Skip to main content Start of content

House Publications

The Debates are the report—transcribed, edited, and corrected—of what is said in the House. The Journals are the official record of the decisions and other transactions of the House. The Order Paper and Notice Paper contains the listing of all items that may be brought forward on a particular sitting day, and notices for upcoming items.

For an advanced search, use Publication Search tool.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the accessibility of this publication, please contact us at accessible@parl.gc.ca.

Previous day publication Next day publication
Skip to Document Navigation Skip to Document Content

42nd PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 006

CONTENTS

Thursday, December 10, 2015




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

VOLUME 148
NUMBER 006
1st SESSION
42nd PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Speaker: The Honourable Geoff Regan

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1000)  

[Translation]

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

    Pursuant to section 38 of the Privacy Act, I have the honour to lay upon the table the annual report of the Privacy Commissioner for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), this report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

[English]

ALS Month Act

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to reintroduce a private member's bill that I had introduced in the past, which will designate the month of June as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, month. The bill will ensure that each year the month of June shall be known as ALS month.
    The intention of the bill is to raise awareness of this devastating condition. I have a personal connection to this scurrilous disease. I lost my own father to ALS a number of years ago, so raising awareness and encouraging research are causes close to my heart.
    All members know that one of our own colleagues has recently been diagnosed with ALS, so this horrendous condition is now very close to every member of this chamber.
    I hope all members will support this initiative.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

     (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

    I think we can see from the reaction of members how mindful we all are of this horrible disease.

Criminal Code

     He said: Mr. Speaker, as this is the first time I rise in the 42nd Parliament, I would like to congratulate all of my fellow members of Parliament from across Canada, and you, sir, for being elected as our Speaker. I would like to thank the constituents of my great riding for putting their support behind me to be their representative in Ottawa.
    I am pleased to stand in the House today to table my first private member's bill, an act to amend the Criminal Code on abuse of vulnerable persons. The bill would amend section 718.2 of the Criminal Code by making tougher penalties for an offender who knows or reasonably should know that a person is an elder or other vulnerable person, and wilfully exploits or takes advantage of that person through financial, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
    My private member's bill would bring further protection to seniors and other vulnerable persons to ensure that they may live in dignity and security and be free of exploitation.
    In my 35 years in law enforcement, this is one of the worst segments of crime we have seen in this nation. It happens from sea to sea to sea, where people take advantage of our seniors and vulnerable persons who are handicapped, etc. We need to make sure that people who do these hideous types of crime pay a greater penalty.

     (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

  (1005)  

National Appreciation Day Act

     moved for leave to introduce Bill C-207, An Act to establish National Appreciation Day.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce my private member's bill, seconded by the hon. member for Huron—Bruce. This bill would establish a national appreciation day, which would designate the third day of March in each and every year as a day for people in Canada to express their appreciation for those who run toward danger, when others run in the opposite direction, and for the work of members of our Canadian Forces and emergency response professionals, including police officers, firefighters, and paramedics.

    (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canada Evidence Act

     moved for leave to introduce Bill C-208, An Act to amend the Canada Evidence Act (interpretation of numerical dates).
    He said: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce my private member's bill, seconded by the hon. member for Huron—Bruce. This bill would amend the Canada Evidence Act to direct courts on how to interpret a numerical date that is in dispute.

    (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Corrections and Conditional Release Act

     moved for leave to introduce Bill C-209, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (high-profile offenders).
    He said: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce my private member's bill, seconded by the hon. member for Huron—Bruce. This private member's bill would amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to require Correctional Services Canada, in certain circumstances, to disclose details of the statutory release of a high-profile offender by posting them on its website and to provide written notice of the disclosure of the information to the victim. This enactment would also provide community consultation relating to the offender's release.

    (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

  (1010)  

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, I am an eternal optimist, so I believe and hope that, if you seek the unanimous consent of the House for the following motion, you will find it: that, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, the Standing Committee on Finance may hold organizational meetings on December 10, 2015, and that the membership of the said committee shall be as follows: Hon. Wayne Easter, Raj Grewal, Steven MacKinnon, Jennifer O'Connell, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Francesco Sorbara, Hon. Lisa Raitt, Ron Liepert, Phil McColeman and Guy Caron; that, during its consideration of proceedings pursuant to Standing Order 83(1), the Standing Committee on Finance, together with any necessary staff, may travel within Canada and may authorize the broadcasting of its proceedings; and that, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 83(1), the Standing Committee on Finance be authorized to present its report on the pre-budget consultations no later than February 5, 2016.
    Does the hon. minister have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?
    Some hon. members: No.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I will try this again on another important subject, one that I know all parliamentarians care deeply about. It is a subject that the Supreme Court has asked this Parliament to deal with.
    There have been consultations with the parties, and again I believe that if you ask for unanimous consent you would find it for the following motion:
    That a special joint committee of the Senate and House of Commons be appointed to review the report of the external panel on options for a legislative response to Carter v. Canada, and other relevant consultation activities and studies, to consult with Canadians, experts, and stakeholders, and make recommendations on the framework of a federal response on physician-assisted dying that respects the Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the priorities of Canadians.
    That five members of the Senate and ten members of the House of Commons be members of the committee with two chairpersons, of which the House co-chair shall be from the governing party, and the Senate co-chair from the official opposition party, and that one additional member of the third party be a member of the committee without voting privileges.
    That the House of Commons membership be determined by the whip of each party by depositing with the Clerk of the House a list of his or her party's members of the committee no later than five sitting days after the adoption of this motion.
    That changes in the membership of the committee on the part of the House of Commons be effective immediately after a notification signed by the member acting as the chief whip of any recognized party has been filed with the clerk of that committee.
    That the committee be directed to consult broadly, take into consideration consultations that have been undertaken on the issue, examine relevant research studies and literature, and review models being used or developed in other jurisdictions.
    That the committee have the power to sit during sittings and adjournments of the House.
    That the committee have the power to report from time to time, to send for persons, papers, and records, and to print such papers and evidence as may be ordered by the committee.
    That the committee have the power to retain the services of expert, professional, technical, and clerical staff, including legal counsel.
    That the quorum of the committee be eight members whenever a vote, resolution, or other decision is taken, so long as both Houses and all officially recognized parties are represented, and that the joint chairpersons be authorized to hold meetings, to receive evidence, and authorize the printing thereof whenever six members are present, so long as both Houses and all officially recognized parties are represented.
    That the committee have the power to appoint from its members such subcommittees as may be deemed appropriate, and to delegate to such subcommittees all or any of its powers, except the power to report to the Senate and the House of Commons.
    That the committee have the power to adjourn from place to place within and outside of Canada.
    That the committee have the power to authorize television and radio broadcasting of any or all of its proceedings.
    That the committee make its final report no later than February 26, 2016,
    and that a message be sent to the Senate requesting that House to unite with this House for the above purpose, and to select, if the Senate deems advisable, members to act on the proposed special joint committee.

  (1015)  

    Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: No.
    The Speaker: There does not appear to be consent, but we perhaps have a point of order we might hear first.
    The hon. member for Montcalm.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would just like some clarification on this motion. I do not have the text of the motion.
    Will the Bloc Québécois be part of the committee?
    Mr. Speaker, I think the opposition expressed by my colleagues regarding this motion is perhaps not only linked to the question of this committee, at least I hope not, because in many respects, Quebec is leading the way in this very difficult discussion.
    That is why we hope that all members of the House will give Canadians, including Quebeckers, the opportunity to appear before the committee. As we know, all members are free to attend all House of Commons committee meetings. We would love for many members to attend.
    As for the voting and the somewhat closed process when it comes to studying the report, obviously, the usual rules will apply. This is not the first time my colleagues opposite have received notice of this motion. We have been talking about this for several days now. They are well aware of what I just read in the House.
    I would remind my colleagues that the custom in this House requires that when the Speaker recognizes a member and he or she rises to speak, other members should be seated. If someone would then like to ask a question, that person may then stand up, but not when the member is speaking or when the Speaker is standing.
    We have been made aware of the situation. I doubt that we will have unanimous consent, but we will hear from the hon. member for Montcalm once more, since I see that he wishes to add something, briefly I hope.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate your open-mindedness. My hon. colleague had a lot to say, but I still do not have an answer to my question. Quebec has indeed been leading the way and I wonder whether beyond the fact that we can—
    That is a debate. It is not really a point of order. I suggest that the hon. member speak with the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons to continue this debate outside the chamber. I will hear the point of order at the end of routine proceedings. Now is not really the time for that.
    We could give our consent, but we did not get any clarification. We are not allowed to speak in committee.
    There was no unanimous consent.

[English]

Petitions

The Environment 

    Mr. Speaker, I have a petition here from constituents in my riding of Wellington—Halton Hills.
    The petitioners call upon Parliament to adopt laws, policies, and practices to ensure that Canada achieves a de-carbonized economy by 2050.

  (1020)  

Justice  

    Mr. Speaker, one year ago today Cassandra Kaake of Windsor and her preborn baby girl, Molly, were killed in a violent attack.
    This petition calls upon Parliament to pass legislation to allow a separate charge to be laid in the death or injury of a preborn child when that child's mother is a victim of crime.
    Canadians want justice for victims like Molly.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians want Parliament to know about the tragic story of Cassandra Kaake, who was 31 weeks pregnant when she was murdered in Windsor, Ontario, a year ago today. Tragically there will be no justice for Cassandra's preborn baby girl, Molly, who was also killed in that violent attack. That is because, in criminal law, pre-born children are not recognized as separate victims in attacks against their mother.
    This petition calls on Parliament to pass legislation to allow a separate charge to be laid in the death or injury of a preborn child when that child's mother is a victim of a crime.
    Canadians want justice for victims like Molly.

Housing  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition to the government concerning social housing and co-operatives in Canada.
    The petitioners, who live at the Pine Ridge Co-op, are concerned that funding has been cut for social housing in Canada. They call upon the government to immediately renew funding for long-term operating agreements for co-ops with social housing providers, in order to preserve rent subsidies for existing units and provide funds for much-needed renovations.

Impaired Driving  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by congratulating you, sir, on your being acclaimed to the illustrious position of Speaker of the House.
    I have two petitions to present today. The first, sadly, informs the House that 22-year-old Kassandra Kaulius was tragically killed by a drunk driver who chose to drive while impaired. Kassandra's family was devastated, as was Families for Justice, a group of Canadians who have also lost loved ones to impaired drivers.
    The petitioners believe that Canada's impaired driving laws are much too lenient and they want the crime called what it is, vehicular homicide, and they want mandatory sentences for anyone convicted of that offence.

Justice  

    Mr. Speaker, a number of us have received petitions regarding Molly. Molly was about to be born, but both she and her mother were tragically killed one year ago today.
    The petitioners call upon Parliament to pass legislation to allow a separate charge to be laid in the death or injury of a preborn child.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.
    The Speaker: Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I simply want to clarify something.
    The hon. Leader of the Government invited all hon. members to take part in committee meetings. However, the Bloc Québécois members are not allowed to take the floor. We can sit at the committee table, but we cannot speak. That is not right, but that is how things currently stand. That is why we are voting against the motion.
    If we were invited to speak, even after all other members finished speaking, we might be in favour of this motion, even without the right to vote. The fact is that we cannot take the floor at any House committee. That is why we are refusing to give unanimous consent.
    I thank the hon. member for that clarification.

