
    So it's really a small component of your $10 million?
    Well, it's a significant component, plus salaries. If we include everything, it would be $600,000.
    How many countries are you involved in?
    We're involved with direct programming in 12 countries.
    And how many people, as far as resources and manpower, would you have in the Haitian projects?
    We have my colleague Nicholas full-time, and we have six Haitians who work for us in Port-au-Prince.
    You've spoken quite a bit about the partners you work with, the NGOs and other partners. How many NGOs would you work with?
    From the beginning of the project until now, we have worked with two coalitions of NGOs. In one coalition I think there are three NGOs, and the other has five women's groups, if I'm not mistaken.
    The women's groups we work with are grouped under the Coordination nationale de plaidoyer pour les droits des femmes, or CONAP, which includes SOFA, a group that works on violence against women and has clinics for women who have been raped or have suffered from sexual violence. There is also ENFOFANM, a group that works on documentation and research on women's rights. As well, we work with FOCAL, a group that works on education and has a debate program for young people. We work with the Centre Oecuménique des Droits Humains, which is a human rights organization—in fact, one of the first human rights organization in Haiti—that was working during the Duvalier dictatorship. I think it was formed right afterwards, but the members are still active.
    We have a lot of partners. Some are institutionalized, in the sense that we work together on our project, but others we consult with on a daily basis. We have an advisory committee in Haiti that helps us determine how to evaluate and put together our training program.
    I counted four NGOs that you went through, and you said there were five and three, so that would be—
    In CONAP, there is also Fanm Deside Jakmel. Because it's a coalition, we work mainly with the secretariat of the coalition. I can't give you the exact name of every one of the other members right now, because we work closely with SOFA, and ENFOFANM. Fanm Yo La used to be part of the coalition, then left, but we continue to consult with them.
    Are they all Canadian NGOs?
    These are all Haitian NGOs.
    We also have very good partnerships with the Canadian NGOs working there. We work closely with Concertation pour Haïti, which is a group of NGOs from Quebec, including Développement et Paix, SUCO, and L'Entraide missionnaires, a group that advocates for Haitian rights with the Canadian government. We also have international partners, including the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.
    Do you get the idea maybe that there are so many good little projects going on—NGOs doing this, agencies doing that, groups doing this, faith-based agencies doing that—but there's no one wrapping this thing all up, working under one basic plan? I mean, many different plans can work, but sometimes many plans can't work at the same time.
    So these are all good strategies, but are we missing that one strategy that ties it all together?
    Mr. Chair, I agree with you. That's why I mentioned earlier that in this phase—and I won't repeat that for us this has profoundly changed, with the election—we have to rethink what we are doing with our NGO partners in Haiti. We have to stop working with each little group and try to organize sectors—for women, for students, and for others--in such a way that, at the end of the day, what you just mentioned may happen; everyone will know a little more what the others do, and will be able to plan together.
    Concerning our work in Haiti, we have worked a lot with NGOs in the past, and we'll do that in the future, but we're also looking to work with the new government. I mentioned earlier that we hope the high commissioner creates an office and does what they've been doing in other countries. We have a joint budget and joint program with the high commissioner in Geneva. We may use part of that money to help the high commissioner do the three things I mentioned: first, help create this national commission of human rights; second, help the government look at its law and see what is needed to ensure the protection of rights; and third--I should have started with this--make an inventory of the situation.
    We'll do that with, I hope, the high commission in the context of helping the government develop institutions in that domain.

  (1655)  

    Thank you.
    We want to thank you for coming here. Certainly it has helped our committee, and we appreciate that.
    We'll suspend for just one minute. Dinner will be brought in a little later on. We have other witnesses waiting here, and we have committee business, so we want to come back as quickly as possible.

  (1655)  


  (1700)  

    We'll call this meeting back to order.
    For the second hour, we're pleased to have with us Stephen Wallace, vice-president of CIDA's policy branch; and Yves Pétillon, program director for Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, Americas Branch, at CIDA.
    We're interested in a lot of different components of what CIDA is involved in, and primarily a document entitled Canadian Cooperation with Haiti: Reflecting on a Decade of Difficult Partnership, which was published in December 2004.
    We appreciate the minister being here, and Mr. Greenhill's attendance in the past. We want to discuss CIDA's experience with assistance to Haiti as a fragile state.
    You have been here and listened to the committee in the last hour. You understand that we give our presenters ten minutes and then we go to five-minute questions and answers. That five minutes is for the question and the answer, to keep things moving.
    Welcome, Mr. Wallace and Mr. Pétillon. The time is yours.
    Thank you very much. It's a real pleasure to be here.
    Monsieur Pétillon, as director of the Haiti program, also lived in Haiti from 2001-04. He should be able to give you some on-the-ground perspectives about some of the developments you've been discussing over the last hour.
    I'd also like to acknowledge the extensive work of the committee at a really critical moment for Haiti. We'll follow your deliberations with interest. If we can help in any way, we would be very pleased to do so.

[Translation]

    We've tabled four documents with the committee: "Haiti-Country Development Programming Framework/CDPF"; "Summary of Lessons Learned by Donors in Haiti"; "Guidelines for Effective Development Cooperation in Fragile States"; and, lastly, "Canadian Cooperation with Haiti: Reflecting on a Decade of 'difficult partnership'". This last document, which you referred to, was prepared for the OECD.
    My remarks will be fairly brief. I won't go beyond the five-minute limit so that I can hand the floor over to my colleague. My remarks will concern the last document, which analyzes the context of fragility prevailing in Haiti, identifies some of the key Canadian and international cooperation issues and states certain conclusions and principles regarding our overall approach to fragile states.

[English]

    In referring to the analysis that we undertook for the OECD, let me start with a basic observation about fragility and development.
    Many of the basics of aid effectiveness are quite clear: the importance of local ownership, donor coordination, alignment of priorities and resources, sustained engagement, and cross-government policy coherence. This committee, I think, has heard and discussed a lot of these across many issues.
    The point we would make, which comes out of the study, is that these principles of aid effectiveness are especially difficult to apply in fragile states because of the fundamental lack of authority, legitimacy, and capacity. It's these fundamental shortcomings of authority, legitimacy, and capacity that manifest themselves in very different ways across fragile states. It is therefore not surprising that our studies show that understanding the local dynamics of fragility is a key determinant of effective engagement.
    Even more importantly--and I think this was alluded to by one of the members, Mr. Chair--is that this understanding needs to be structured, it needs to be ongoing, and it needs to be shared, or it results in very ad hoc, very uncoordinated and sometimes mutually incompatible results, as we have seen elsewhere, particularly in the context of Haiti.
    It is a very different environment from fragile state to fragile state. The warlords, terrorism, and poppy culture in Afghanistan are not the same as the ethnic resource wars of Sudan, and they owe little, in turn, to the historical, socio-economic, political, environmental, and security dimension of Haiti's instability.
    We've found, therefore, in Haiti and elsewhere, that shared perspectives across governments and the donor community, leading to shared commitments to achieve stability and concrete progress toward millennium development goals, are basic conditions of success. That was our first and overwhelming conclusion, and it was taken up subsequently within the OECD as one of the fundamental principles of aid effectiveness in fragile states.
    As for our second conclusion, our study also concluded that in a politically charged, corrupt, and high-risk environment, even greater attention is required to ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure due diligence and oversight, because if it can go wrong in fragile states it most often will.
    Realistic targets must also be set. Sometimes "realistic" means just a arresting a decline, not making progress. But we need to set these realistic targets and determine early on if we're making enough progress and adjusting as needed, with the kind of flexible response mechanisms that I'll talk about in a second.
    And we must reflect, as well, the mutual accountability that must govern the aid relationship. That was our second set of conclusions.
    Our third conclusion in this study for the OECD was that effectiveness in Haiti and elsewhere requires a long-term commitment of resources. We all know in development that progress takes time, but stabilizing crises, building accountable institutions, and rebuilding trust and a social contract are among the greatest challenges of development. And in this context, on-again, off-again relationships with poorly applied conditionality can sometimes do more harm than good.
    Mr. Chairman, this is not about ensuring that annual budgets are spent; it's about ensuring, in a flexible and responsive manner, an ongoing relationship based on dialogue, accountability, and mutual responsibility.
    Our fourth of five conclusions is that it takes a lot more than effective programming to make a lasting difference in fragile states. Diplomatic dialogue at a bilateral and multilateral level, backed up by support for basic security and an activist approach to outreach, involving both state and non-state actors, are essential for achieving sustainable results.

  (1705)  

[Translation]

    Our last conclusion, Mr. Chairman, emphasizes that it is important to adopt iterative approaches to implementation. Here we're talking about involving various partners, providing for alternative solutions selected from a full range of delivery mechanisms and about forming a critical mass of resources in order to achieve tangible results.

[English]

    We have seen in Haiti, as elsewhere, an international community that has a responsibility to prevent, protect, and rebuild countries in crisis, including difficult partnerships where will or capacity, or both, are lacking. This government has undertaken tangible steps in this area, but great challenges still lie ahead in fragile states such as Haiti. The work we undertook, therefore, in relation to this study is helping the international community and us to understand the need for a different and more effective approach to development assistance in fragile states.
    Mr. Chair, that concludes the main aspects of the study that was undertaken. It was undertaken, as you mentioned, at the end of 2004. For a short update from 2004 to the present, and on how this was implemented in practice, I will turn to my colleague Monsieur Pétillon, with your agreement.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for inviting us to appear before you as part of the debate on Canadian cooperation in Haiti.
    As my colleague said, Haiti is a country very dear to my heart. I lived there for a few years, and now I'm responsible for this program at CIDA.

[English]

     The report we are talking about was written two years ago, and I would like to present the evolution of international cooperation, specifically the evolution of Canadian cooperation since 2004.
    We took into account many of the conclusions that were presented in chapter 6 of the report, concerning aid allocation, service delivery, country ownership, alignment, harmonization, and policy coherence.