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

[Business of Supply]

  (1025)  

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Combat Mission Against ISIS  

    Since today is the final allotted day for the supply period ending December 10, 2015, the House will go through the usual procedures to consider and dispose of the supply bill. In view of recent practices, do hon. members agree that the bill be distributed now?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    That, given that ISIS has taken responsibility for recent deadly attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Africa, and has declared war on Canada, this House: (a) acknowledge that now is not the time for Canada to step back and force our allies to take on a heavier burden in the fight against ISIS; (b) remind the government of its obligation to our NATO partners and its responsibility to protect the freedom, democracy, safety, and security of Canadians; (c) call upon the government to maintain the air-combat mission of the RCAF CF-18 fighter jets; (d) express its appreciation to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their participation in the fight against terror; and (e) reconfirm our commitment to our allies to stop ISIS.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, although it is not my first time standing in this new Parliament, I do want to congratulate you on your election as Speaker. I would like to congratulate all MPs for their respective elections. I would in particular like to thank the people of Parry Sound—Muskoka for returning me to office for the fourth consecutive time.
    I am sure all colleagues would agree that it is a great honour to be here, under any circumstances. We look forward to this Parliament over the next few years.
    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Selkirk—Interlake.
    The basis of our motion today is a straightforward one. Canada must always stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies. We believe that the government needs to maintain our commitment to the air combat mission against ISIS and to leave our CF-18s in the fight. While our coalition partners are stepping up their efforts to degrade and defeat ISIS, the Liberal government is stepping back.
    The Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Air Force have been carrying out both training and air strikes successfully in the region for almost a year. Our troops have been making a difference. Pulling them out of the fight now is not only contrary to the interests of Canada and our coalition partners, but it is an insult to our women and men in uniform; and to suggest that their role has been insignificant is perhaps the greatest insult.
    Our troops have damaged ISIS and slowed its progress. That must continue.

[Translation]

     The Conservatives have said that in order to stand shoulder to shoulder with its allies, Canada needs to maintain its commitment to the air combat mission against ISIS and leave its CF-18s in the fight. That is why the leader of the official opposition is urging the Liberal government to reverse its decision to withdraw the CF-18s. We fully support that change.
    The Prime Minister still has not explained how withdrawing Canada's CF-18s from the fight against ISIS will help our coalition partners.

[English]

    The brutality of ISIS has no bounds. It is an unadulterated evil scourge that must be confronted with full force and without hesitation. Unfortunately, recent history tells the horrific tale.
    In San Bernardino, California, on December 2, 14 people were killed and 21 injured in a terror attack consisting of a mass shooting and an unsuccessful bombing at the Inland Regional Center by supporters of ISIS.
     In Paris on November 13, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks claimed the lives of 130 innocent people.
    On November 12 in Beirut, Lebanon, two suicide bombers killed at least 43 people. The attack in the south suburb of Beirut is one of Lebanon's deadliest in recent years. ISIS targeted civilians, worshippers, unarmed people, women, and the elderly. It only targeted innocent people.
     On November 4 in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, at least four police officers were killed when a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle full of explosives next to a police club in northern Sinai.
    In the Sinai Peninsula on October 31, after a Russian plane crashed in the mountainous part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, a Sinai-based group affiliated with ISIS claimed responsibility for planting the bomb on the plane. There were 224 people killed.
     In Aden, Yemen, on October 6, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack on a luxury hotel hosting Yemeni officials and a gulf military base in Yemen's cosmopolitan port city of Aden, as well as a mosque bombing in the Yemen capital of Sanaa. At least 15 troops were killed, including four UAE soldiers.
     In Sanaa, Yemen, on September 24, ISIS militants targeted Shiite Muslims who were praying during the religious holiday of Eid and killed 25 people at a mosque in Yemen's capital city of Sanaa.
    Then there are the ISIS executions. The full scale of ISIS' year of terror has been detailed in a recent report that claims the jihadist group has executed more than 3,000 people in the past 12 months, a tally that includes 74 children.
     According to a report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, produced to mark the first anniversary of the establishment of the group's so-called caliphate, ISIS has carried out 3,027 execution killings in a year. Among the thousands of Arab and Kurdish civilians executed by the group in Syria last year, 86 were women.
    The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child released a report in February, documenting the many horrors ISIS has imposed on children who are Kurdish, Yazidi, Christian, and Muslim. Children, even those who are mentally challenged, are being tortured, crucified, buried alive, used as suicide bombers, and sold as sex slaves, according to this report, and there is no reason to doubt its veracity.
    The international community and our allies are at one. Here is what some of the leaders around the world, our coalition allies, have to say about the fight against ISIS.
    David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, stated:
    ISIL has brutally murdered British hostages. They have inspired the worst terrorist attack against British people since 7/7 on the beaches of Tunisia, and they have plotted atrocities on the streets here at home. Since November last year our security services have foiled no fewer than seven different plots against our people, so this threat is very real. The question is this: do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat, and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands, from where they are plotting to kill British people, or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?

  (1030)  

[Translation]

    The President of the French Republic, François Hollande, has had quite a bit to say about this.

[English]

    He has said that France would battle ISIS “without a respite, without a truce... It is not a question of containing but of destroying this organisation”.
    President Obama stated, “ISIL is the face of evil. Our goal, as I’ve said many times, is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organization.”
    It is evidently clear where our allies stand on this issue, but, sadly, Canada's position, once clearly defined under our previous Conservative government, is now hazy and hesitant. Canadians can be extremely proud of the efforts of the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces in Operation Impact. Our special operations forces have been able to train over 1,100 peshmerga forces, allowing them to combat ISIS more effectively on the ground.
    For nearly a year, the Royal Canadian Air Force has been working with our allies and successfully launching air strikes against ISIS' fighting positions, weapons caches, training facilities, IED facilities, critical infrastructure, and command centres.
    I have to say this. Regrettably, we have no plan from the Liberals on what our mission against ISIS would look like. There was no mention of what our plan will be in the throne speech. Canadians support the fight against ISIS. They deserve to know why we are stepping back.

  (1035)  

    Madam Speaker, the member opposite has listed off the number of atrocities to date, with which I wholeheartedly agree. He also talked about the previous government's record on the fight.
    My question is, where was the previous government's leadership in identifying the threat when ISIL was a small organization? Where was its leadership when it could have taken out this threat, looking at the indicators, when it was smaller to prevent all of the victims on the list that he just identified?
    Where was the previous government's leadership at the most important time of preventing this atrocity from happening in the first place?
    Madam Speaker, indeed, we act in concert with our allies. As the hon. member knows, the ISIS threat germinated in countries where we certainly did not have forces on the ground initially, Iraq and Syria. ISIS, of course, grew and metastasized in areas where there was a lack of central government activity and it was able to do so under the radar screen, unfortunately, for many months.
    Once the threat was identified, Conservatives acted quickly as a government in concert with our allies to contain the threat. We understood that the threat is not only over there, and it is great over there, the threat is also here. The Conservative Party urges the government to act in concert with its allies and come up with a plan that will, indeed, make Canada proud again.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we all know that ISIS managed to get a foothold in Syria and Iraq because of the governance issues in Iraq and the chaos in Syria. I think that experts all agree that we will not come up with a lasting solution until the civil war in Syria has been resolved.
    I would like to know what my colleague proposes and what Canada could do to contribute to the peace process in Syria.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member because that point of view is very important.
    We are not just talking about a military action plan. We are talking about a military action plan, a diplomatic action plan and a humanitarian action plan. We need all of those things to fight against ISIS.

[English]

    It is like three legs of a stool. They cannot have one removed without affecting the others. That is why the Conservative plan is to have diplomatic, humanitarian, and military action.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to comment on the comments from the Minister of National Defence, who questioned why the previous government did not anticipate this threat earlier. He well knows that even our allies, like the United States, did not anticipate this threat. Major General Michael Nagata, who is the special operations commander for the United States, even said in December 2014 that “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.” All of the allies in this coalition were caught off-guard.
    I just want to make the point as well for my colleague from Parry Sound—Muskoka that last week it was reported in the media that the Royal Canadian Air Force flew four sorties, four raids, over five days. Presumably, the Royal Canadian Air Force has the support of the government in this mission. If it is good enough for the first week of December, why is it not good enough in the first week of January or the first week of February to conduct these missions against ISIS?

  (1040)  

    Madam Speaker, the hon. member has made some very important points about the importance of the continuity of the mission. I would only further add my own comment on the words of the Minister of National Defence, which is that it is a bit curious for the hon. minister to criticize our position, which is to stand by our allies, by saying we should have stood earlier, when his government is not standing by our allies. There is a logical inconsistency there, which I hope the hon. minister can remedy at the earliest occasion.
    Madam Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure to be able to rise today. I want to thank my colleague from Parry Sound—Muskoka, our critic for global affairs, for bringing forward this motion today. This is important.
    I am disappointed that the government never brought forward this motion. When we were in power as government, we established the principled position that all military deployments and all changes in missions should be debated in this place.
    It is important to engage every member of Parliament in making the decisions on how we use the Canadian Armed Forces in fighting terrorism, deploying our troops, going against oppressors, and making sure that we stop mass atrocities.
    It is disappointing that changes are going to be made to this mission. We are still not sure why the Liberals made this promise in this first place during the last election campaign. We have still not heard from the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or the Minister of National Defence on why it makes sense to withdraw our planes from the fight against ISIS.
    Later today leaders from all parties, I believe, are going to Toronto to welcome the first planeload of Syrian refugees. All these refugees are fleeing ISIS. If we want to stop the humanitarian crisis, if we want to stop the genocide that ISIS is carrying out, we actually have to defeat ISIS itself. We do not do that by taking a back seat.
    We have to remember that ISIS has declared war on Canada. As the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka was saying earlier, when we were talking about the atrocities, the terrorist acts, and the murders that were committed in San Bernadino, Paris, Beirut, and Egypt, let us not forget that ISIS inspired the attacks that took the lives of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo.
    ISIS has declared war on Canada. It is paramount that the government defend and protect our nation and our citizens.
    The United Nations gets this. The Security Council determined on November 20 that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant or al-Sham or ISIL or ISIS or Daesh or whatever one wants to call them constituted an unprecedented threat to international peace and security, calling upon member states with the requisite capacity to take all necessary measures to prevent and suppress its terrorist acts on territory under its control in Syria and Iraq.
    The council urged member states to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters into Iraq and Syria, and to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism.
    As our global affairs critic said, this is a three-legged stool. We have a humanitarian crisis and we have to deliver humanitarian aid in a major way, and refugees are a part of that. We have to stop the ability of ISIS to fund itself and finance its war and its terrorism. Ultimately it comes down to stopping ISIS in its tracks. The only way to do that is with military intervention.
    Canada has a long, proud history of taking on those who commit mass atrocities. Let us think of Passchendaele and the Canadians cutting their way through on Vimy Ridge. We can talk about how they fought the Nazis and led the attack on D-Day on Juno Beach. We can talk about how they stood up against the genocide in Bosnia in the Medak Pocket. We can talk about how they took the fight to the Taliban in Afghanistan, in places like the Panjwayi.
    We have always distinguished ourselves. We have tremendous Canadians, the best Canadians, who are members of the Canadian Armed Forces. In every discipline that they have, whether it is in the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or the Royal Canadian Air Force, each and every member is always up to the fight and up to the task that Parliament sometimes has to put upon them.