[Translation]

    In 2004, less than three weeks after Aristide's departure, the first action that the international community took as a whole was to meet in Washington to decide on measures that should be taken. For once, the international community, donors, banks and bilateral cooperation organizations decided to work together and to establish a plan. That had not been the case when cooperation resumed in 1994 upon Aristide's return. Each of the donors had gone off on its own, without any coordination between those organizations or with government.
    What was new in 2004 was this genuine will to coordinate efforts and to establish a single plan. Together, we proposed this approach to Mr. Latortue's transition government, and, in April 2004, at a joint meeting in the presence of the Port-au-Prince government, we decided together, donors and government, to design the Interim Cooperation Framework.

  (1710)  

    The Interim Cooperation Framework, which was based on an analysis of the situation in the country, guided the transition government and all the donors during those two years. Our cooperation program thus fits into the Interim Cooperation Framework. That had never previously been done in Haiti. So that was a very significant starting point in 2004.
    In addition, at virtually the same time, Canadian cooperation defined a new strategic approach for Haiti. You moreover have the document, since it was distributed to you today. There are four key ideas in that strategic approach.
    First, build on what's already there. What's working? What have we done right? What can we build on to do better, to continue what we've done right?
    Second, pay special attention to conflict prevention and management, since this is a country coping with numerous deeply rooted societal conflicts.
    Three, help build social consensus, in view of the fragmentation in this country.
    Four, support the agents of change.
    Those are the four leitmotifs of our orientation over the past two years.
    As regards the allocation of aid, the report that you've read mentions and criticizes the major fluctuations in aid in Haiti since 1994. Depending on the circumstances, it recommends a long-term sustained commitment to achieve greater predictability of available amounts and greater stability. Aid from CIDA and Canada increased from $26 million in 2003-2004 to $99 million in 2004-2005, then fell to $98 million in 2005-2006. We responded extremely quickly, and we hope that the conference in Port-au-Prince in July will confirm Canada's long-term commitment so that there is greater predictability and our Haitian partners are more able to plan.
    We were criticized because we had too many projects and too many small budgets. We have therefore undertaken longer-term project planning. The vast majority of our projects are currently planned over periods of five to 10 years and have budgets ranging between $15 and $20 million. This is a major change in CIDA's programming in Haiti.
    We have also exercised our influence on other donors, something that perhaps can't be measured in terms of concrete results. Thanks in part to Canada, the World Bank has returned to Haiti. The World Bank simply left Haiti in 1999. We helped pay a portion of the arrears owed to the World Bank so that it restarted its program in 2004. We also paid Haiti's fees to join the Caribbean Development Bank. Consequently, there's a new financing organization that can meet Haiti's needs. That wouldn't have been possible without Canada.
    The 2004 report referred to the inefficiency and conditionality of service delivery. My colleague mentioned that in his presentation. Allow me to give you an example. Extreme conditionalities were imposed during the military coup from 1991 to 1994. An economic embargo was declared on Haiti. That embargo didn't really achieve any results. On the contrary, it helped enrich those we had intended to punish. It took other methods to restore democracy to the country. So conditionalities in Haiti are a problem that must be delicately addressed. Instead we should opt for serious dialogue on policies with the government, while supporting the development of the institutions' capabilities in order to enable them to meet their obligations.
    The report also recommends a diversified range of channels and methods for delivering aid, as well as targeting areas of excellence.

  (1715)  

[English]

    One of the key lessons learned from past experience of our cooperation in Haiti is that we have to support both the civil society and the public institutions. Therefore, CIDA supports various types of partnerships, combining the value-added of Canadian and Haitian organizations as well as organizations from the diaspora. CIDA's solid network of Canadian and local partners across Haiti should be outlined as a major value-added of our cooperation program.
    Finally, in addition to supporting both the civil society and the public institutions in their respective roles, we support the dialogue between them, between the civil society and the government. I believe it's very important to support this type of dialogue

[Translation]

    As regards delivery mechanisms, when it comes to delivering emergency humanitarian aid or any type of humanitarian aid, we call upon the multilateral institutions, such as the World Food Program, which we mostly fund in Haiti for food aid, aid for children and aid for pregnant women.
    The report also recommended that we establish a new mechanism based on local funds. That's what we've done. In 2004, we put in place a fund management centre, which became an extremely important mechanism in our cooperative effort, with a budget of approximately $15 million a year, which enables us to take quick and flexible action and to provide rapid support for organizations that bring about change in Haiti when the opportunity arises. This is a new mechanism which is useful and which benefits a lot of organizations. For example, the organization of those who preceded us here is financed in part by these local funds.
    In addition to funding organizations and managing funds, this team that we have in Port-au-Prince is working on the institutional reinforcement of Haitian partners, both in government and civil society. Projects that are put forward very often do not meet criteria because the organizations do not have the necessary capability. An effort is thus being made to develop those capabilities, and an effort is also being made to manage funds, as well as to network organizations. All too often, partners and organizations are isolated, and this effort to network organizations that work in the same sector, be it education, health or human rights, is very important.
    The sectoral approach was one of the other aspects raised in the report. Canadian expertise is widely recognized in key sectors such as energy, local development, health, education and support for the general women's movement for change.
    In the past two years, CIDA has begun developing sectoral orientation frameworks to better target its operations in each of those areas of excellence. In addition, where we think it is possible, and where we think there is value-added, we try to twin Canadian funds with the funds of other donors, which can have a multiplier effect. We used this method, in particular, in the elections. All funds were pooled and managed by the UN Development Fund, and that was much more effective. As our predecessor said, together we all managed to carry out this electoral operation that few people believed in.
    As regards local ownership, coherence and coordination,

  (1720)  

[English]

the report recommends aid effectiveness principles be adapted and applied, especially regarding ownership, coherence among donors and the Haitian government, and coordination among donors. Since 2004, significant progress has been made in these areas. The international community mobilized itself, and donors agreed as well, to a long-term commitment to Haiti so that country could work toward sustainable development. To do so, all development partners recognize the importance of working together to develop a common analysis. As early as May 2004, donors and Haitian authorities prepared a detailed needs assessment to address Haiti's stabilizations and the constrictions. An interim cooperation framework was based on this detailed assessment.

[Translation]

    In addition to working together on this needs analysis and this joint effort to arrive at a common plan, we've worked with the transitional government to put in place sectoral frameworks in health, education and so on, to achieve the best possible coordination between donors in the implementation of the joint plan.
    I must say that the new Préval-Alexis government, which has just entered office, has confirmed the validity of this model. With the new government, we are continuing to develop the model and are working to extend the Interim Cooperation Framework for an additional year, with virtually the same coordination framework. So that's an asset that's been taken into consideration by the new authorities. I believe that's quite positive.
    Local ownership isn't just the government's business. It's also the business of people in civil society. We are working hard to support those people and to develop local development plans in the communes and communal sections. This is what's called the Local Development Program, which is one of the highlights of our program in Haiti.
    I'm going to summarize because I believe my presentation is a little long.
    The 2004 report also raised the question of the coherence of Canadian policies. It stated that Canada had made notable progress in coordinating its policies in Haiti. I must say that, since 2004, the coordination between Foreign Affairs, National Defence and the RCMP has improved. The elections are a perfect example of that. The diplomatic efforts made by Foreign Affairs, the technical assistance and funding provided by CIDA, the increased security supplied by the RCMP, as well as a coordinator put at the disposal of MINUSTAH authorities by National Defence are a very good example of how we've coordinated our efforts here in Canada to achieve this good election result. I believe it was good. Of course, it requires constant effort. All the people from those various departments met at least every two weeks to exchange information in order to better target the future of our cooperation in those countries.
    Thank you.

[English]

    Thank you.
    We will go into the first round of questions.
    Mr. Patry, you have five minutes, and you'll be splitting your time.

[Translation]

    Thank you for being here, Mr. Wallace and Mr. Pétillon.
    We know perfectly well that we all want winning conditions in Haiti. We also know that all the problems have been studied in all possible ways.
    I'd like to ask two or three brief questions.
    First, you talked about the coordination among donors. I'm very pleased to hear that the coordination is being done very well. There's also what you call local ownership. In that perspective, you referred to the communities and government. Before your report was published in 2004, we saw that there were major difficulties at the local level. Have those local problems been ironed out? Are things working well? You referred to communities in certain regional sectors. Can you tell the committee what regions you're in and what fields you're working in right now? That's my first question.
    Second, we know that Haiti's debt is in the order of $2.1 billion. In Canada's case, Haiti only owes $2.5 million to the Canadian Wheat Board. Canada is not seeking repayment of that debt, only interest.
    As Haiti is not a highly indebted poor country, an HIPC, it is eligible for debt relief or extension of its debt by the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund. Have any changes been made in that regard? This country is so poor that it will never repay its debt, and that's not hard to understand.
    I'd like to ask you one last question, and you can answer me in writing. Canada paid Haiti's fees to join the Caribbean Development Bank. That's excellent. Has the Caribbean Development Bank made any investment, and, if so, in what areas? I'd like to have those answers in writing because I want my colleague to have an opportunity to ask a question.

  (1725)  

[English]

    Madam Guarnieri, please pose the question.
    You mentioned earlier that you wanted a long-term commitment of resources and you talked about realistic targets. You also mentioned, if I'm not paraphrasing you incorrectly, that you didn't necessarily make tangible progress.
    In the 18 years that I've been a member of Parliament, the question that taxpayers always have with respect to CIDA is, where does the money go? Obviously there needs to be public confidence to get the public support for additional resources. What are you doing to communicate stats or any kind of plan about what you're doing and to tell the public what portion of your budget actually leaves the country? How rare is it that funds fall into the hands of corrupt governments or circular financial schemes?
    I recall an incident where some moneys were supposed to go to Mali and they ended up with a businessman here in Canada. They were told to go sue the businessman, so that didn't inspire a lot of public confidence.
    What is your strategy to try to encourage public confidence?
    Thank you.
    Mr. Wallace or Mr. Pétillon.
    Thank you. I think Mr. Pétillon is going to handle some of the Haiti-specific elements of it.
    With respect to the issue of results, let me deal with some of the aspects of the study.
    We're quite conscious in the development area of the kind of framework of results that is a bit more sophisticated in the way it is operated, and Mr. Pétillon can show you what that actually looks like. We would be happy to share with the committee our results report on Haiti, which gives the specifics that you mentioned.
    I think the issue with respect to results, which is the challenge here, is not so much development results, but fragility results. If legitimacy, authority, and capacity are the key drivers of fragility, how do you measure progress? You can measure development progress in sectors, and you can measure economic and social development in ways that I think have a pretty good background to them, but measuring authority, capacity, and legitimacy actually require new ways of looking at it. We've been doing some work with Carleton University that is being looked at internationally with a considerable interest, because people haven't gone there yet, and we're developing indexes for those three.
    From the development perspective, perhaps Mr. Pétillon could give you that sense.

[Translation]

    We recently prepared a report, not on impacts, since impacts are measured over the long term, but on outcomes. Here I have a document, which is not final and which we can submit to you in the next few weeks, and which is intended as a summary of results in the context of the Interim Cooperation Framework. Each of our projects is measured on the basis of results achieved.
    We're also trying to conduct an analysis of the program as a whole over the last two years. This is a document we're finalizing. I nevertheless brought it along today in order to show you. I promise you we'll send it to the committee as soon as it's finished—it won't be long.
    I explained the Interim Cooperation Framework to you. At the Brasilia conference, which the member attended, a draft report on all donors was submitted. In other words, all donors, in partnership with Haiti's interim government, prepared a report on the implementation of this common framework.
    We contacted the authors of the document today to see whether it was final. That's not yet the case, but it will be very soon. So I'll be pleased to table it with the committee as well once it's considered final. It isn't our document; it's a joint document of the donors in partnership with the Haitian government.

  (1730)  

[English]

    My question was not a hostile question. For those of us who want to inspire more confidence in investing in foreign aid, those are the questions that the public often come up with.
    I guess the real issue is that the public always want to know if the money actually ends up where it's meant to go to get value-added and actually ensure that.... You know, it's not just feasibility studies that people are interested in; they want to actually see productive use of that money being spent.
    It was not meant to be a hostile question. I detected a little undertone there. I just wanted to clarify that.
    Yes, that's on the record, and I didn't take it as a hostile question. I've never taken anything that you've ever done as hostile.
    Anyway, we'll move to the next—
    Could I have the answer about the debt?
    Okay. We're at eight minutes, so very quickly.

[Translation]

    They're planning their future program in cooperation with the new government. They preferred to wait for an elected government because, as you know, there were some sensitivities between the CARICOM countries and the former government. Now that there's a new elected government, the planning has to be done, and the loans will follow.

[English]

    Thank you.
    Madame St-Hilaire.

[Translation]

    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen.
    I'd essentially like to speak to you, Mr. Pétillon, but not in your capacity as an official. You said that you had lived in Haiti for two years.
    Three years.
    Three years, that's worse, or better.
    I understand that you're playing a specific role this afternoon, but when we hear about Haiti, we think we also want to hear about hope.
    This afternoon, figures and a lot of abstract things were mentioned. You referred to a future report, which committee members might read by the lake this summer. For the moment, can you give us any examples that, as my colleague said, might reassure us? I'd like to have some concrete results and examples of what CIDA and Canada are doing. That's my first question.
    Second, I'd like to have an overview of how the money is being allocated because that's important. This week, we talked about a report, and we were wondering whether CIDA was giving more money for military operations or humanitarian aid. Can we have an overview of how the money is being allocated in Haiti? Is there more money for security and less for humanitarian aid?
    Those are my two questions for the moment.
    Thank you very much. I'd like to talk about hope in Haiti. With your permission, I'd say that hope in Haiti resides first in the Haitians. Fortunately, Haitian society is evolving; it isn't static. That evolution entails a number of positive factors. Let me give you four examples of that.
    As you no doubt know, Haiti emerged from dictatorship not so long ago, officially in 1986. However, there followed a succession of military regimes. Only very recently has it been in good hands.
    That's my first example. Prior to 1986, during the Duvalier dictatorship, among other things, the right of association was utterly non-existent in the country. There were no duly constituted organizations. What do we see today? Tens if not hundreds of organizations of youths, women, farmers, merchants, rights defenders and others are springing up. That's an asset. This is important for Haiti, particularly since it has always been a destructured country. As in Africa, there is no traditional structure based on chiefs, for example. None of that exists because the society emerged from slavery. The fact that these institutions are gradually being constituted shows us that social capital is beginning to form. For us donors, that's very important. For that society, these are so many new relays and agents of change.
    Now here's my second example. Until 1986, the right to communication was non-existent. Everything was controlled by the state. What do we see today? People who have gone to Port-au-Prince know that, even if it's only there, there are now at least 25 radio stations that are free to communicate. Some are good, some are bad, but they exist. Today, all families, no matter how poor they are, can at least hear the news on their radios. This very significant progress. Of course, this right was hard won: journalists paid for it with their lives. Nevertheless, I don't think this right can ever be taken away from Haitians. It also constitutes the basis of democracy.
    Now I'll move on to my third example. Part of the private business sector has started a change. Until now, the business sector has always been content to enter into agreements with any government. Now young businessmen and women have decided to get involved. They're even taking more political than social action. This is also a very significant agent of change.
    As for the fourth positive example, I'd say it's the women's movement. The speakers who preceded us referred to it. It's a very real phenomenon. I'm pleased and proud to be able to say that Canadian cooperation has provided the most support for the structuring of the women's movement in Haiti. There can be no doubt: this is also an agent of change. Everyone recognizes it.
    There are other positive examples, but I've told you about reasons for hope that, I think, show that this is a crucial stage for Haiti leading to something even more positive.

  (1735)  

[English]

    Thank you, Mr. Pétillon.
    Mr. Goldring.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Pétillon, in your report of April 22, 2004, on lessons learned by donors, you had mentioned here that, "...we see a lack of continuity in donor activities. Instead of persevering and 'talking tough' to Haitian authorities where necessary, donors have tended to beat a hasty retreat when difficulties arose."
    Has that been the case since then, too, particularly involving the interim cooperation framework guideline on projects that were expected to be carried forward? Were there a number of donor countries that did not stay to complete their commitments?
    I believe the majority of the donors have committed and have given what they pledged in Washington in 2004. Probably the United States and Canada have been the first to disburse the money and to support the new interim government. The banks, the IDB--the Inter-American Development Bank--and the World Bank, maybe were not so fast because probably they needed more time to design their new program and to be able to disburse.
    We're looking at a lot of initiatives that were started here. There are 1,500 schools to be renovated, 2,500 houses to be renovated, 40 or 50 universities, water works, water supply, infrastructure. Have many of those have been completed?

  (1740)  

    Many have been completed, and that's why I think this document, when we get it, will give you more information about what has been completed and what should be completed.
    Could that be correlated with the last document so we could see, looking at what was planned three years ago, if specifically these models were met and actually completed or whether certain segments weren't, and what happened with each contribution or commitment by particular countries and organizations or why they weren't able to commit? That would give us an overall better view not only of all of what was planned to be done, but what has been done.

[Translation]

    It's possible the correlation isn't perfect. In the document as it stands today, the correlation is no doubt not adequate.

[English]

    Your question is the same question as was asked by the new government in Haiti. Now the new government in Haiti is also working with the donors to try to look at this type of--
    If we're looking at it and doing an update of a report that was started three years ago and has expectations for September 2006, could we not best finish that report by noting what has been done to date and what could not be done, with a commentary on the reasons why something wasn't done?
    Furthermore, each one of these segments has a substantial amount of money earmarked for it. So if one segment could not be done due to security or otherwise, does that mean that amount of money would still be held in abeyance, with this part of the program going ahead by a commitment from others? In other words, is there still money left to be allocated for doing certain segments that have not been done?
    Most importantly, the best way to tell, from our own point of view, would be to correlate it directly to this one, if it's possible, and answer some of the questions project by project.
    For Canada, we are able to do that. Our document does that. For the other donors, it could be more difficult.
    Thank you, Mr. Goldring.
    Next is Mrs. McDonough.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    There are so many places one could dive in to ask questions, it's hard to know where to begin. It was a very helpful presentation, by the way.
    I'd like to go right back to your earliest reference, Mr. Wallace, to the factors of authority, legitimacy, and capacity as fundamental principles to implement in the course of trying to achieve positive results. I'm wondering if you could speak to us a little bit more about what clearly is a huge challenge--assisting the new duly elected government to effect the kind of transition that is necessary for them to be in the driver's seat. In some ways, I see that as the most enormous task of all, and essential to any real success.
    I want to ask about a couple of specifics. Those of us who visited during the election had big ideas about things that parliamentarians could do to help. But when we actually saw firsthand what new parliamentarians were going to have to work with and build on, it was absolutely unbelievable to imagine where one would begin to try to help give them some of the tools they need. I mean, we're talking desks and chairs, practically, never mind the democratic processes that require support and staffing resources and all the rest of it. I'm wondering if you could comment on that from the perspective of any concrete Canadian commitments and engagement.
    Secondly, especially around the notion of legitimacy, you hear a lot about corruption, but the voices we heard from--and they were really quite impressive and convincing, I thought--were pretty consistent on there being no way to eliminate corruption unless you had a justice framework, which barely existed. Even for our own police and military who where there, you could clearly see that their ability to actually carry out their function was severely limited. You can track someone down who's involved in alleged corrupt activity or damage to persons or property, but if there's no judicial system, you may just be contributing to condemning people without any possibility of their facing fair trials and all of that.
    I'm wondering if you can comment on that. Is there a program on track to which we're contributing in terms of what's needed, and what's going to be needed, to actually put the infrastructure in place that can make for some success with all of this?