  (1045)  

    We want to make sure that we are doing what is right, and in the absence of a motion from the government to define what its plan is, the Conservative Party brought forward our motion today so that Parliament has a chance to pronounce itself on the battle against ISIS.
    More importantly, I was concerned that if we did not have this motion today that we would hear the change in the new plan withdrawing our CF-18s, maybe taking out the entire air task force, including bringing back our Polaris refuelling Airbus, our Aurora reconnaissance aircraft, and the 600 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and others who are stationed right now as part of the air task force in Kuwait, bringing all of them home without doing anything to increase the military training for the Kurdish peshmerga, and that those decisions would be made and announced when Parliament was not sitting over the Christmas break, when Canadians would be busy doing other things and not paying attention to what is taking place on the international scene. So it becomes even more important that we have this debate today.
     We have yet to hear one of our coalition partners say it is great that Canada is taking a step back. The only people who seem to be excited about withdrawing our CF-18s are the Liberals and ISIS, and that is downright embarrassing and dangerous. We have to continue to step up. The Canadian way is always to go in and punch above our weight, and I expect that of our government, especially in light of the recent attacks, especially in light of how the coalition partners have really coalesced around a more robust military intervention, bombing ISIS positions on a more frequent and upscaled basis. Canada should be doing the same. At a bare minimum, we should be leaving the CF-18s in the fight.
    Yes, we can do more on training. If the government wants to come forward with a proposal on putting more planners, more special operations forces, in the field to work alongside the Kurdish peshmerga and Iraqi security forces, it would have our full support. We believe that ultimately it is boots on the ground that will win this fight. Those who are most at risk there are the ones who are going to have to take up that fight.
    If we look at the record we have been able to achieve under the special operation forces training with the peshmerga, by far, it is the most successful in the region. Why is that? Not only are we giving them the tools and skills that are required in training, but we are also a part of the command structure. It is an aid, an assist, and it is training, and they are required to go to the front lines to observe how the Kurdish peshmerga forces are performing. There is definitely more danger involved in that, but it has been, by far, more successful.
    A Mr. Hillier, a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces who went and fought with the Kurdish peshmerga, came back and said that our training has been very successful. He also said that the CF-18 bombing strikes have been even more successful. When we heard from the Kurdistan regional government officials, they said that if it were up to them, they would ask Canada to keep the CF-18s in the fight because they have saved lives and have destroyed the enemy.
    Now, we as Parliament, really do need to look at how we can best contribute. That is what we keep hearing from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. They think the only way we can contribute this is through the training mission, but this has to be a whole-of-government approach and it has to involve all aspects of our military assets. We have already expenditured for the establishment of the air task force. We have already set up camp, we have already deployed troops, and we already have equipment and materiel in theatre. It is more important now that we leave those assets there and maximize their use in the fight.

  (1050)  

    As my friend from Wellington—Halton Hills pointed out earlier, if it is okay in the first week of December to continue to send our CF-18s out, flying their sorties, collecting intelligence, and making the ultimate decision on whether or not they drop bombs on ISIS targets, why will it not be good enough next week, in January, or all of next year?
     We should stay involved until we actually defeat ISIS. That is what we are hearing from world leaders. That is what we are hearing from the United Nations.
    It is important that Canada stays engaged if we want to be a serious player on a global scale. Our allies expect us to do our share. Stepping back, away from—
    Order, please. Your time is up. I was so involved in your discussion that I forgot to tell you that your time was up.
    I am sure that the member will have time to continue his speech in the questions and comments.
    Madam Speaker, I wonder if the hon. member, who made reference to the previous government's efforts in Afghanistan, can explain to us why the previous government chose not to deploy CF-18s to Afghanistan and instead focused the overwhelming majority of its efforts on training indigenous forces. He has already referred to it as producing extraordinary value.
    Madam Speaker, as we all know, the member for Orléans is a decorated general from the Canadian Army and had a very distinguished career. Is he suggesting that maybe we do not do the air combat mission but we deploy troops to fight? I do not think that that is where the Liberal Party is. Definitely, when we were in government, we decided that training was the best option to aid and assist command and control. That was, by far, the most effective and it was the approach that we took then.
    Maybe we have to change thoughts. Maybe he is prepared to bring forward those ideas to his leaders in the Liberal Party and suggest to the Prime Minister that we need to have a more robust combat mission for the Canadian Armed Forces through the special operations forces. If that is what he is suggesting, I am sure that the Minister of National Defence will be more than happy to take on that advice.
    However, what we are talking about here is having a more robust training mission. What we want to see from the federal government is a commitment to keep the CF-18s in the fight to do our share and ensure that we defeat ISIS.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I was struck by the comment my colleague made in his speech about how all the refugees that we are going to take in are people who are fleeing ISIS.
    Is my colleague aware that many, if not most, of those refugees are fleeing Bashar al-Assad's regime, not ISIS?
    Is he also aware that many coalition members are not participating in the bombings?
    Finally, why is he so convinced that bombing is going to solve the problem, when there are so many examples of conflicts in that region where such action did not lead to a peaceful solution?

  (1055)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, there is no question that Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian regime are themselves the genocidal organization. They are the ones who have used chemical weapons against their own civilian population. There is no doubt that there are a number of other members in the region, like the Free Syrian Army, that are creating the instability there.
    If we are ultimately going to stabilize the area, there is one side of this that is a political debate and one side that requires a diplomatic solution. We know that in dealing with ISIS, we are dealing with a genocidal, jihadist, terrorist death cult that will stop at nothing. To sit down and talk with them is not an option. The only thing ISIS understands is the sword.
    Madam Speaker, a constituent actually raised the concern with me. In the throne speech the Liberal government indicated that it looks to downsize our military. The constituent said that he was concerned that one of the reasons the Liberals want to withdraw our men and women from this active mission bombing ISIS is that right now that is front and centre with the public. By pulling them back it will allow them to make larger cuts.
    Is this member also concerned about that?
    Madam Speaker, I am concerned about a number of things that were in the throne speech, which was only 1,700 words long, and not one of those words was “ISIS“.
    There was also a commitment to a leaner military, which we all know are code words for cuts. The member for Orléans, who was speaking earlier, wrote a report on transformation of the Canadian Armed Forces and suggested that we decrease the size of our reserve force by 50%.
    I hope that the Minister of National Defence, who was a reservist, will not let that happen.
    Madam Speaker, the motion by the hon. member for Parry Sound—Muskoka, as well as the current member opposite, raised a number of points regarding our ongoing commitment to the fight against ISIL. I thank the member for the opportunity to speak about this important issue.
    First, I would like to thank my constituents of Vancouver South for electing me as their member of Parliament. I am proud to be their representative in these chambers.
    On October 19, following the longest electoral campaign in the history of our country, Canadians elected a government committed to standing up for both our security and their values. This government will live up to that commitment.
    Canadians from coast to coast to coast are in agreement that the twisted behaviour of this so-called state is contrary to the democratic principles that are the foundation of our great country. We are united in this regard with our international allies.
    The attacks we have seen most recently in Beirut and Paris demand a unified response, and Canada will play a role in this fight. The question is how we will confront this challenge. I am pleased to offer a summary of the government's point of view on this matter.
    There is an ongoing and serious security threat in the Middle East posed by ISIL. It has claimed responsibility for horrific attacks on innocent civilians around the world, and it must be stopped. However, ISIL is not only a threat to innocent victims in this war-torn part of the world. It represents a clear and present danger to international security and stability to our allies and to Canada as it has called for direct attacks against Canadian citizens on Canadian soil.
    As we saw last year, this twisted ideology infected a few individuals leading to the brutal murders of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo. This is why the Canadian Armed Forces must continue to be flexible, agile, and ready to defend our interests.
    This government is committed to ensuring that our men and women in uniform have the support they need to do that job. This is why we have made significant commitments to predictable and consistent funding for our military.
    We know this is a long-term fight that must be fought on many fronts. We know that to defeat this menace, we must continually assess our contribution and apply a multi-layered approach, utilizing the Canadian Armed Forces, which has a wide array of capabilities, and bringing our military member skills and battle-honed experience to bear against this cold-blooded enemy.
    However, it is important to remember that we are not fighting alone. We have allies and partners that are in this fight with us, that face the same challenges that we do, and that are equally determined to combatting the twisted goals of this so-called caliphate. It is the sum of these parts, not each individual component, that we have brought to bear against ISIL.
    Canada will continue to contribute to this important fight and fulfill its commitment to work shoulder to shoulder with our coalition partners. We will continue to engage with those partners, most notably our closest ally, the United States, to ensure our contribution is one that can make a difference.
    The hon. member for Parry Sound—Muskoka is calling upon the government to maintain the air combat mission of our CF-18 fight jets. However, this government believes that Canada can make a long-term contribution that addresses more than one aspect of the fight against terror in that region.
    When planning a fight, we have to look at the entire picture, not each individual piece of the puzzle. We have to look at what we are bringing to the table, what our allies are also bringing to the table, and how the enemy is evolving. If we focus too closely on a singular, short-term option, we lose sight of what is needed to win the fight in the long run.
    As career warriors moulded by training, exercises and deployments, our military members are adept in helping other nations build capacity and enabling them to defend themselves. Having spoken with many of our key allies on this matter, it is this strength that is most needed right now. Therefore, this fight continues, and we will continue to take on a different burden.

  (1100)  

    Canada has an outstanding military, one in which I had the honour to serve. We routinely provide a meaningful and effective contribution to international engagements. Our approach is always to tailor our response to the specific situations at hand, while working in concert with our government partners and maintaining a high level of readiness and flexibility.
    This change in approach is no different from the decision our country faced in 2011 when we shifted from our combat mission in Afghanistan to one where we focused on training. That mission was known as Operation Attention. It was a successful one for both Canada and Afghanistan.
    Over three years, our soldiers trained 116 Kandaks or battalions in everything from basic military skills to advanced techniques. The expertise we acquired during that mission, not only in the skills that we were passing on but in how best to teach them to others, is exactly what is needed in the fight against ISIL right now. Our special forces are more than capable of carrying on this mission. They are some of the most highly trained and knowledgeable soldiers in the world.
    By increasing the number of advisers, which is one option that has been suggested, we will help turn citizens bravely fighting to protect their loved ones into professional soldiers, people expelling this cancer from their midst and preventing it from returning.
    However, there are many other options on the table and we are examining all of these possibilities in consultation with our allies and partners to determine how we can help to establish long-term security for the people of Iraq and Syria.
    The respect for Canada's military cannot be understated. We are well-known for punching above our weight. We continue to bring incredible military acumen to the table with highly trained personnel that contribute in a tangible way because they know what to do and how to get the job done.
    In his motion, the hon. member for Parry Sound—Muskoka has specifically expressed his appreciation to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their participation in the fight against terror, so I would like to address that for a moment.
    The Royal Canadian Air Force has performed outstandingly as part of the air task force in Iraq, and this is nothing new for it. Indeed, the Royal Canadian Air Force has a proud history that is steeped in tradition, dating back to First World War flying aces like Billy Bishop, through the Battle of Britain, and in its daily operations in support of NORAD, protecting North American airspace. The aircrew, aircraft maintenance crews, weapon systems teams, and support personnel involved in these missions embody the fighting spirit of their predecessors and they are making all Canadians proud every day. To them, I want to make it very clear their work on behalf of Canadians is as appreciated today as it has been in our history.
    Contributing to international civility is a role that Canada takes seriously. We are committed to seeing this fight continue and be won. So we must ask ourselves,how will it be won? How can we best contribute to this goal? To destroy ISIL and its twisted ideology over the long term, we will need a local force professionally trained and ready to defend its territory.
    While ISIL is a complex, interconnected threat, in addition to its military power, it seeks to inspire terrorist attacks for the mass displacement of refugees and for the intimidation of others. These separate problems are all part of the same threat, ISIL, but none of them can be defeated with military power alone. To combat these threats, we need to be flexible and measured and have a multi-faceted approach, an approach that will continue to battle ISIL on multiple fronts and which addresses the political, social and economic drivers fuelling the conflict in Iraq and Syria. These approaches include hindering the flow of foreign fighters, addressing the humanitarian needs, and halting ISIL's financing and funding.
    We are taking important steps on these fronts, not the least of which is the acceptance of 25,000 Syrian refugees. As the Prime Minister indicated yesterday in the House, the first such refugees will be arriving tonight in Toronto, with more coming on Saturday in Montreal.