  (1745)  

    Thank you, Madam McDonough.
    You have about a minute.
    All right.
    This is a very interesting paradox, and a very important paradox, of fragile states. You need two things if you're going to be able to build accountable institutions--one is will, the other is capacity. If you don't have will, the money you put into capacity building in the justice sector doesn't work. That's what we've had good experience on. If you respond to a lack of will by not getting involved in trying to help develop accountable institutions, and put all of your money in NGOs, and try to go around a bad government, what happens is the paradox of actually weakening an accountable state even further.
    You need to find a way in which you can work with a civil society and private sector to strengthen demand for accountable government, to strengthen the will for accountable government, to go with the ability to develop capacity. You have to be able to operate across the supply of good capacity with the strong local demand for accountable public institutions. Then you have to pick these agents of change, which Monsieur Pétillon was talking about, to say what things you can actually make progress on in even a politically charged, high-risk environment. You can make really good progress, but it requires these kinds of choices.
    How does this get played out in the context of Haiti? Maybe, in the few seconds that are left, Monsieur Pétillon can talk about it.

[Translation]

    We implemented justice support programs for some time. We put an end to that in the last 1990s because there was none of the political will that Stephen referred to. However, we have continued working in the area of demand for justice. To do this, we've cooperated with associations, lawyers and judges. People have made proposals that couldn't be implemented under the previous government.
    However, I believe that kind of preparation will help in the reform of the justice system. The new government will have no other choice but to use it. It will now have partners that we will have supported all that time. We couldn't work within the ministry as such.

[English]

    Thank you.
    Mr. Goldring.
     Mr. Pétillon, when I asked earlier about the completed projects, you said that most of the CIDA projects had been completed, yet we can go through the list of priority sectors that CIDA has been involved in, and we see security. We know that security isn't tenable there now. There's the justice that's really still under way, the policing has problems, and the disarmament--where it was mentioned in the report here to disarm, seize, and destroy 25,000 weapons over the projected period of three years--I don't believe has been done either.
    It also mentions the electricity program in Jacmel. Even on the plane on the way down, we could see it was a top project that was of great pride. When we visited, the plant was shut down for six hours a day, yet the information we were receiving was that it was the only town in Haiti that had 24-hour electric power.
    Will all these issues be identified back to the interim cooperation framework? Maybe you have had successes with these programs, but the successes would have limitations. Would you be detailing in the report what these limited successes are?

  (1750)  

[Translation]

    In the area of security, CIDA's main contribution has been to fund RCMP activities. That provided support for the Haitian national police department in order to develop a strategic plan and establish the plan's direction. In that case, we can't really boast of achieving a major feat in the area of security. However, CIDA had no direct responsibility in the matter.

[English]

    One of the plans was to train 6,000 active police officers by this date. Was that accomplished?

[Translation]

    MINUSTAH did recruitment to ensure election security. I don't know what document you're referring to.

[English]

    This would go back to the interim cooperation framework, specifically for security and the police. The targets were, first, for 3,200 active and trained police officers, and going through to September 2006, to have 6,000 active and trained police officers. My question is, has that been accomplished?

[Translation]

    We can't consider that as Canada's responsibility. It's an overall responsibility. We haven't invested any money directly for that purpose.

[English]

    Is this one of the problems when you initiate a plan like this, that it's too broad-based and perhaps involves too many partners so that no one group is particularly responsible for ensuring the project is completed?

[Translation]

    You're right; it's definitely a factor. However, as regards the police, I would point out that 1,540 police officers have been recruited and trained in the past two years. I can't say that involves Canadian money, but it was done with other funds.
    As you know, we intend to establish a police executive training centre in cooperation with other stakeholders. There is an academy for young police officers, but there's no organization responsible for training police executives. This deficiency has clearly been recognized by everyone. We're going to assume responsibility for setting it up, together with the government.

[English]

    Thank you.
    When you say we have not been involved in training of police officers, do you mean specifically CIDA or Canada? You're referring specifically to CIDA?
    Specifically CIDA, yes; the RCMP, yes.
    Yes, because the 65 RCMP officers there are mostly helping with training.
    Yes, exactly, but it's a program of the MINUSTAH.
    Right.
    Mr. Martin, very quickly, and then to Madame Bourgeois.
    Mr. Wallace and Monsieur Pétillon, thank you very much for being here today.
    Monsieur Roy, who was here just prior to you, gave us a very gripping commentary. Part of that involved the fact that up to 40% of children in Haiti have never gone to school. The fact that we've spent hundreds of millions of dollars in Haiti and yet 40% of the children have not gone to school is, to me, utterly staggering. It's incomprehensible that a society whose children have never gone to school could ever develop and move forward.
    I also know CIDA is moving away from bricks and mortar. I would submit that we have to do both. Without a shadow of a doubt, we have to deal with governance issues, but I would also implore you to move back toward doing some bricks and mortar. In my view, we cannot meet the millennium development goals unless developed countries invest in bricks and mortar for primary health care and primary education.
    Perhaps you could let us know if CIDA has any desire to change and move forward to investing some money into bricks and mortar for primary health care and education for Haiti.
    Merci beaucoup.

  (1755)  

    Thank you, Mr. Martin.
    Madame Bourgeois.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Gentlemen, I've been hearing you talk for the past little while, and I see you're talking bafflegab, which is quite hard to understand. We know what planning is, but when you speak quickly, we have trouble understanding your remarks because we don't have the documents and we haven't read them yet.
    Second, you often used the words "for us donors". I admit that disappoints me on the part of CIDA. I know that CIDA is investing $99 million for aid in Haiti. I expected your work to be more related to aid for the population than as a donor, but that's a perception.
    My questions are for the CIDA representatives. When you're in the field, do you work with the NGOs, or solely with the donors? What are you doing about security? Are your donors aware of the fact that, if there's no security in the country, it's impossible to do development there? Are they aware of that?
    Lastly, what are the prospects for the future? Does CIDA have a plan to enable Haiti to pull through? I would have liked to see that plan this evening.
    Those are my three questions.

[English]

    Mr. Wallace.
    These are really important questions. I think there's some background information the committee is not getting yet. Being able to take the interim cooperation framework and say, here's the status report, and make the correlation on the figures is going to be absolutely essential. Canada plays a leadership role in Haiti, and if we don't see an international community doing it adequately, we will do some work on that one and we'll get you additional information. That's one thing.
    Second, with respect to health and education—

[Translation]

    You'll have to come back to explain to us what you're doing because we don't understand at all. We get the impression you're headed in one direction and the others in the opposite direction.
    Yes. We may have inundated you with documents. We tabled a large number of documents, but we only talked about one of them. I agree that it's necessary for you to understand the broader context.
    As regards education and health,

[English]

    and this is a question for Mr. Martin, I think it is absolutely correct to say we have failed when we go in with microprojects that only deal in health and education, with the institution building or school fees or one aspect, and we leave behind such things as infrastructure. What we've found in Haiti, within the context of a lot of other fragile states, is that unless we deal in a joined-up way with all the component parts to be able to deliver effective schooling, particularly basic education, we don't work very well on that one. So this idea of moving from individual projects to a collective program approach where infrastructure plays a role in both areas has been, I think, a real trend line we've followed on that one, but absolutely clear.
    On the indicators, I'll let Monsieur Pétillon answer.

[Translation]

    With respect to the partnership with the NGOs, I believe we have a very broad range in Haiti. Yves Pétillon can tell you about that.

[English]

    Please respond very briefly, Mr. Pétillon.

[Translation]

    I'm very sorry you feel I'm speaking bafflegab. In fact, I rather thought I was really telling you what I had on my mind in explaining that there was hope in Haiti. I even gave you examples of that.
    The expression "donors" is a general expression. I don't think anyone should think we're only doing that. You have to consider the commitment of our people there, whether it be CIDA people, the people from private companies or the NGO people. All CIDA-funded projects are implemented by Canadian partners.
    There are currently about 30 or 40 Canadian partners in Haiti. They're on the front, with other Canadians and Haitians. They're part of teams that consist of people of both nationalities. I can't report on that, but that's the fact of the matter.
    Now the documents are one thing, and we can distribute many others to you. We can give you a list of all our projects, since that's in the public domain. They're also published on our Web site. The document we distributed to you is an overview of the Canadian Cooperation Program in Haiti. It's a summary that outlines the signs of change in the country and the allocation of funds by sector.
    Now, if the committee wishes, I can send you a full list of all programs, by major sector and partner.

  (1800)  

[English]

     I know our researchers would certainly all appreciate that document. And by the sound of things, Madame St-Hilaire reads that when she's at the lake. So we would take as many documents as you could prepare for us; we would appreciate it.
    Mr. Van Loan, go ahead, please, very quickly.
    I did want to say I was encouraged to hear that document is finally taking some form. I am very tempted by it sitting there in draft form. I should say I'm disappointed that we don't have it yet, because I made it pretty clear to the CIDA officials at that Brasilia conference that it was exactly the kind of thing we wanted to have at our committee. We didn't get it initially--we had a recall of CIDA so that we could again see it--and we still don't have it.
    In fact, looking at the document that I think was prepared for today, about the only thing you can measure here is money going out. That's in the numbers on page 2.
    So that leads me to another question: what is the normal CIDA practice for all these projects that are undertaken and so on? Do you actually have measurements and criteria? You say some outcomes are hard to measure. You can look at crime rates and decide whether you have rule of law or not. But certainly, at the very least, you can measure what you do to institutions, how many police officers you train, how many judges you train, and so on. I haven't seen that anywhere in all the stuff that we're getting here. Is that normal practice for how CIDA measures stuff, or are the words in these various reports kind of like the opinions and ideas expressed by an undergraduate student who doesn't want to work too hard on getting numbers? Do you ever measure things? Is that the way you review it? And why don't we see that more often?
    Thank you, Mr. Van Loan.
    Who wants to field that question?
    Let me, because in fact we spent a lot of time and attention on this particular one, and it actually started in Parliament. The management reporting and results structure that we have goes right down from a sector, to a country, to a project level. And we can actually roll up results—the outputs, the outcomes, and the impacts as related to millennium development goals. We've actually have a structure for that. It is part and parcel of the very process that deals with the main estimates process.
    So we would actually very much welcome a more considered discussion about the results side with the committee. We could lay this one out and talk about results, whether they be by institution, sector, or project.
    Why, after 10 years of work and after two appearances by CIDA people, do we now have nothing in front of us?
    I'm sorry, I thought we were talking about a specific document that the committee was interested in, and that was our OECD report on lessons learned in fragile states, so we came with that purpose in mind. Frankly, we would have been far better off to get into a direct discussion on results. We would have been prepared to do so and very pleased to do so.
     Thank you.
    Are there any other questions?
    Madam McDonough, I sense you have a very short one.
    Yes, I guess it's partly a question, but this committee actually voted unanimously to say it would be very helpful if we had an actual legislative framework for our international aid obligations, which perhaps could shape somewhat that whole reporting mechanism, starting with transparency, and so on. I'm wondering if you have any comments on that in relation to what I think you sense is a desire to have a better understanding of what we are really doing, with what results, or of the measurability of the results, and so on. You would see the adoption of a legislative framework and then what else would flow from that as being potentially a constructive contribution to this whole business of measuring, reporting, or revealing our activities and our results?

  (1805)  

    Whether you do this through policy or through legislative design, you need a clear, transparent, sophisticated, accountable result structure. That's the absolute core of it.
    I think that taking a look at what is an effective, accountable results structure allows you to make decisions about what it is you want from a policy point of view, and what it is you might want from a legislative point of view. I have to tell you that if you take a look at this worldwide, they deal with this through a whole mix of things—sometimes policy, sometimes legislative.
    I think the core is that you need a transparent, sophisticated, results-oriented accountability structure. That's the core of the requirement, to me.
    Thank you very much.
    We want to thank CIDA for being here. There are a number of documents that we and you have referenced today, which we would invite you to forward to our committee.
    In a working dinner tonight, we'll work through our committee business.
    We'll suspend for a few minutes.

  (1805)  


  (1815)  

    I call back to order meeting 14, dealing with committee business.
    We have a number of notices of motion that have been brought forward by Mr. Martin.
    Is there any specific order, Keith?
    Yes, there is, Mr. Chair. I'd like to start with the one on the Congo. The second one will be on Zimbabwe, and the third on Darfur.
    To facilitate this, you have the original motion, and then after consultation, proposed amendments were agreed upon by the opposition parties--I'm not sure about the government.
    I can read the original motion, and if you'd like, I can move to the amended motion, or we can just start with the amended motion.
    No, I'd like you to read the two motions.
    Have you circulated the amended motion?
    No, but I have the motion, and they can be brought up to amendment.
    [Inaudible--Editor]
    Okay, we'll have to go through the procedure, then, to amend the motion.
    Is the intent of the motion the same?
    Yes, it's just wordsmithing.
    Let's hear the motion and the amended motion.
    The first motion is on the Congo:
That the Committee recommends that the government ask its representatives at the United Nations to double the number of peacekeepers for the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) and to double the amount of funding for aid operations in Eastern Congo as soon as possible.

  (1820)  

    You've heard the motion as submitted.
    Now let's hear an amended motion.
    An amended motion is:
That the Committee recommends that the government recognize the severity of the humanitarian crisis in Congo and ask its representatives at the United Nations to press for a significant increase in the number of peacekeepers for the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) and to double the amount of Canadian funding for aid operations in Eastern Congo as soon as possible.
    That motion does not reflect entirely the intent of the original motion. The original motion speaks wholly of funding and aid operations, but does not talk at all about peacekeeping--
    It does. It talks about doubling the number of peacekeepers.
    Okay, then I'm sorry. I think that motion is in order.
    Keith, do you have a copy of the amendment?
    May I speak to the rationale behind this for a moment? I assume we're not in camera right now.
    No, we aren't.
    The Congo is arguably the worst humanitarian crisis in the world right now. In fact, every single day the equivalent of more than three jumbo jets full of people are dying. More than 30,000 people a month are dying in eastern Congo from a variety of preventable problems.
    Most international observers on the ground, including those who are part of the UN peacekeeping operations on the ground, are beside themselves because there aren't enough UN peacekeepers on the ground. Secondly, because eastern Congo is one of the most forgotten humanitarian crises in the world, thousands and thousands of people are dying every single month of entirely preventable diseases and problems, from malnutrition to very simple medical problems that can be treated in simple ways, but they're dying as a result of it.
    No one in the world is actually standing up and fighting to bring this to the forefront, to use the multilateral organizations to make the very modest but significant intervention into the Congo that will save an enormous number of innocent civilian lives. That's what we're talking about, civilian lives.
    I think we as a committee can put this forward, as a very constructive motion, to try to convince our government that this is something they could do in a very constructive way that will save a large number of people's lives. It's entirely consistent with comments by the Prime Minister on improving aid effectiveness and his comments earlier this year, during the remembrances of the holocaust, that he would not stand by and allow catastrophes like this to continue to occur.
    Mr. Obhrai.
    The intent of the motion in which the member is bringing attention to the crisis in Congo is quite right, and the government is quite right that there is an appalling toll and great suffering in Congo. Congo is one of those countries that has had a terrible state of dictatorship for a long time, with no government and everything. So we continue to strongly deplore the violence, and we are very heavily engaged in Congo.
    But the problem with the motion for the government is that the international community is already engaged in trying to bring peace there. There's a three-year transitional peace plan that the whole international community agreed on. It is now working to ensure that the new government will gradually have stability and will move as quickly as possible to control the whole region. There's no question that there are areas--and eastern Congo is one of them--where there is still a need for the government to assert control. In our view, that's the best way to go.
    On the second problem, at this time the UN peacekeeping force is the largest ever deployed in Congo. So the UN, with the international community, has put a tremendous amount of resources into Congo. As a matter of fact, they've got 16,700 military personnel and 475 police over there. Therefore, we are working with the other partners to ensure that peace is very quickly brought to Congo and the killing is stopped. I think we are seeing a tremendous amount of progress, despite the fact that some areas have not.
    We have also allocated a huge sum of money. We recognize the crisis faced in DRC. We are committed over there, and Canada's total amount is now $29 million. We can all say at any given time that this is less, this is less, and that is more, but taking into account the concentrated effort by the United Nations, by the international community, the government feels there is still an opportunity to go ahead and support that.
    So at this stage it's a little difficult to support so much commitment by the government when so much killing is still going on. Everybody is working well together to ensure that peace is quickly returned to Congo. We can all argue it hasn't been done yet, but there's a three-year plan and we need to give it a chance. We're heavily committed there; I'm not saying we're not. But it's very difficult for the government to immediately come out and say to increase the UN forces--and more money. There is step-by-step process going on.

  (1825)  

[Translation]

    How many peacekeepers do we have on the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Do we know that?

[English]

    The total authorized strength by the United Nations there is 16,700 personnel and 475 police. On October 28, 2005, a temporary increase of 300 military personnel was also authorized by the United Nations. A Security Council resolution on April 10, 2006, authorized the Secretary General to temporarily redeploy an additional one battalion, a military hospital, and up to 650 military observers from the UN mission in Burundi to Congo. Moreover, the UN mandated a European Union force of 2,000 troops to go into Congo. So there is a huge number of personnel out there.

[Translation]

    I was talking about Canadian peacekeepers. Are there any and, if so, how many are there?

[English]

    The Canadians are part and parcel—
    The peacekeeping contribution is protected through the financial commitments through the UN and that $50 million contribution in the last fiscal year just completed. So if you do that $50 million plus the $29 million, that's $79 million. There are reasons why Canada doesn't—

[Translation]

    Mr. Van Loan, that's not what I asked, and the question wasn't for you. I put the question to Mr. Obhrai. I simply asked him how many Canadian peacekeepers there were. Then I may have another question to ask.

[English]

    We are there under the UN mandate. This is what the UN has requested and the UN has committed, and that's what we've done. As we said, we are also providing some humanitarian assistance as part of CIDA's plan.

[Translation]

    I think we're jumping to conclusions. The motion reads as follows: "That the Committee recommend that the government ask its representatives..." The committee can recommend it, but the government isn't required to do it.
    These aren't dangerous motions, but nevertheless... In any case, that's my perception.

  (1830)  

[English]

    Thank you.
    Let's make sure we continue to direct the questions through the chair, and we'll try to get the answers to them.
    We have an order here.
    Madam McDonough.
    What we are now looking at is the amended motion, is that right? We're not dealing with the original motion; we're dealing with the amended motion. So I don't want to use up a lot of time talking about the improvements over the original.
     I think it wisely doesn't commit to an actual figure of double, but recognizes that the continuing crisis is enormous, that many other countries have acknowledged this. We know that in terms of peacekeeping contributions Europeans have committed to larger numbers, recognizing the need to be very much available to deal with emerging crises, and so on. So I think it expresses a general direction that we want to express, acknowledging this situation.
     I think in terms of our own knowledge of the situation, having heard from many witnesses over the last couple of years...even in terms of Canada's contribution to Congo, it so utterly, totally pales in relation, for example, to the massive commitment that we're making to Afghanistan. Yet I don't think there are many people who would disagree with the characterization of the Congo as really the worst crisis on earth at the moment, that it is not commanding the kinds of resources and attention that it desperately needs.
    In Afghanistan, Canada alone committed to $3 billion in military expenditures, $1 billion over 10 years in humanitarian expenditures, and if you add it together with the two figures that you referred to—$50 billion and $29 million—it's still tiny in relation to what even we ourselves should be looking to put forward.
    So I think it is an expression of a general direction of this committee that it's very supportable to vote for this.
    We could go to a debate on this whole situation and say that's only the war on terrorism, and this could be that. Suffice it to say I do not want members to go from here not recognizing the fact that we recognize there is a crisis in Congo today. We do recognize that, and we are there. We are looking, with the multilaterals.... I've just highlighted what we believe at this stage is a clear transition, with the government helping them to go out there with all the resources, working with our multinational partners that are there. We'll see how it goes.
    Thank you, Mr. Obhrai.
    Mr. Van Loan.
    I too think that we all share the view that there are problems in Sudan. That's why Canada is so committed there, both in terms of our support through the UN, the $15 million a year, and the $29 million a year. That's $193 million over the past five years.
    When Madam McDonough compares it with some of those 10-year numbers on Afghanistan, if you do that kind of number over 10 years you're talking $50 million a year on peacekeeping, $30 million a year on aid. That would add up to a very significant amount of support over a similar period of time for Congo; it gets it up there.
    I'm very concerned that we come across sounding like we don't believe the UN is doing their job in a case where they actually are showing quite a bit of responsiveness. In addition to being the largest UN peacekeeping mission in the world right now, they've actually voted, on three separate occasions in the past nine months--September 6, 2005; October 28, 2005; and April 10, 2006--to increase the deployments of peacekeeping forces and police to Congo.
    I don't want to stand here criticizing the UN when it appears to be, based on three occasions in just the past nine months, responding to the need. There is a suggestion in the motion that we should double our aid; it is a specific doubling of aid. I think that again does not show respect to the generous aid that has been going there so far.
    I am worried about how prescriptive that is. It's not at all a question of disagreeing with the sentiment; it's a question of how the motion is framed and what it says about the good job the UN is trying to do there.