  (1105)  

    The best way to show Muslims that they have a place in our society is by accepting these refugees with open arms, as we did with the Vietnamese boat people in the 1970s and the Kosovars in the late 1990s. I hope members of the House will join me in expressing our welcome for these people and wishing them all the best as they begin the next phase of their lives in Canada.
    I can assure the House that we will maximize the use of our Canadian skill set, offer a valuable contribution to the coalition effort, and have a meaningful impact on the situation on the ground. Our commitment remains steadfast. However, the battle against ISIS is a complex one and demands a sophisticated response. We will ensure that our contribution to the coalition response represents the best of what Canada has to offer.
    Madam Speaker, I note that the American defence secretary has just contacted 40 defence ministers around the world, asking for an increased commitment at the same time as Canada is actually taking back its commitment and moving backwards in the fight against ISIS. Is it the case that the U.S. defense secretary called the minister? Did he express regret at Canada's actions? Did he ask Canada to keep its jet in the fight? I would also be interested in hearing if he asked Canada to do more, rather than less, for the coalition against ISIS.
    Madam Speaker, I did have a conversation with the secretary of defense. I also met the deputy secretary of defense in Halifax. I met a lot of the experts, including General John Allen, who is now the former president's envoy in the fight against ISIS.
    The conversation I had with the secretary of defense was about how we could increase our contribution so it would be meaningful to the fight. We did talk about many different options in terms of how we could target it better and what Canada could actually bring to the table.
    I assure the House, as we look at the various options, we will be taking a meaningful approach and a meaningful contribution to the fight against ISIL with our coalition partners.

  (1110)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we know that one of the keys to fighting ISIS and any other such group that is currently operating or, unfortunately, could rise up in future is to prevent trafficking of weapons.
    Does the government plan on signing and quickly ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty, which all our partners and allies, including the United States, have already signed, but which the previous government refused to sign?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the member opposite raises a very good point. As we deal with the current threat around the world, which is significant, we have to be very mindful that these threats start when they are small. We have to get better at identifying these threats, not just in certain areas but globally. These are the discussions I have been having with the coalition partners. At the end of the day, one of the things that Canada has been very good at is identifying these threats so we can prevent the victimization of the people we are talking about today. I can say this with confidence because this what I personally did in Afghanistan.
    Canada will be taking a leadership role, and as we move forward, this is the conversation I will be having with my coalition partners.
    Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague, the Minister of National Defence, for his remarks in the House today. I appreciated his strong words of support for the Royal Canadian Air Force and our Canadian Armed Forces, and also his words of strong support as a partner in the fight against ISIL as part of the international coalition.
    When I hear some of my Conservative colleagues speak, the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka, for example, and others, it strikes me that they are posing a false choice. The false choice is either that Canada maintains its six CF-18s in Iraq and Syria, or, the Conservatives have used words like “not serious”, “not involved”, “backseat”. That is a false choice when there are other tools for contributing, as the minister has mentioned.
    Could the minister comment on the message to the Canadian army? What message might the army take away when the Conservative members consider only the involvement of the bombing sorties to be worthwhile and full participation in this fight against ISIS?
    Madam Speaker, the Canadian Armed Forces has been dealing with threats around the world. When the opposition members talk about one particular component, I can understand their passion behind that because of the decision made in their government.
    What I want to stress is that we have experience in dealing with threats around the world. Every conflict is different. My goal is ensuring that we assess properly so we bring the right tools. We have phenomenal capabilities in the Canadian Armed Forces and within the whole of government that could actually have a meaningful impact, that would increase security. That is the discussion as I move forward, ensuring that we have the right options that will have the right impact, and not only taking the fight against ISIL, but preventing the recruitment of the fighters who sustain ISIL right now.

  (1115)  

    Madam Speaker, Canadians have a responsibility to take part in all three parts of the international coalition against ISIS: diplomatic; humanitarian aid; and militarily, all three segments of the military.
    The Royal Canadian Air Force has been carrying out significant air strikes, and our international partners are also doing that against ISIS. However, not one of our allies has asked us to reduce our military contribution. In fact, we have only heard requests for more robust military interventions.
    The Liberals' plan to withdraw the CF-18s is both illogical and unjustified. In listening to the minister respond, he is saying that our CF-18 contribution is not meaningful, that it may be more meaningful if we do something other than just air strikes and training. We also heard the Minister of Foreign Affairs mention that it was not significant.
    I am wondering why the Liberals would not be standing beside the members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, along with the great men and women who serve in the special operations forces over there, and why the minister would be leading the retreat against ISIS.
    Madam Speaker, when it comes to the member's accusations, I have such a deep sense of appreciation for our Canadian Armed Forces, our air force personnel, and there is no member in this House who would not have the same viewpoint as I do. We do not need to even go down this road.
    I can assure the member that what I am trying to stress here is that we need to assess the entire problem. We have a full array of capabilities in the Canadian Armed Forces. The recommendation that I will be making to the Prime Minister and to cabinet is that we will be ensuring we have the right capabilities on the ground. Our CF-18s play a phenomenal role in many areas around the world currently, and with every option that we do present, I want to ensure it has a meaningful contribution to the evolving threat that is ISIS.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would first like to congratulate all MPs for the quality of this debate on the critical issue of our involvement in the fight against ISIS.
    As a former member of the military who served in Afghanistan, I obviously share many of the concerns expressed by the members of the opposition. I also commend the wisdom of the government and the minister in choosing to be flexible in their actions and to retain the most crucial means with a view to future interventions.
    However, with regard to the land force, I have concerns about the fast pace of the operations, which, over the years, have overtaxed our men and women who have served in the different missions.
    I would also like to remind the minister that the analysis of the next mission, which we will decide on together, will have to consider the depth of the mission as well as the concept of flexibility and ensure that our contribution respects the men and women whom we will probably applaud over the next few hours.
    We must also—

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I do not know if I heard a question in that, but what I got from his comments was regarding the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces.
    We talk a lot about our capabilities, but the number one asset in the Canadian Armed Forces are the men and women. The capabilities that we give them enhance their capabilities. When it comes to future missions that our government sends them on, we will make sure they have the right capabilities to carry those missions out.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, since this is my first full speech in the House, I want to take this opportunity to thank the people of Laurier—Sainte-Marie for their renewed trust in me. It is an honour to debate the motion moved by the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka, since it essentially calls on us to continue with the Conservative government's policy. It goes without saying that this is really not a good idea. That government kept expanding a mission that began with providing assistance and advice. The mission progressed to bombings and even led to the death of a Canadian soldier on the front lines. There were boots on the ground.
    Under the previous government we also saw the prime minister make light of questions about whether the bombings in Syria were legitimate under international law. He essentially made light of international law, which is, I should point out, our greatest guarantee of security.
    This motion also refers to NATO. I must point out that the coalition's activities are not led by NATO, nor are they led by the United Nations. I do not want to spend all of my time talking about what the previous government did, but it had no exit strategy and, more importantly, no peace plan.
    We still do not know exactly what the Liberal government's plans are. We will have questions about that. We know the bombings are still happening. When will they stop?
    They talk about training, but we do not really have any details or a timeline. As with any such action, we need more details. Although we have a lot of questions and doubts about the current approach, it would be ideal to have an exit plan. We would like to know all of that soon.
    We have always made it clear that we do not think Canada should be involved in this war. That does not mean we should do nothing at all. Yes, we have to fight ISIS and terrorism in general, but we have to do it with the right tools for the current situation. We also need to respond to the emergency.
    Humanitarian aid is another issue. Canada will be receiving quite a few refugees. That is excellent, and we applaud that initiative. Nevertheless, everyone has to understand that helping refugees solves only a very small part of the problem. There are three million displaced people in Iraq and 6.5 million in Syria. There are also 4.5 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. That is making for some very difficult situations in those countries. For example, in Lebanon, a significant proportion of the population is now made up of refugees. We must do everything we can to prevent the situation from destabilizing those countries and to prevent the chaos—and it is chaos—from spreading to other countries.
    People have been displaced within Syria, and seven million people have serious humanitarian aid needs. We absolutely have to do something about that. We have to work on water supply and education. We do not want a lost generation, but that is what could happen. Not only have children been traumatized, but they will have gone years without access to education.

  (1120)  

    We need to think about the future. Once the situation in Syria has been resolved, we will have to start thinking about what the country will need to rebuild. Syria needs young people who are strong, well educated and able to contribute to the national effort.
    Clearly, I am not even talking about shelter. It is winter for the people who have been displaced as well. Perhaps it is not Canadian winter, but even Canadian winter is changing. These people need medical attention. There is so much to do. Humanitarian aid is absolutely essential in the name of our humanity and our obligation to show solidarity. It is also essential to the fight against ISIS.
    Obviously, this is not a traditional war. When I hear answers that reflect traditional warfare thinking, namely the whole idea that they are enemies and therefore must be bombed, I cannot help but think that this is a last-century or even last-millennium reaction, philosophy or approach.
    At this point, we are up against a propaganda war, and it is crucial that we win hearts and minds. Tragic attacks have been carried out all over the world, including the recent attacks in Paris. The people who perpetrated those acts were born and raised in France. The attacks were planned in Belgium. These people were inspired by anger, by resentment and by the Islamic State and its ideology. It is that ideology that we need to fight.
    I have spoken with a number of people from humanitarian organizations working on the ground who happened to be in Canada. I even visited a refugee camp myself. Everyone I spoke to underscored the fact that this is complicating their work and creating confusion among the population. Even those who were being helped by the humanitarian groups did not understand why they were being helped and bombed at the same time. People do not necessarily make that distinction. As everyone knows, this kind of action often and unfortunately leads to collateral damage or mistakes in one form or another.
    Humanitarian aid is absolutely crucial. It is a tool that goes beyond what we should do for the sake of dignity or solidarity. It can also help prevent radicalization in the entire region. It is another form of action that is absolutely crucial.
    We have to cut off the money supply to ISIS. We also have to stop it from recruiting and that is done by combatting radicalization here and abroad.
    The refugee camps surrounding the Central African Republic are now being used for recruiting new jihadists. Canada is no longer giving anything to UNRWA, which can no longer fund schools for young Palestinians. Those young people therefore have less hope for the future and more time on their hands.
    We have to address these issues to combat radicalization all around the world. We must also combat radicalization here at home. That can only be done by working with the communities. If we want to cut off their resources, then we must also stop the flow of weapons.
    Earlier today, I had the opportunity to ask whether Canada would finally sign and ratify the arms trade treaty, which is an essential tool. Unfortunately I did not get a response. Nevertheless, I encourage the new government to address this important issue as soon as possible. We must also stop the flow of money from all sources. We know there is private funding and funding from oil-rich countries.