  (1835)  

    Madam Guarnieri.
    I will be very brief.
     I don't want to regurgitate the reasons that Diane and Alexa have made, but I think Keith has made a very compelling case about the fatalities of civilians. So obviously I support this motion.
    My colleague Bryon has a friendly amendment, and I'm hoping the government will reconsider using this wording, if the chair would agree to allowing him to speak.
    We're already dealing with one amendment. Is this a friendly amendment?
    Based on what our colleagues across the table have said.
    Mr. Wilfert.
    The friendly amendment, noting Mr. Obhrai's comment, is: "That the Committee, noting that the government recognizes the severity of the humanitarian crisis in the Congo, and therefore asks its representatives", etc.
    So we are in fact accepting what you've said. You've said the government has noted the situation. Here it says it: "recommends that the government recognize". What I'm suggesting is that the committee, noting or recognizing what you've said, then asks for the following. So we are noting what you've said, which is that there is a crisis.
    The problem is that you're asking for a doubling of funding for this thing.
    With no specific date at the present time.
     So we have a problem.
    Are you open to accepting that friendly amendment?
    Yes, that's the key here. We have to be careful, because we're bringing in a motion that's amended before we even see the motion, before the chair even sees the motion. I'll accept that. But now we are making another subamendment--
    No, it's just a friendly amendment. All it says is that we are now accepting what the government has said, which is that they recognize the problem.
    Mr. Chair, we're trying to provide flexibility for the government, so that they don't feel--
    Mr. Obhrai, one moment. The subamendment is not necessarily being amended to satisfy every component of your concerns, but can you accept the subamendment? And then we will vote on the motion.
    At this stage, with all these amendments, we would like to see them in writing.
    We have a clerk who can write it out--
    No, we need some notice on this.
    --and you may still vote for or against the motion, but the subamendment is recognizing what--
    It's simply trying to be helpful, after hearing this concern.
    I think it's a good subamendment. I think it's a good amendment. Can we vote?
    Mr. Patry.
    I just want to say that everyone recognizes the severity of the humanitarian crisis. We're not criticizing anything. We're not criticizing the United Nations and what they're doing; we're just requesting them to increase the number, because the number they have right now is not sufficient. We've asked them to increase it. And because Canada, in a certain sense, cannot supply soldiers over there.... The Casques bleus are over there. We are saying we should improve our commitment of money, because we're not going to ask somebody else to give the United Nations more soldiers and not provide monetary assistance.
    It's a clear motion. If you're telling us that an amendment like the one Mr. Wilfert is bringing up is not enough for you, we're just going to pass and ask for the vote--that's it.
    First of all, you do have the right to speak to the amended motion if you want, and then again later as we vote on the motion. But the process here is that we will now vote on the amendment to the motion.
    Are we all in favour of the amendment?
    Could I have a recorded vote, please?
    On the amendment or on the motion?
    No, on the amended motion.
    All right. So by a show of hands, are we in favour of both amendments?
    All right, so that's carried.
    An hon. member: Which amendment are we voting on?
    An hon. member: Not Mr. Wilfert's amendment.

  (1840)  

    Is it clear to everyone that we aren't voting on the motion? We're simply voting on the amendment, because it's not necessarily a friendly amendment.
    We know what the amendment is. Are we in favour of the amendment? Let's make it easy here, rather than reading it out.
    (Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    Now, Mr. Martin, do you want to speak to the amended motion?
    Let's just vote on the amended motion. Call the question.
    First, I'm going to ask our clerk to read the motion as amended.
    Okay, but I'm afraid I still don't have Mr. Wilfert's amendment.
    Bryon, do you want to give her a hand here?
    It reads, “That the Committee, noting that the government recognizes the severity of the humanitarian crisis in the Congo, asks its representatives”, etc. It's then all the same.
    I'm going to ask our clerk to read the motion as amended.
    It reads:
That the Committee, noting that the government recognizes the severity of the humanitarian crisis in the Congo, recommends that the government ask its representatives at the United Nations to press for a significant increase in the number of peacekeepers for the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) and to double the amount of Canadian funding for aid operations in Eastern Congo as soon as possible.
    All right. We will now have a recorded vote.
    This time when you read the motion, it said: "double the amount of Canadian funding". The word "Canadian" was not in there before. Is that intentional, or was that an error?
    I think we took it out of the original because when you have a motion it's usually evident that it's the Canadian government that will do it. We can't recommend to any other government or any other country; it's not within the committee's power to do that.
    Okay.
    (Motion as amended agreed to: yeas 7; nays 4)
    Mr. Martin, do you want to move to your second motion?
    It will be the motion on Zimbabwe. Again, there's an original motion and then there's an amended motion. Do you want the amended motion or the original motion?
     It doesn't matter. We can read through the first one first.
    I'll do the original one. It reads:
    That the Committee recommends that the government use existing domestic crimes against humanity legislation to indict Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe for crimes against humanity as well as bringing forward a motion before the Security Council to invoke a Chapter 7 article 41 resolution against President Mugabe.
    The amended motion is:
    That the Committee recommends that the government work with victims in Canada to ascertain using existing domestic crimes against humanity legislation to indict Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe for crimes against humanity as well as press for resolution at the Security Council to invoke a chapter 7 article 41 resolution against President Mugabe and that the Minister of Justice report back to the Committee by November 15 on his efforts.
    Perhaps I could explain a bit about this.

  (1845)  

    Yes, I'd like to see the motion too.
    The rationale behind this is that Robert Mugabe has engaged in a pogrom against his people, primarily the black population, both the Shona and the Ndebele tribes in his country, to the extent that he has plunged Zimbabwe into one of the world's worst despotic environments that exist today. Inflation is running at 1,000% per year. He's closed down and limited access to basic services: primary health care, primary education. He has employed children and taken them into something called the Green Bombers. It's a youth group that he uses to go and terrorize and engage in violent acts against the civilian population.
    But perhaps his worst act is to use food as a weapon. There are many ways to kill people. But what Mugabe is doing is starving his population to death, basically. He is withholding food aid, and many people on this committee, regardless of political stripe, know that he's withholding food from his people. He is destroying the homes of the poor. He just destroyed 700,000 homes over the last few months, throwing people out to the rural areas where there's absolutely nothing for them--no food, no basic health care--so they're there to die. In a country where 23% of the population is HIV positive, this is a death sentence for these people.
    The situation is so bad that the most basic necessities cannot be afforded. Women, for example, needing simple feminine hygiene products can't access them, so they're dying of septic shock as a result of the inaccessibility of basic needs.
    It is a catastrophe that again has flown under the radar screen, and somebody needs to speak out against this person. Nelson Mandela has; Desmond Tutu has; the South African Council of Churches has. But there's been an absence of action at the United Nations.
    So chapter 7, article 41, essentially calls on the Security Council to use non-military means against this particular individual. Essentially, it's calling for sanctions against Robert Mugabe. That's all it's calling for, sanctions again Robert Mugabe.
    So that's the essence, although I could engage in a litany of his abuses. But that's just a summary.
    Thank you, Mr. Martin.
    Mr. Obhrai.
    Thank you.
    Of course I'm aware of the honourable member's concerns about Zimbabwe and about Robert Mugabe. But there are a couple of problems with this motion.
    First of all, under international law, it is not possible to commence proceedings in Canada or anywhere else against a sitting head of state. Mr. Mugabe is a sitting head of state and will be until 2008 or possibly later. So under international law, it is not possible for us to do what you're suggesting.
    Second, in order for the charges to be laid, the act requires that the accused must be a Canadian. There must be a Canadian victim to do what you're asking us to do--to lay charges--or the accused must be present in Canada.
    President Mugabe is not a Canadian, nor do we have any knowledge of any Canadian victims of crimes against humanity perpetrated by Mugabe. Since 2002, Canada has held to the policy that members of the president's government will not be welcome in Canada. And that applies to President Mugabe, who is very unlikely ever to visit Canada.
    In addition, it is considered impractical to conduct any investigation. Based on the law, it is not possible to do that. Insofar as the second portion of your motion invokes an article in chapter 7 against President Mugabe, any motion in the Security Council must be brought forward by a member of the Security Council. Canada is not currently a member of the Security Council. So we cannot bring forward a motion in the Security Council.
    The Zimbabwe issue has already been placed twice in front of the Security Council. It is not that it does not count; it has come in front of the Security Council. In July 2005, the special envoy on human settlement in Zimbabwe, Ms. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka briefed the council on her report on the operation to restore order for 70,000 Zimbabweans who had lost their homes and who were out doing cleanup of their suburbs. The Secretary General briefed the UN on the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.
    The problem is that this issue has come in front of the Security Council on many occasions. What happened was that the motion received only nine votes, because the African nations are not willing to do that. The problem you have is that the African Union is not saying there is as much of a crisis in Zimbabwe as we are saying there is. Therefore there is severe reluctance on the part of the African leaders and unions to do that. We believe that Canada must work with the African Union to bring this matter out. The African leaders get very upset.
    Mr. Martin has given Mr. Mandela's name and Mr. Desmond Tutu's name. However, Mr. Mbeki and Mr. Mkapa of Tanzania do not agree to that fact of life. So there are African leaders who are not agreeing to that fact of life.
    Based on these arguments, this motion does not at all carry the legal weight that is required, because it's not possible to do it.

  (1850)  

    I have a speaking list here.
     Mr. Van Loan, please go ahead.
     Canada has a very proud history in Africa, in South Africa in particular, where the Mulroney government led the fight against apartheid when many other western countries were reluctant to do so. I very much want to see Canada again play a similar kind of leadership role.
     I think it's kind of tragic. There were so many, probably some around this table, who greeted Mugabe's arrival as President of Zimbabwe as a great development when it happened and had great hopes that it was a step forward. History has shown us that those hopes were very badly misplaced, and the atrocities committed against his people of all types are horrendous.
     The virtual shutdown of democracy is totally unacceptable, and Canada has to do something. I want to find some way to make a statement that is constructive and strong. It's not necessary for us to work in cooperation. I'm disappointed that Thabo Mbeki and South Africa haven't spoken out more strongly and taken constructive action. I don't think we have to wait for them. I think Canada can show leadership, recognizing that obviously the pressure is more effective if it comes from there.
    Mr. Obhrai highlighted some of the legal hurdles, though, and I know that in revising your motion, you have tried to find a way past some of them by trying to tie human rights or the crimes against humanity prosecution under our legislation to something that may work, if you can find victims. I don't know if we have victims of that right now in Canada sufficient to maintain such a prosecution. I'm certainly not going to be comfortable voting for an indictment against him that we don't have a legal basis for yet. If we can get an assurance from the RCMP or from someone coming before us who we think satisfies that test, that might be another issue, but I'm a little reluctant to go that far at this stage.
    I think your effort to try to revise it is a good step and I'm glad to see that. I want to see us come to something we can all support enthusiastically, that will accomplish what we want it to do. I'm not sure that even the revisions to the motion are there yet. I'm not sure they overcome those legal hurdles of not being able to prosecute a sitting head of state. And he may be there until 2008. If he keeps on going the way he's been going, he's going to be there a lot longer. It won't be through a fair democratic process that he stays, but he certainly shows no sign of giving up.
    I'm troubled. I think we have to do something. Maybe there are things we can work on further to get the motion where it will do that. I know you've addressed some of the problems that I originally had, but I'm not sure we're there yet.
    The technicalities of the motion--
    And that's the problem. It's really the technicalities.

  (1855)  

    The technicalities of the motion are problematic. We can have a motion--
    Can I address this?
    Yes. Is there anyone else?
    Madam McDonough, and then.... Rather than go back and forth, I will let you speak to the motion or an amendment once or twice. Obviously, Mr. Martin will always get to sum it up; it's his motion.
    Madam McDonough.
    Just to clarify, we're looking at the new motion; in other words, the old motion is off the table.
    I'm a bit puzzled by some of Deepak's objections, because the motion that's now on the table addresses several of those things. We don't need to be reminded that you can't introduce resolutions to the Security Council unless you're on the Security Council: this doesn't make the mistake of suggesting that's the case, it says “to press for”. In other words, it recognizes some obstacles to progress on some of these things at the African Union, for a variety of reasons, and at the Security Council. But this is about Canada trying to use what broad political space there is to exercise some responsibility to try to press for action. So I think to give us a lecture on Canada not being on the Security Council doesn't have anything to do with the motion before us.
    Second, I don't personally know of victims in Canada. I do know there have been horrendous numbers of victims. Also, a number of parliamentarians, I assume several around this table, are actually twinned with Zimbabwean parliamentarians. I know the parliamentarian with whom I am twinned came to Canada as part of a Parliamentary Centre sponsored symposium on Africa in which we participated.
    You can't work with victims if they don't exist, but you can work with them if they can be identified. Our first step is to make known that we favour such a process getting under way.
    The third point talks about ascertaining the feasibility of using the crimes against humanity legislation. So we're not saying we ourselves have the capacity here and now, or for that matter, any authority to deem whether this could be achieved; we're saying it should be explored.
    I think it really is speaking to Peter's interest, which I hope is shared by everybody, for us to at least speak out on this and urge the government get back to us with a more detailed report. If there's a big problem with certain words here, let's roll up our sleeves and those who have problems with it help suggest some small amendments. That means we don't go away for three months having done nothing before we speak out on it again.
    On a point of order, on this side we're being asked to speak to something we can't even see, a motion that's not even in front of us on paper, and that's where my problem is. I might very well be able to vote for this if I have time to sit down, look at it in writing and analyze it, but right now I have something in the air that somebody said that I'm trying to remember.
    I guess I go back and try to think what Bernard would do if he were in the chair here.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Chair: I'll tell you what, in the spirit of--
    An hon. member: That is a compliment.
    The Chair: Yes, it is.
    In the spirit of cooperation, I'm somewhat dismayed that all parties except the governing party see amendments that are brought forward. I think if we can work together, we can sometimes get something up.
    Yes.
    With all due respect, I only saw the amendment just now.
    It's a friendly amendment with all parties.
    Well, you've seen it, and that puts you further ahead than I am, because I haven't seen it.
    Yes, because he still hasn't seen one. What I'm saying is that the chair accepts this motion; it does not significantly change the--
    It's a very dramatic change.
    We have another friendly amendment the mover is willing to do. Just one moment.
    We have a problem with this. You can add 50 amendments if you want; you can do any kind of amendment. I've just highlighted technicalities and legalities. This committee cannot be caught without this.... We need time to look at it and understand and analyze it.
    What is happening over here is a haphazard thing of writing on something I've highlighted as very technical, that requires us to think and look at it. So I'm not willing to come up with amendments unless we have enough time to look at all these amendments to see their legal ramifications.

  (1900)  

    That's duly noted.
    Duly noted? Then let's go for the question.
    It's noted, but we want to see if this will take away some of the concerns the government may have, and that is.... They still don't have a copy of the motion.
    Mr. Chairman, I put forth the original motion and I just thought I'd rewrite the amended motion to help the clerk, actually. I should have made more copies for the government, and I apologize to you. But we can write it out.
    Okay. We have one addition here that I want you to hear: "That the Committee recommends that the government work with victims in Canada to ascertain the feasibility of existing domestic crimes", etc.
    So then what we're doing is--
    Mr. Chair.
    Go ahead, Mr. Patry.
    Deepak, I understand Dr. Martin on this, but for me, it is a problem--a legal problem, a logistics problem, a Security Council problem. The thing is that you need to get a broader sense.
    I will read it; I wrote it in French, "That the Committee recommends to the government that the government study all the possibilities that the President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Robert Mugabe, needs to respond about his crimes against humanity."
    That's it.

[Translation]

That the Committee recommend that the government consider all options for making the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, accountable for his crimes against humanity.

[English]

    That's broader. It means everything. We ask the government to look at this issue, period.
    An hon. member: Could I have it again in the English version?
    Can you say it one more time? He has it in French, but the interpreter is still here.
    I didn't translate it.
    It's late for me too. Usually, I'm in bed.
    It says:

[Translation]

That the Committee recommend that the government consider all options for making the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, accountable for his crimes against humanity.

[English]

    The question that comes out here is that the crimes against humanity, under international law, cannot be charged against a sitting head of state. You see?
    But we're not asking for that. There's a possibility they're going to study this, and the answer will be: we can study it with the Security Council.
    That is why I'm asking that you give us more time to look at it and see--
    We'll give you more time.
    We need more time on this one.
    -Mr. Martin.
    I think there's a way of squaring this circle.
    I fully understand your position. On a factual matter, I know the stuff you got from the department, Deepak, and with all due respect, it's wrong. That's why we have the crimes against humanity legislation. It was to do exactly this. Heads of state do not have immunity from prosecution.
    Secondly, in order to give laterality too, I think Madam Guarnieri's proposal to simply look at the feasibility enables us to at least move forward with looking at ways in which we can try to stop Mr. Mugabe and bring him to justice. That's my intent. It's not to embarrass the government. It's not to put you in an untenable position. It's not to do something that's unrealistic or in fact illegal. It's to do something within the boundaries of law, and certainly something that we as a committee, in a very productive and constructive way, could put forth before the summer to address a crisis that is occurring, as Madam McDonough said, under the radar screen and will continue unless we do something.
    I wonder if you would consider Madam Guarnieri's statement, which is to say, look at the feasibility. Because it doesn't—
    An hon. member: But what if it's not feasible? It's not feasible.
    We need time here. We are not going to see its legal implications.
    You are welcome to put your motion. It doesn't matter to us, you know.