  (1125)  

    I will be told that oil facilities could be bombed, but another option is to have better monitoring of the flow of oil at the borders. We also know about the trafficking of art, in particular, and hostage-taking. There are a number of tools available, and we have been given a very clear mandate by the United Nations to work together in taking action. The President of France said that we must start doing much more about this issue. I would very much like to see Canada show leadership on these matters.
    Above all, we must find a path to peace. ISIL was able to establish itself in Syria because of the chaos in that country. It also has a foothold in Iraq because of the country's prevailing problems with governance and exclusion. This has helped ISIL pit one segment of the population against the other. These are the fundamental problems in those countries and, I repeat, in others.
    We have heard a lot about prevention. We must start looking elsewhere, where this kind of thing is going on. We know what is happening in Libya right now. We must do something about all those things that help terrorist groups thrive. We need a political solution in Syria. As Dominique de Villepin, France's former foreign affairs minister, said, we need to use tools for peace because, so far, all we have seen, with our bombings elsewhere and interventions in Iraq, war nourishes war. Let us try a new approach, since the approaches we have taken in the past have not been very successful, and let us focus as much as possible on tools for peace.
    We must find a political solution in Syria. I hope that the new government will work with our allies, participate in the discussions that are currently taking place and try to make a contribution.
    I know that, unfortunately, the Conservative government's policies have seriously undermined Canada's ability to contribute to these kinds of negotiations, but I think that we need to get back to work. We need to build a governance structure in Iraq, which is absolutely essential.
    As I said, we need to work on promoting democracy around the world. I know that seems like the kind of work that will produce only long-term results and that I might sound like a dreamer, but we need to face the facts. So far, our approaches to these challenges have not worked, so we need to try something else.
    The words of Ban Ki-moon seem fitting here. I think they sum the situation up quite well. He said that, over the longer term, the biggest threat to terrorists is not the power of missiles, it is the politics of inclusion. I could not agree more. Some political leaders, particularly among our neighbours to the south, have decided to adopt the politics of exclusion. That plays right into the terrorists' hands, and that is what we must not do. With respect to dropping bombs, many analysts say that kind of knee-jerk reaction also plays into the terrorists' hands because that is what they want us to do.

  (1130)  

    In light of the atrocities committed by ISIS and the Bashar al-Assad regime, I find it striking that they are not mentioned in the motion moved by my colleague from Parry Sound—Muskoka, if I am not mistaken. Naturally, the initial reaction calls for violence, aggression, and warmongering.
    However, we should recall the words of Ban Ki-moon and try to develop more appropriate and comprehensive approaches.

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my NDP colleague for her speech.
    I have a question and a comment about the responsibility to protect vulnerable people around the world.

[English]

    It was a previous Liberal government, under Minister Lloyd Axworthy, that was critical in establishing the responsibility to protect doctrine in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide.
     It is clear that the Islamic State has committed many atrocities, arguably some of the worst and most widespread atrocities in recent memory. We do not need to enumerate them here. My question is this. If the atrocities committed by the Islamic State are not enough to trigger the responsibility to protect doctrine by the current government, what kinds of atrocities do we need to see before it will invoke that doctrine? If it is not willing to invoke it in this situation, does that really mean that it is abandoning that very basic humanitarian approach that would ensure the prevention of genocides like that of Rwanda from taking place around the world?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question.
    Invoking the responsibility to protect has been discussed at length.

[English]

    That having been said, it is important to remember that the responsibility to protect is not something that one country can invoke. There are clear criteria in the doctrine. Military intervention must be approved by the UN Security Council. Therefore, we cannot invoke R2P, the responsibility to protect, unless there is a decision by the UN Security Council. In this case, we obviously do not have either a UN Security Council endorsement or a NATO endorsement. That lack of endorsement by a multilateral body is a further problem with the mission.
    Madam Speaker, this is my first time rising in the House. I want to thank my family and the fabulous constituents of Northumberland—Peterborough South who have put their faith and trust in me.
    I also want to say that my daughter-in-law Kathy, and my grandchildren Morgan and Hobie have just now become Canadian citizens. It is a very proud day for me, and I am happy to be standing in the House.
    I want to thank my colleague for her comments this morning. We talk a lot about our coalition partners and having those conversations about the fluid situation that is happening with ISIS in various parts of the world and how Canada can adjust our contributions in a way that is most meaningful. I wonder if she could elaborate on how she sees that happening.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question, and I welcome her to the House.
    As I pointed out, we are already providing some humanitarian aid, but we could do more. In my opinion, this aid is absolutely vital, both from a humanitarian and compassionate point of view and also to support the fight against these terrorist groups. I would like to expand the debate a bit on that point.
    There must be more humanitarian aid for this region, where there is such terrible suffering. However, we must not forget other crises, such as those in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, which could lead to problems in the future. We must work in the long term to build democracy and solve the current political crises.
    The problem emerging in Libya is a very good example. Even though we participated with other countries in the bombings, we did not have a sufficient presence to help the people build a new country. Today, there are significant problems that could affect neighbouring countries, and action is required.
    I have something else to say about bombings, but I will save it for later.

  (1140)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to take the opportunity to say how good it is to see you in the chair, and I know that you will bring both a sense of fairness and dignity as well as some gender balance to our chair. It is great to see you there today.
    My question to my hon. colleague has to do with the important point she raised about radicalization. We all know the attacks that have occurred around the world are unusual in that they are not part of an organized and systematic attempt by ISIL to do things, but rather the inspiration people receive through their radicalization.
    In debate on Bill C-51, the NDP asked the Conservative government at that time to include measures to counter radicalization in Canada, and it did not do so.
    I want to ask the member if she has seen any indications from the current Liberal government that it will take strong action to counter radicalization here in Canada.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I hope the Liberal government plans to introduce a concrete plan to combat radicalization, in partnership with communities, here and around the world.
    At this point, the problem is that we are up against a war that is not a traditional or conventional war, but we are using conventional fighting methods that are not at all suited to the situation.
    I want to come back to the issue of radicalization around the world. In the early weeks of the American bombings, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a widely recognized organization, said that during that period, ISIS managed to recruit 6,000 new jihadists.
    We really need to ask ourselves whether bombing is simply leading to more recruiting; if so, then it is counterproductive.
    Fighting a new kind of war with tools from the last century is simply not going to work.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, some of the comments the member is making just make me concerned that she may not understand even the basic nature of Daesh as an organization. It is not like al Qaeda, which simply exists as a type of cell-based organization. It is an organization that has effectively a quasi-state. It controls territories. It has bureaucrats. Actually, traditional, conventional military mechanisms are a very effective way of combatting it.
    A lot of things that have been said seem to me, respectfully, kind of pie in the sky. To look at this in concrete terms, we have a killer on the loose, a group of killers. What do we do to prevent the violence? Do we provide training from behind the lines? Do we educate youth and give out food? Should we, at the very least, first stop the killing, stop the violence against the innocent, and then move on to other things after that?
    Madam Speaker, I understand that it is a quasi-state, but there are further ramifications that make the problem more complex. Yes, all of us would like to stop the killings and the atrocities committed by ISIS, or let us remember, by Bashar al-Assad's regime. The question is how best to do that. There is a gut reaction of saying the best way to do that is to go bombing, and that is what we question.

  (1145)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, the hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie, for her speech.
    I would like to know whether she sees the withdrawal of our CF-18s and the reorientation of our mission as the end of our vigorous fight against Daesh, which is how the Conservatives mistakenly see it, in my view.
    Madam Speaker, I completely agree. We also want to fight against Daesh or ISIS. We are proposing different tools that we think will be more effective. Like the Liberals, we believe that bombing is not the right approach for Canada to take. We would go even a little further than that. Yes, I completely agree that withdrawing the CF-18s does not mean that we are stepping away from the fight against ISIS.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Thornhill.
    I am very proud to speak today in the House on a subject that is very important to me.
    I had the honour and privilege of working for the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 20 years and I earned the rank of lieutenant-colonel, like our colleague from National Defence. I am therefore in a position to talk about something that concerns me and many Canadians, specifically the withdrawal of our CF-18s from Syria and Iraq.
     Our allies, including the United States, France, and England have decided to ramp up their attacks and bombing against ISIS. An international coalition is being formed on a consensus that it is their common duty to combat ISIS, which has made no secret of the fact that Canada and many other allied countries are potential targets for deadly attacks.
    The Prime Minister has not provided a single plausible explanation to justify withdrawing our CF-18s from Iraq and Syria, from this so-called asymmetrical warfare, for our NDP colleagues who may need some information.
    The explanations from Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs were nebulous at best, and completely incomprehensible at worst. He spoke about potentially increasing training for local police, providing governance assistance, without defining what that means in the middle of a war against ISIS, and helping create democratic institutions in Iraq. Does the minister understand that when we are in the middle of a war, that is not the time for teaching, but the time for combatting the common enemy?
    This government does not seem to have a plan. The Minister of Foreign Affairs promised us a plan soon, and I cannot wait to see this plan in writing, since the minister is not even able to explain it to us in the House. We cannot wait to see it.
    Canada must now make a clear commitment to combatting ISIS by keeping our CF-18s in Iraqi and Syrian territory. The Iraqi government openly called for military support from members of the international community to combat ISIS.
    My NDP colleague mentioned the United Nations Security Council. Does she know that the United Nations Security Council remains seized of the threat posed by international terrorism? On September 24, 2014, the UN unanimously passed resolution 2178, which states, and I quote:
    Reaffirming that terrorism in all forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed, and remaining determined to contribute further to enhancing the effectiveness of the overall effort to fight this scourge on a global level...
    Yes, you can make what you will of a UN resolution. However, we saw what happened in Rwanda in 1994 when we put General Dallaire in an impossible situation where he was unable to prevent the massacre of 800,000 Tutsis.
    From my experience, I know that in this fight against ISIS, it is critical to destroy the enemy's resource base. We must not forget that ISIS is advancing on the ground and that refugees are being hunted down. Our involvement keeps ISIS from advancing and thus helps the local population. In an armed conflict, our air force supports the supply effort, does locating, and so on.
    Why take away the final resource, the one required to destroy located targets? The answer is obvious. Our CF-18 fighter jets must continue their mission in Iraq and Syria. We have special forces that are assisting the Kurds. We have soldiers who are giving valuable advice and getting a lot of information. If we withdraw the CF-18s, what will we do with the intelligence that our aircraft gather on their radar missions? We will send it to our American and British allies so that they can do the bombing.
    By withdrawing our CF-18s, we are failing to complete the job. Soldiers do their job from A to Z. By withdrawing the jets, we are forgetting about Z. We are stopping at Y and letting others finish the job. As a former military officer, I can say that our Conservative government raised our Canadian Armed Forces to unprecedented heights.

  (1150)  

    Why beat a retreat? Why stop?
    That would be a slap in the face to all of our men and women in uniform who laboured for years to perfect their skills, an insult to the sacrifices their families were forced to make when they spent months away from home being trained to do their work well.
    I would like to make another important point. When I was teaching in France, at the military school in Paris, I would ask my students to stop making long speeches about their plans and to focus on the ultimate mission. I can assure you that I got results that way.
    Canada's goal and that of our allies is to destroy ISIS. That is what everyone wants. President Obama even said last week that we have to put an end to ISIS because it is a major threat to humanity.
    In the battle against a mobile and formidable enemy, our CF-18 fighter jets are making a valuable contribution to eliminating ISIS targets. We are blocking its progress by attacking its caches of supplies, weapons, munitions and fuel. That is extremely important.
    I am appealing to the government's good sense to preserve Canada's international reputation. I am asking the government to keep our CF-18 fighter jets in Iraq and Syria. “Army” rhymes with “credibility”. As a country, we need to preserve our credibility.
    Madam Speaker, I congratulate my colleague on his election.
    As far as our war against ISIL, against Daesh is concerned, our government made the right decision. Mathematically speaking, our CF-18s have flown less than 2% of the missions, but the cost is very high. What is more, we are putting the lives of our pilots at risk.
    Our government has decided to use that money for humanitarian aid, to help the people who need it. We will also work with our allies to help the countries in that region properly monitor and control their borders to prevent Daesh from bringing in more people to augment its own army.
    The Government of Canada must also work with our allies to ensure that Daesh cannot use black market oil to fill its coffers. That is how to combat Daesh effectively and properly.