  (1905)  

    Okay.
     So go ahead and put your motion.
    We're simply trying to accommodate you.
    Call the question on the amended motion.
    Mr. Epp.
    Mr. Chairman, I have a real dilemma. I'm subbing here today, so I'm new to this, but I've had lots of experience in committees. I don't like it when I'm being backed into a corner to vote against something that I actually support, and that's the dilemma you're giving me here. I don't believe the member's motion addresses the issue in a way that is solvable, and yet I certainly am sympathetic to the issue.
    What we need to have here is a motion that is legally correct so it can address the issue without putting fine people like me into the embarrassing position of having to vote in favour of continuing Robert Mugabe's crimes against humanity, because that's what it would look like. And I don't want to do that.
    Mr. Martin.
    May I suggest that we add a friendly amendment to ask the feasibility of using.... Ken, that accomplishes exactly what you want. I put that forward, and let's vote on the amendment.
    The problem with this is that the member on the other side already said he does not agree with the law interpretation anyway. That is why we are having a problem. You just said you do not agree with this international law that heads of states cannot be brought in front of the--
    No.
     What he'd been told from the department is--
    What we are saying to you is that we need time here.
    The way to reconcile this is to look at the...[Inaudible--Editor]...because that addresses exactly your concerns.
    It's like Kevin said, you are forcing us into a corner here by putting things out there.
    Out of all of them, I like Bernard Patry's the best.
    Thank you, Chair.
    But I would like him to read it again. Could you please get the writing in English—the interpreter does a great job—and could you include that feasibility part?
    I want to vote on the motion that I put forward with Madame Guarnieri's amendment.
    Okay, so it's not a friendly amendment that Mr. Patry has with the mover. I'm going to ask the clerk to read the motion, as amended by Mr. Martin and by Madame Guarnieri.
    This is the motion, as amended. We will vote on the amendment first, and then we will vote on the motion.
    It reads as follows:
That the Committee recommends that the government work with the victims in Canada to ascertain the feasibility of using existing domestic crimes against humanity legislation to indict Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe for crimes against humanity as well as press for a resolution at the Security Council to invoke a Chapter 7 article 41 resolution against President Mugabe and that the Minister of Justice report back to the committee by November 15 on his efforts.
    All in favour of the amendment?
    Recorded vote, please.
    Not on the amendment.
    This has the word "indictment" in it, correct?
    It doesn't say "indictment"; it says "resolution", but there's no "indictment".
    Then you read something different. Read it again, please.
That the committee recommends that the government work with victims in Canada to ascertain the feasibility of using existing domestic crimes against humanity legislation to indict Zimbabwe's President Robert
    An hon. member: It is there.
    The Clerk: Yes.
    I think you still have a technical problem. I'd like some more time to work on it, so we could come up with a uniform solution.
    Are we all in favour of the amendment?
    (Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    Now, the motion as amended.
    Mr. Epp.
    I beg the members of the committee to think about what we're voting on. We're saying now that the government should work with Canadians with Zimbabwe background, or whatever. What are they going to do? Are they going to run ads in papers to say, if you're a victim, please come forward? How are you going to find them, practically speaking?

  (1910)  

    We'll now take a recorded vote on the motion.
    We appreciate that, Mr. Epp.
    (Motion agreed to: yeas 6; abstentions 4)
    Mr. Martin, to your third motion. Is this as presented, or is this amended as well?
    This is amended.
    But we have three amendments.
    The government has no idea. I mean, we have a chair and we need some direction here. We are having difficulties here. If you want to give us the notice to bring an amendment, fine, but three amendments like this, without our knowing....
    First of all, Mr. Obhrai, I was not aware that the motions presented today would come amended. As the chair, I was not aware that there had been consultations among all opposition parties, without consultations with the government, the clerk, the chair, or anyone else, yet that is what we have, on three very important motions.
    When I looked at the first two motions, my decision was that it didn't necessarily change the overall intent of the motion, but certainly it did change the motion. If the motion as amended is deemed...or if I don't believe it still carries the overall spirit of the motion, then it won't be acceptable.
    Let's hear the motion as amended.
    As amended, or the original motion?
    It doesn't matter.
    Madame McDonough can do the amended motion, if you want.
    Here we are again. You're going to read an amended motion. It's not like we've had the chance to talk about the original motion, and none of us has a copy of the amended motion.
    I'll just read the motion, then, Mr. Chair.
    The motion states:
That the committee recommend that the government recognize that the Darfur peace agreement, signed on May 5, 2006, has already been violated by all parties numerous times.
That the African Union has admitted that it is incapable of preventing violence in the region or in protecting aid convoys from interference or attack.
That the only means in which the people of Darfur are going to be safe is through the deployment of a robust Chapter 7 peacekeeping force as soon as possible.
That the government prepare to support this mission through all diplomatic, economic and military means available.
    That's the motion.
    All right. We've heard the motion. We would now like to hear the amendment to the motion.
    Madam McDonough.
    You know, I think we have to acknowledge that it is difficult if some members are sitting here with more information than others. In the spirit of trying to resolve that problem and in the hope of moving forward this week, I'd like to suggest two fairly minor amendments and that we accept them.
    It is also open to other people to propose amendments as well. I think that's what we're dealing with.
    Okay, but one moment, please. As I understand it, Mr. Martin already has an amended motion. Are you moving the amendment--the only amendment?
    An hon. member:She's going to move the amendment.
    The Chair: Okay, then I accept it.
     I'm responding in the spirit.... There are a couple of other amendments that might strengthen it, but I think we're trying not to overload this process. So let me propose a couple of small amendments.
    In the first clause that now reads: "That the Committee recommend that the government recognize that the Darfur peace agreement, signed on May 5, 2006, has already been violated by all parties numerous times."
    I'm going to propose a small amendment that would read "been violated by its signatories".
    Secondly--

  (1915)  

    Has already been violated by its signatories.
    Yes.
    And a second amendment would go at the end: "That this motion be tabled as a report in the House and that the government issue a response."
    That's really just adding the traditional request for a report back from the government.
    I don't understand the last portion.
    Okay, it would be this: "That this motion be tabled as a report in the House and that the government issue a response. That the government prepare to support this mission through all diplomatic, economic and military means available."
    On this motion as amended, we will first take a vote on the amendments to the motion and then you can speak to the motion as amended.
    Does anyone want to speak to the amendments?
    If I may, Mr. Chair, I think this might be as good a time as any to get this off my chest. All three of these issues are very serious and I think they are of heart-wrenching concern to all members.
    I am frankly very frustrated. In the process being used today, it looks to me as if it's a very blatant attempt by the opposition to simply be able to go out in summer and say they supported helping people in Africa, Zimbabwe, and Darfur and that wicked old Conservative government didn't support them. I feel very sad that we would use an issue of this magnitude for this type of purpose.
    Thank you, Mr. Epp.
    I will go to Madam Bourgeois, Mr. Patry, and Mr. Martin.
    I ask for the vote.
    You're asking for the vote.
    Mr. Patry.
    I only want to tell Mr. Epp that we received this motion--I'm not talking about the two previous ones--a week ago.
    This is a friendly amendment, and I agree with this friendly amendment. One is to delay all parties when there is time for a signatory. I think that's good. The other one is to be tabled in the House for a report, and that's it.
    My point is only to let you know that we received it.
    Ms. Bourgeois asked for the vote. Let's have the vote.
    Do you want to speak to it?
    If I wanted to put forth a motion that was intended to embarrass the government, this would be worded in an entirely different manner. Nowhere in any of these motions, Mr. Epp, is there any comment about castigating or criticizing the government. All three motions are clearly intended to simply get us to collectively move forward on three issues, as you said, that are very serious and deserve to be dealt with now, not down the road.

  (1920)  

    Thank you.
    Mr. Van Loan, in closing, and then we're going to the question.
    I have a point of information.
    I don't have the actual edited version in front of me, and I didn't catch everything that was going on back and forth. The version that I have says: “That the government prepare to support this mission through all diplomatic, economic and military means available.” That means a military deployment.
    Does this motion still call for Canada to send a military deployment to Sudan? Is that what the motion still calls for? Has that changed through the amendment?
    We already have.
    Well, it's a means that's available. If we pass this motion, we're calling for the sending of troops to Sudan.
    No, not at all.
    It says: "That the government support this mission through all diplomatic, economic and military means available." Troops are military means.
    It specifically mentions the military, so you would assume that.
    And that we must "support" it.
     I just wanted to make it clear that the call for military deployment is still in there.
    Mr. Obhrai, and then I'll give Mr. Martin the last chance. Then we'll vote on the amendment and on the motion.
    In these amendments that are coming, Mr. Chairman, everybody's twisting a word here, twisting a word there, twisting a word here, twisting a word there. That's why the government side is having such a problem. When you twist words here and there, you can give very different connotations and meanings. That is why--
    Specific to an amendment, Mr. Obhrai--
    Let me talk. I had to raise my hand, and I have a right to talk.
    Yes.
    This is why we are having such severe difficulties with this motion. As my colleague just pointed out, there are some ramifications that people have to think deeper about.
    I would like to say, Mr. Chairman, that in future we look into issues so that amendments like this don't happen--unless we have notice or something like that.
    Mr. Obhrai, procedurally this is correct.
    I'm asking for the question.
    Mr. Obhrai, if they bring forward a motion, we can always have amendments brought forward.
    It's unfortunate that the government hadn't seen or wasn't privy to this, but in the spirit of working together...and that might be deteriorating, but we want to try to keep it fairly good. This committee has a long history of working together, of working in unison, and usually by consensus--not always agreeing, but working together. Today, I think, has been a step back from that.
    But this is in order.
    Madam McDonough.
    As the mover of two simple amendments, I'd like to have a chance to speak to them.
    Yes, and you do.
    I stated them, and I'd like to speak to them before we vote.
    The first amendment would eliminate four words and substitute them with two. In order for there not to be a lot of concerns of how many times, say, and by whom, "its signatories" would just simplify it.
    The second amendment simply says that we want the traditional report back from the government.
    I don't think it's fair of you, Deepak, to characterize these as having all kinds of twists and turns and deceptions and all sorts of things. They're very straightforward.
    I think probably everybody around the table could handle an amendment that substitutes two words for four words.
    Let's call the question.
    There's a call for the question.
    Again, we'll have a recorded vote, first on the amendment to the motion.
    (Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    Are we ready for the question on the motion?
    Mr. Epp.
    I have one very quick question for the mover of the motion.
    The beginning of the third paragraph says that "the only means in which the people of Darfur are going to be safe is through the deployment of a robust Chapter 7 peacekeeping force", which is pretty well as brutal as you can get in terms of stopping something.
    Now, on what grounds does the mover say that this is the "only" means? Are there not some other steps that could be taken as well?
    The answer is no, there's nothing else. Given the behaviour of Khartoum, no, there's nothing else. And the UN has recognized that.
    All right. We'll call for a recorded vote.
    (Motion as amended agreed to: yeas 6; nays 2; abstentions 2 [See Minutes of Proceedings])

  (1925)  

    Thank you, folks. It's good to get that out of the way; painful, but....
    The next part of committee business is in camera.
    [Proceedings continue in camera]