  (1155)  

    Madam Speaker, today we learned straight from the mouth of our Liberal colleague that this is in fact a financial decision that the Liberals are making. The purpose of withdrawing the CF-18s is to save money. That is news to us. We are making cuts to our forces and ceasing air strikes just to save money.
    I take issue when the government says it is going to withdraw our pilots from a mission when in fact it is their job. It is what they do. Their job is to fly CF-18s. The government is withdrawing them from this mission because they might be in danger. In danger of what? We are involved in bombings, not air combat.
    We see where the government is heading, and it is insulting.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would first like to thank the hon. member for his service.
    I have many friends who currently serve. I lost a former schoolmate of mine in Afghanistan. I am also the son of a retired service officer. I think everyone in the House agrees that the men and women of our Canadian Armed Forces do an outstanding job every time they are called into action.
    Since being elected to the House as a member of Parliament for the great people of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, I have really become aware of the responsibility that rests on my shoulders. The things we debate in the House have very real outcomes in the course in which we direct our country.
    When I think about the motion we are debating today, there is one expression that comes to mind. In order for us to extend our hands, we must first unclench our fists. I have always been struck by the rationale of meeting violence with more violence and expecting that we are somehow going to reach a peaceful outcome.
    Could my hon. colleague please explain how he believes that bombing will work, given the fact that we have so many examples from the region over a decade that this does not in fact lead to a peaceful outcome?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, to explain why this will work, we could ask President Obama, President Hollande, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Countries decided to form an international coalition. Over 25 countries are involved in the same kind of combat. Top generals, military strategists, who have a great deal more experience than I do, decided that that was the right thing to do. I, sitting here in the House, am not the person to draw up a major military strategy, and I think our allies are strong enough and competent enough that we can follow them, not blindly, but by standing shoulder to shoulder with our partners.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs sauntered into NATO headquarters the other day suggesting he did not have to do much of a sales job to sell the government's misguided campaign pledge to withdraw Canada's CF18s from the coalition air mission in Iraq and Syria. The minister reportedly has made much of the fact that Canada, according to him, delivers only 2% of the bombing strikes.
    While the minister and his leader may try to diminish the importance of 2% in a military context, they are certainly going off wildly in the other direction over the less than 2% of global greenhouse gases Canada emits every year. Therefore, my question is this. Is 2% a lot or a little? I believe Canadians deserve an answer and an explanation as to why the new government defies the will of Canadians, and I know many in the Liberal caucus.
    There is no apparent logic to remove the sharp point of our Canadian forces' spear. We are told that the surveillance aircraft will remain; that the fuelling aircraft that enables strike aircraft from across the international coalition and their missions will remain; that the technology and personnel, which paint targets for the smart bombs and other munitions for the coalition, will remain; and that our ground trainers, who work with peshmerga and Iraqi troops in battlefield situations when there are few identified front lines, will remain. However, we have not yet had a logical, credible reason offered as to why the CF-18s will be withdrawn.
    Not breaking a campaign promise in a season of broken campaign promises is simply not acceptable justification. Therefore, I am moved to wonder if it comes down to a matter of sort of conscientious objection. I understand that an individual might choose to stand back from the actual delivery of death and destruction in time of war and to pick and choose alternatives. However, conscientious objection by an individual, or even a group of individuals on the other side of the House, is quite different from imposing one specific belief on a nation where a clear majority of Canadians support the complete military mission.
    Now is not the time for Canada to step back and force our allies to take on a heavier burden in the fight against ISIS. The new government inherits a standing obligation made to our NATO partners and our responsibility to protect the freedom, democracy, safety, and security of Canadians. That is because whether it is called Daesh, ISIS, or ISIL, it is not only a threat to the region; it also poses a serious danger to Canada and the world. The terrorist death cult, and that is exactly what it is, has called on its sympathizers around the globe to target those who do not agree with its ideology, using any means, no matter how barbaric. We have seen in recent weeks, months, and now years, just how much death and destruction such calls to violence can cause.
    It is true that many terrorist plots have been interdicted, but far too many have been carried to deadly completion. Furthermore, ISIS has threatened Canada, and Canadians specifically, urging its supporters to harm disbelieving Canadians in any manner possible. We have seen plots intercepted on our own soil. There were deadly terrorist inspired attacks in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, at the national war memorial just down the street, and not that many metres from where we sit today, in the chamber of what ISIS spokesmen have described as Canada's infidel Parliament.
    Across our country, certainly in my riding of Thornhill, Canadians are justifiably concerned. We know they expect their government to take strong action. That is why our government committed the Canadian Armed Forces to the broad international coalition against ISIS.
     I would like to take a moment to again express profound appreciation to all our members of the Canadian Armed Forces, at home and in theatre, for their meaningful engagement in this fight against terror.
    Our government had a three element commitment to this tragic region of the Middle East, which included many hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian relief on the ground to assist in the comfort and care of the millions of displaced civilians. As well, since 2009, Canada welcomed some 25,000 refugees from first Iraq and then increasingly from Syria, with commitments this year for 20,000 in a continuing compassionate but security-conscious process.

  (1200)  

    Then there was the third essential element, and perhaps in the long run Canada's most important contribution, our commitment to the international coalition's military mission. That is because, in the long run, the most important thing that democratic nations around the world can deliver to the millions of suffering people of the Levant is peace and the ability to return to admittedly destroyed homes and communities to begin to rebuild their shattered lives.
    Last year, during the prime minister's historic visit to Israel and Jordan, I had an experience that will be burned into my consciousness for the rest of my life. While the prime minister and official party visited the vast Zaatari refugee camp in the northeast quarter of Jordan near the Syrian border, a number of us were flown by Jordanian helicopter to the far northwestern Jordanian border with Syria and Iraq.
    In my previous life as a journalist, I saw many terrible scenes and natural disasters, manmade tragedies, and wars—Vietnam, Cambodia, Rhodesia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Israel—but that scene on Jordan's border with Syria and Iraq was like no other. We saw scores of men, women, and children carrying their remaining life possessions in blankets and bags and knapsacks, trudging out of the distant desert haze toward the small detachment of heavily armed Jordanian soldiers at the border.
    It was not a typical border crossing. It was just a bulldozer-scraped scratch in the sand and gravel of the desert. The guns of the Jordanian army were not aimed at the refugees but at the terrorist gangs still roaming the area, though not present that day. These soldiers were not trying to stop the influx of refugees; they were there to welcome them to sanctuary. In fact, given the low threat risk that particular day, some of the soldiers laid down their arms and walked across the border into Syrian no man's land to assist, to carry bags and children and the infirm back to vehicles that then transported the refugees to a nearby transit camp for food, water, medical support, and comfort before then being relocated to the ever-growing Zaatari camp on the other side of Jordan.
    We spent time with these folks. Some had struggled many hundreds of kilometres to reach safety. Some of these people may well be among the lucky few who will be welcomed to Canada or to other developed countries in Europe and elsewhere. However, in the camps in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, many of the refugees still hold out hope—admittedly faint hope at the moment—that they will one day be able to return to their home communities in Syria and Iraq. The reality for most of these displaced millions is that this dream is the best dream they have.
    That is why the international military mission is so important as a key part of Canada's three-pronged commitment to the people of the Levant. That is why I consider the Minister of Foreign Affairs' flippant measurement of the Canadian Forces' valiant service in percentage terms so demeaning to our men and women who put themselves in harm's way for democracy and freedom. I believe an apology is in order. That is why it is so important that Canada not leave the heavy lifting of this war to our coalition allies.

  (1205)  

    Mr. Speaker, this being my first occasion to rise in the House, I would first like to thank the constituents of Etobicoke—Lakeshore for giving me the honour of being here.
    The motion seems to be positioned in such a way as to say that we are working with our allies or we are not. We are in or we are out.
    The speeches we have heard today suggest that the only way to participate in this mission to fight ISIS is through bombing. We all agree that we have to support our men and women in the military, and we all agree that we have to fight ISIS. My concern is that members across the floor, by taking this position, are creating the impression that the role played by other members of the military in the non-bombing aspect is a lesser role, and that not does provide them with the respect they deserve. Would my friend agree?
    Mr. Speaker, I certainly do not agree. I made clear in my remarks that what the official opposition is arguing for is the fulfilment of our commitment, as the previous government, to NATO, to our coalition allies, who still ask that Canada participate in the complete mission, not to pick and choose. I raise that question of conscientious objection. There has yet been no explanation, no clear justification, from the Prime Minister or any of his ministers as to why Canada is withdrawing one element of the war against ISIS.
    As the son of veterans, as a former reserve officer, as I said in my speech, I respect completely the work of our Canadian Forces, both at headquarters at home, on bases across the country as they cycle in and out of theatre, and in the Levant where the men and women are serving in this very important battle against international terrorism.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. member for Thornhill for a very eloquent speech. I wonder if the members adjacent might have spoken with equal eloquence in favour of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
    Now, after a decade of bombing Iraq, I wonder if they would acknowledge that it has not actually led to peace and, in fact, has created and contributed to the conditions that have allowed ISIS to thrive.

  (1210)  

    Mr. Speaker, in part, my colleague is correct.
    I would go back to a point made by one of his colleagues earlier that, in fact, the world is no longer the world that existed in conflicts of the past century. It is impossible to defend end points in a conflict with terrorist opponents of all stripes who value martyrdom more than negotiated peace. That is why sometimes when I hear colleagues on the other side of the House long for the days of Pearsonian peacekeepers, I feel that they are somewhat naive and do not recognize the reality of the fight against terror, the fight against ISIS, which is a sophisticated terror organization, far more sophisticated than al Qaeda, far more sophisticated than the Taliban, led by former professional army officers of the Iraqi army.
    On this point, my colleague is right in that the liberating armies that went in to depose Saddam Hussein in the war in Iraq left too early. There is no question. It was a mistake, because the officers of the defeated regime have banded with the Sunni terrorists and are now operating this state.
    I can tell members that I believe the coalition, in this case, is in for the long run.
    As a tip for hon. members, when they are in the midst of comments or questions or, indeed, during their speeches, I would ask them to direct their attention to the Chair from time to time. The Chair is able to give signals as to how much time is remaining and perhaps how members may want to move along so we can get to another question or comment.
    Resuming debate, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
    The international community will defeat ISIL, and Canada is and will be a part of that fight and ultimate success. This government wishes to profoundly thank the members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their dedication, courage, and hard work as part of Operation Impact.
    The women and men of our Armed Forces deserve to be protected from attempts to politicize their mission and sacrifice. Unfortunately, the former Conservative government did that too much, and it is one of the reasons why they are today in the opposition. Conservatives did it in giving the sense that they were alone in support of our troops and alone willing to fight terrorism. This kind of dogmatism exaggerated partisanship. This blatant distortion of the truth is one of the explanations why they are in the opposition, and I wish them a good reflection about that, so they change their attitude and come up with a debate that will be a tribute to our ability to understand that we might have different views about how to tackle the danger, but we are all patriotic, we all want to fight terrorism, and we all want to protect our citizens even though we disagree about the ways to do it.
    The terrorist activities that ISIL, or the so-called Islamic State, undertakes in the territories controlled in Iraq and Syria have resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions of people.
     It continues to target members of religious and ethnic communities, has licensed rape and the enslavement of women, and has callously destroyed places of worship and irreplaceable archeological sites.
    While there remains much to be done, the coalition has made significant progress over the past year.

  (1215)  

[Translation]

     The so-called Islamic State has been pushed back from territory in Iraq and Syria that it used to occupy, and thousands in those countries no longer live as prisoners in their own cities.

[English]

    In Iraq, the cities of Tikrit and Sinjar have been liberated, and Iraqi forces are currently fighting to free Ramadi. Refugees and displaced people have returned to their homes to rebuild their lives and communities.
     The military campaign against ISIL is critical, and Canada's contribution has been and will remain significant. The issue is how we can make it optimal.

[Translation]

     This fight is not about religion or civilizations. It is about human civilization against terrorism. Every country involved in this fight has a responsibility to identify its strengths and to see how these strengths can complement those of its allies, in order to defeat terrorism in Iraq and elsewhere.

[English]

    This past month, I spoke to many of Canada's partners in the coalition at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in the Philippines, the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta, and the NATO and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe ministerials. The Prime Minister did as well.
    The message was always the same: our allies respect and understand our choices, and they welcome our decision to focus our contributions in areas where they will have maximum long-term impact, in full consultation and complementarity with our allies.
    Why do our allies want Canada to be involved in all these files? It is because they tremendously respect the men and women in uniform for their professionalism, dedication, and ability to protect the population. We must all be proud of them.
    Canada's contributions moving forward will be part of a long-term comprehensive strategy to address this key global concern. I understand that the opposition would like to see the full plan right away. It is its job to ask us to do so. It will come. It is important to do it. We cannot do it alone in a corner of the table. We need to do it in full co-operation and consultation with our allies, which is what we are doing.
    We have put in place a broad array of mechanisms to disrupt or stop the flow of foreign fighters. We need to improve them to be more effective. Working closely with our allies, we are sharing information, best practices, tools, and programs to better understand who these people are, how they are radicalized, get trained, and move, and how can we win.

[Translation]

     In the past year, the coalition has launched a comprehensive campaign to cut off ISIL's finances and disrupt and prevent this terrorist organization from raising, moving and using funds, and from abusing the international financial system.

[English]

    Canada is playing a leadership role in advancing this international effort, including through our work in the Financial Action Task Force and the G7. We want to improve this role. It will be part of the plan.
    Canada has also initiated domestic efforts and is providing support to international efforts to thwart ISIL's recruitment efforts and reduce radicalization leading to violence, through activities aimed at exposing and countering ISIL's hateful message and ideology. This is something that we need to strengthen as well.

[Translation]

     On the ground in Iraq, Canadian funding to local organizations contributes to delivering stabilization projects to address short-term needs and to support resiliency and stability. We must boost assistance for these local organizations.

[English]

    The antidote to ISIL's nihilist non-state is a functioning state. As the world has witnessed, this is difficult, time consuming work that requires intense international collaboration. Canada has a lot of skill to strengthen the institutions of Iraq, and we will mobilize these skills.
    Iraq, therefore, requires a political solution as well as a military one. It requires a political solution that addresses the root causes of its instability, that unites Iraqis and gives them a reason to place their trust in the central government and to fight for their country. Our closest allies and coalition partners recognize this.
    To prevent another group from replacing the defeated ISIL, to prevent a series of Middle East civil wars that span generations, we must look at what Canada can do to contribute to long-term political stability.

[Translation]

     With regard to security assistance, we are aware that there is a crucial need for continued training of Iraqi forces, and the Canadian Armed Forces are well placed to help prepare Iraqis in this area. Training the Iraqi forces must be an important part of our new plan. By contributing in this way, we will ensure that Iraqis are able to defend themselves and take the lead on the battlefield.

  (1220)  

[English]

    We are also actively considering if the RCMP can make a contribution in the training of the Iraqi police, and our current talks with our allies indicate that this is a possibility that they would highly welcome.
    By increasing our contribution to stabilization programming, and protecting the most vulnerable populations, the internally displaced members of ethnic and religious minorities who have suffered at the hands of this so-called Islamic State, and the victims of sexual violence, we need to increase our humanitarian assistance and make sure it helps those in need.

[Translation]

    In conclusion, we are proud of the contributions of the Canadian Armed Forces in this fight, and they will continue to play an important role in Canadian contributions moving forward.

[English]

    Canadians want us to have a robust fight against ISIL. They want us to choose the best tools that we have in Canada and to have a plan that will contribute to the efforts of the coalition with our allies. We will do so together, colleagues, because it is our duty, because we need to support our brave men and women in uniform as well as diplomats and citizens on the ground, and do everything we can to provide peace and justice in Iraq.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. minister for his speech. Of course, platitudes and eloquence can go a long way in this place, but in the war against terrorism and dealing with the threats, we need to see action.
    I would simply suggest to the minister that if every country that has pledged to downgrade or rid the world of the scourge of ISIL, or whatever one may call it, did what this government is doing by withdrawing a very important tool in that fight, then what kind of world would we live in? If everyone decided to step down in the way that Canada is now, what kind of world would we live in, and is that what this minister wants to represent to the world?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada is not withdrawing. Canada is refocusing its efforts in a way to be more effective within the coalition. I think that is clear. Why is the member distorting what I have said? It is not helpful.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, there were two parts to the speech by my hon. colleague on the government side.
     In the first part of his speech, he said that we were training Iraqi police to enable them to occupy a stabilized area. However, we are not yet there. The minister is talking as though we are already at this post-war stage, when we are still in the middle of a war.
    Furthermore, at the beginning of his speech the minister said that in the past 12 months, the coalition has made significant progress in stopping ISIL and that people are returning to their cities. This confirms that the bombings were effective, since people are returning to their cities. It works.
    Will the CF-18s continue to help the coalition?
     Mr. Speaker, I am not saying that the bombings are ineffective, but that Canada could be more effective by doing something other than contributing to the air strikes Our contribution is fairly small, despite the courage of our air force. We can do much more.
    My colleague spoke of villages that have been liberated. The first thing we must do when a village is liberated is to ensure that there is a police force that people trust, one that is well trained and professional, that is not perceived as a threat but as an element of security that can serve as the basis for rebuilding something.
    He spoke about ground battles. They must be conducted by the country's own forces, the Iraqi forces, and the soldiers must be well trained. Canada is known around the world for its ability to train military and police personnel. We are very good at it and we are asked to do it.
    I believe that I will be able to convince my colleague when, in a few weeks' time, he sees that what we intend to do is very good because it will make Canada more effective in the coalition, not less effective.
    In the meantime, the Canadian Forces are still there and are continuing with the plan that the former government had put in place. Thus, there is no vacuum. We will simply enhance Canada's contribution to the fight against this violent terrorist group in order to bring peace to this region of the world.

  (1225)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, do the minister and Liberal government agree with the NDP that Canada must boost humanitarian aid in areas where there would be an immediate life-saving impact, including building winterized camps for refugees, with water, sanitation and hygiene, and providing health and education for those who are displaced; partnering with organizations to combat sexual violence and providing support for survivors; and offering assistance to the international community to investigate and prosecute alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Iraq?
    Mr. Speaker, I agree with a lot of what my colleague has said. However, it is difficult to provide humanitarian help in a situation where the lives of people are in danger. No humanitarian workers would go to such places if we did not provide security as well. We agree with the Conservatives that we need to fight the enemy in order to provide humanitarian help. However, the debate is how to do it in an optimal and efficient way in a coalition where we are not alone but are working with our partners. That is what is at stake. Of course, we need to provide more humanitarian help. However, it may not happen on its own in a region of the world where there is no security.
    Mr. Speaker, I believe this is the first time you have been in the chair and it is a pleasure to recognize that you have attained this august position.
    It is also the first time I have had an opportunity to thank the people of Scarborough—Guildwood for returning me for a seventh time to this chamber over the course of 18 years. It is an honour to represent the people of Scarborough—Guildwood again. I want to thank my wife, my family, and what I consider to be the best campaign team in Canada for helping me to return here.
    It is always a privilege to recognize that we are 1 of 338 people in all of Canada who gets to come into this chamber and debate the important issues facing our nation. It is, from time to time, something that one has to remember, but it is an incredible privilege. I welcome all new members here for this debate and others.
    Turning to the matter at hand, I want to look at the motion and make three comments. The first is with regard to the following:
...ISIS has taken responsibility for recent deadly attacks...and has declared war on Canada
    The first issue with the motion is that only a state can declare war. Words matter in this House. I am assuming, and I am going to give my Conservative colleagues the benefit of the doubt, that they did not intend to recognize ISIL or ISIS as a state. It is not a state, and therefore it cannot declare war.
    I would just raise that as a point of drafting. As I said, in this place, words do matter.
    The second issue is that the motion makes an assumption:
(a) acknowledge that now is not the time for Canada to step back and force our allies to take on a heavier burden
    That is a presumption. There is no factual basis that could point to any indication on the part of either ministers or the government or even during the campaign where we have agreed to step back. I would be quite interested in any fact to support that presumption.
    The third point is:
(b) remind the government of its obligation to our NATO partners
    That is a curious point. Indeed, the Prime Minister has visited many of our NATO partners, and possibly all of our NATO partners, over the last two, three, or four weeks. He has had a direct conversation about Canada's involvement in this conflict with President Obama. He has had a direct conversation with Prime Minister Cameron and with President Hollande.
     More importantly, the Prime Minister, and indeed everyone who is in this House, has had a direct conversation with the people of Canada and our constituents. I dare say, the message was loud and clear that Canadians want us to re-profile our involvement in this conflict, with a working presumption, which I presume all members of this House share, to bring this conflict to an end.
    Really, working on the good faith of colleagues here, the question is merely how to bring this conflict to a conclusion and, indeed, what is the best contribution that Canadians can make to bring this conflict to a conclusion.
    I know we are approaching the Christmas season, and I want to recommend to my colleagues a little Christmas reading. It is a book called Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East, by Scott Anderson.

  (1230)  

     I do not intend to promote the sale of Mr. Anderson's book, but I think it is a helpful context for us to consider how we got from there to here.
    Members will recollect that during World War I, the British and the Germans were in effect fighting for the support of the various tribal groups in that area, known as the Ottoman Empire and the Caliphate. The British had one very, very capable individual in this area, Lawrence of Arabia. Lawrence of Arabia took the time to get to understand the area, the language, the religion, and the various customs of these various tribes. Ultimately those tribes supported the British in the war, and that indeed contributed to the ultimate allied victory in World War I.
    In a disgraceful piece of history, the French and the British, under the Sykes-Picot agreement, carved up this area into arbitrary states, and hence laid the seeds for the conflict that we see here today.
    The point I want to draw out of this book is that Lawrence of Arabia was successful because he made a huge effort to understand the area, the language, the customs, the people, and the various tribal loyalties. In my judgment, we are actually making the same mistakes all over again.
    We do not get it. We do not understand what drives the conflicts there. There has been for the last number of years, in effect, a low-grade genocide going on. Various groups that are not majority groups have been driven out of their own countries and are now refugees, many of whom are on our television screens on a daily basis and some of whom will land here tonight in Toronto.
    My first concern is that we start to understand all of that conflict in a deep fashion, and as the government reprofiles its commitment to reduction and resolution of this conflict, that we start to understand the various pushes and pulls that are there.
    I want to reiterate the point that in no way can it be interpreted that we are pulling back. In fact, we might well be re-engaging in a fashion that I think will be more effective, will possibly be a means by which we encourage the resolution of this conflict, which I assume everyone agrees is a good idea, and that we are in fact a robust partner with our allies and we are fully and completely engaged in this conflict.
    I want to congratulate the ministers who are leading this review and encouraging us all to contribute to how Canada may contribute to the resolution of this conflict. I would be remiss if I did not mention, on behalf of the government and our caucus, the robust participation and help that our people in the military have contributed thus far. We look forward to how they will contribute in the future.

  (1235)  

    Mr. Speaker, the flaw in the Liberal argument to withdraw Canadian forces from the combat mission in northern Iraq and Syria is this. The Islamic State is unlike any other terrorist organization in the world because its members believe that the control of a territory in northern Iraq and Syria is essential to their cause.
    Their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gave a speech in July 2014. It is the only speech known to have been given by him. It is the only public appearance videotaped of him at the Great Mosque in Mosul. In that speech he made it clear that he was not only declaring a caliphate, but also declaring a territory over which Daesh would have control. Therefore, if we are able to eliminate or reduce the territory that Daesh has under its control, we would also reduce the legitimacy of the Islamic State. The only way to reduce the territory under its control is through the use of military force. That is the fundamental flaw in the argument of the Liberal government to withdraw Canadian Forces from the international combat mission in northern Iraq and Syria.
    Mr. Speaker, that is a good and quite insightful question. Unfortunately, the presumption of the question is that we are withdrawing. That is not true. Nothing has been said on this side of the House that would lead members to that conclusion.
    However, I do want to comment on the siren call of the caliphate. It is hard for us in the west to understand the way in which this resonates in the larger umma. In effect, it has three points to it: one, to destroy the apostate west; two, to establish a pure Islamic State; and, three, to join in the prophetic call of the last days of the apocalypse. If we do not understand that, we will not arrive at a resolution to this conflict. Therefore, I am kind of agreeing with my colleague.

  (1240)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat saddened. The member purports to understand the situation and has said that we need to understand more. He supported a Liberal government that, after our allies were attacked during the tragic events of September 11, joined forces to get rid of a terrorist organization that was basically running under the sanction of a government. We now have a terrorist organization in the Middle East that is a government. It has access to billions of dollars of oil infrastructure and illegal black market sales to be used toward waging war against not only its own people but those spread throughout the area.
     If all of the coalition members who are seeking to degrade or destroy ISIS were to take the same route the current government is taking and were to remove the tools to eliminate its access to that money, I do not understand how they could fight this menace. Perhaps the member can enlighten me. If everyone did what the current government is doing, what kind of world would we live in, and would he be proud of that?
    Mr. Speaker, I would neither argue that I purport to understand this particular area nor would I, from the basis of the commentary today, feel that we really do understand this area. I want to qualify my remarks in that respect.
    We have been involved in these bombings for two, three, four years. There is no hint that our allies will reduce the sorties. However, there are other measures that can be taken, such as cutting off the money lifeline of this terrorist organization, as the member had mentioned. The minister is saying that we can reprofile our commitment to do that. I would refer the member to an article in the Edmonton Journal to that effect. Also, the gathering of intelligence will be useful, as will the further training of troops so that they can take the ground fight to the enemy. These are all measures we are skilled at and capable of.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Sarnia—Lambton, who shares similar views.
    The Syrian war and the destabilizing effects of ISIS have displaced nearly 15 million Iraqis and Syrians. To put this mass displacement in context, that is equal to every man, woman, and child living in the province of Ontario being displaced simultaneously. The scope and scale of human crisis and tragedy that continues to befall Iraq and Syria is beyond comprehension.
    With respect to the terrorist organization ISIS, it now occupies nearly 82,000 kilometres of territory, a land mass larger than the province of New Brunswick. From bombing passenger aircraft, burning opponents alive, sex slavery, murdering fellow Muslims who disagree with its extreme jihadist views, targeting Christians and religious minorities for total extermination, there is little depravity that ISIS has not shown.
    The choice for those impacted by both the Syrian civil war and the tyrannical rule of ISIS is to stay in a war zone, be oppressed, and die, or flee and have the chance to live. The heart-wrenching images of asylum seekers and refugees risking their lives and those of their children to escape the civil war and terrorists have rallied Canadians to be generous in welcoming those who are suffering into our country, known for its stability, tolerance, and prosperity.
    I am also proud of the Canadians who are taking the time to prepare for the arrival of Syrian refugees, many of whom live in my riding. I marvel at those who reach deep into their own pockets to raise the money needed to offer hope and a new future for those who make it here to Canada.
    While I am proud of Canadians for their efforts, I have serious concerns about the Liberal government's haste in seeking to bring tens of thousands of people to our country by February. While the Liberals smartly reversed course and adopted the Conservative plan for 10,000 refugees by the end of the year, the current Liberal plan to resettle 25,000 refugees or more by February 2016 is fraught with many problems and inconsistencies. I do not deny the plan of welcoming 25,000 refugees is laudable, but the lack of proper planning and the screening of health and safety as well as fulsome security screening is very troubling.
    It must be asked: Have we put the proper supports in place to help those refugees to succeed, those we are bringing to Canada in the midst of the winter on an ill-conceived election promise?
    It must also be asked: Why is the government abandoning our modest military contribution in Syria? Should we not be increasing our military efforts, supporting the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the United States?
    Canada requires a two-pronged approach to this crisis. First, we need to ensure that refugees we bring to Canada are properly integrated and supported so they can succeed and become contributing members of Canadian society. Second, we need to stay in the fight and arguably increase our military support and commitment to the coalition fighting ISIS. We need to help stop the forces that are causing one of the largest displacements of human beings in this century.
    Most of us cannot imagine the pain, the anxiety, the fear faced by those willing to abandon everything they have, leaving their homes and starting anew in a new land. Many of these families are fleeing a double threat, that of a cruel Assad regime and the religious or ethnic persecution of the terrorist group ISIS.
    Canada has a great history of welcoming people who are seeking a better life. This is a terrible humanitarian crisis and Canada needs to help. Canada needs to get this resettlement right and ensure that the supports and mechanisms are in place to help these refugees succeed.
    Canadians rightly expect their government to ensure the safety and security of this country. They do not want to see security nor health screening compromised. Canadians need to know what assurances the government can give that it is keeping would-be terrorists off Canadian shores.
    We need to ensure that health and safety protections are in place for Canadians. The health of Canadians must come before hasty decision-making related to an election promise that the Liberals simply had not thought through. We also need to know what additional services are needed for the refugees who are coming to our country. What mental health services do they need? Many refugees have been through abhorrent and traumatic stress and may need extensive and intensive mental health services. Not only will this put a huge burden on our country's mental health services which are already stretched to the limit, but it may stymie access to care for refugees to deal with these issues. Canadians' and refugees' mental health and family health services are all put at risk.

  (1245)  

    Most importantly perhaps, what screening is the government doing, and what questions is the government asking to ensure that people we bring to Canada share our values? Are they willing to embrace tolerance and pluralism, equity of gender, orientation, creed and religion, and giving back to Canada and society as a whole when one can afford to do so?
    This brings me to the second issue. That is Canada's foreign policy in the Middle East, and in particular ISIS and the Syrian regime. The Syrian despot has wrought a civil war to keep his iron-fisted control over his people. ISIS has seized territories in two sovereign nations, and its modus operandi is in direct opposition to Canadian values, and to all that we believe. ISIS hates our values and our way of life. It believes that the world would be a better place if we regressed to the Dark Ages.
    Those opposed by the confluence of the Assad regime and of ISIS are left with no alternative but to flee. Most Syrians do not want to leave their homes. Their preference would be to stay in their own homes. They look to the world to help eradicate this evil in their region and give them back their homes. That is why the government's decision to withdraw our modest military contribution is so disappointing.
    Our forebears who died at Vimy Ridge did not leave the battlefield mid-fight. Canadians, in both peace and war, have shown our resolve to face tyranny in the fight for freedom and democracy. Retreating and leaving the battlefield in the middle of the fight is simply not Canadian, leaving aside the damage to our reputation that withdrawing our government's military support is doing when it comes to our relationships with Europe and the United States. Staying in the fight and increasing our commitment is about doing what is right.
    On this side of the House, our view is clear. We have a moral obligation to help stop ISIS and ultimately bring peace back to Syria. Leaving the battlefield mid-fight is cowardly and tells our allies that we cannot be depended on when we are actually needed the most.
    What are the results we seek as Canadians? First, we need the government to get serious about taking the time to screen refugees. Extending timelines until the spring and summer to ensure there is housing, clothing, and language training would be prudent and appropriate. Extending timelines to ensure that refugees who are the most vulnerable to harm abroad are prioritized and brought to Canada first would be the right thing. We also need to assure Canadians that those we are welcoming embrace the Canadian values we cherish: tolerance of others, seeking to build a better quality of life and standard of living for one's family, working hard and not taking the generosity of others for granted, appreciating our history by celebrating and respecting it, and giving back.
    Let us also recognize that some day these refugees and their children will want to visit their homeland again. Let them be able to reminisce that their host country and their new home did its part, through both humanitarian and military action, to help make sure their homeland and that part of the world were safe once again. Let us take the steps now to ensure that Syrians and the land seized by ISIS can again return to the people who are fleeing from it today.
    Let us put to rest the causes of this mass displacement of human beings and relegate the Assad regime and ISIS to where they actually belong, the history books.

  (1250)  

    Mr. Speaker, I listened to the speech from the member opposite with great interest, to see whether she is going to join her colleagues in reinforcing the false choice they have been asserting that either Canada needs to maintain its six CF-18s in the bombing sorties or that Canada is not serious and sitting on the sidelines, thereby ignoring all of the other important contributions that Canadian Armed Forces members can make.
    Does the member agree with the member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola that every coalition member needs to be engaged in bombing sorties or they do not count?
    I was disappointed to see the member reinforcing this false choice, thereby minimizing and undermining the other potential contributions that Canada can and should make in this very important fight against ISIS as a part of the coalition, in discussion with the other coalition members.
    Not only does the member not see it as serious if Canada is not maintaining our six CF-18 bombers, but she is claiming it is cowardly. Is the member prepared to talk to the Canadian army members, the trainers, the others in our Canadian Armed Forces, who can do so much to combat ISIS in a larger portfolio of activities that the coalition must undertake? Is the member prepared to—
    The hon. member for Simcoe—Grey.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear.
    As I outlined, we need to have both a humanitarian and a military presence. I am not sure what experiences the member opposite has had, but I have stood on the ground in Afghanistan with our Canadian Armed Forces, individuals who put their lives in harm's way every day to protect Canada's democracy and freedom. They are outstanding individuals, who both understand the humanitarian side as well as that in order to protect workers on the ground, those humanitarians, there actually needs to be a military force.
    I am very confident in saying that these individuals are not cowardly, as the member opposite would intimate. These individuals have the force of nature that no other Canadians have. They are the reason why we are able to be Canadians. We should be exceptionally proud of what they provide here on Canadian soil and abroad.
    Let me be very clear. The government would have those Canadian Armed Forces withdraw. It would put them in a position where they were being seen on the world stage as cowards. These people are outstanding and they are not cowards. They want to face ISIS and eradicate it so Syrians can return to their homes.

  (1255)  

    Mr. Speaker, I take exception to what has just been said.
    Of course our forces are courageous. Nobody has any doubt about that in this House. It is outrageous for the member to have mentioned it as a possibility that we think otherwise. It is an insult, and it is why they are in the opposition. It is this kind of dogmatism and this kind of pretending that they alone support our forces that Canadians rejected.
     Every member in this House is proud of our forces. We have a different view about how to use their skills. That is it. That member should say that.
    Mr. Speaker, I do not believe there was a question there. I think it was just intimation on my character.
    I want to be very clear. Base Borden is in my riding. We have literally thousands of Canadian Forces members in my riding. They are trained there. These are outstanding Canadians, as I have already said.
    I think it is exceptionally important that they do their jobs well and that they do both military actions as well as humanitarian actions. I saw it with my own eyes in Afghanistan. Young men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces were making sure that girls could go to school. However, they know and I know, and I am confident that the opposition actually knows, that those humanitarian workers need protection when they are on the ground.
    That is exactly what we are advocating, military presence and a humanitarian presence, to make sure that Syrians can return to their homes in the future.
    Before we resume debate, I want to remind the members that it is questions and comments. There does not necessarily have to be a question in there.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to give my maiden speech in this prestigious House.
    I would like to thank the good people of Sarnia—Lambton for placing me here with their confidence. I will do my utmost to represent their views in the House. I would also like to thank the many volunteers on my campaign team for all the hours and miles they put in.
    On top of that, I would like to congratulate every member of the House on their election or re-election, and I look forward to working together with them to continue to build our great country of Canada.
    On a personal note, I thank my daughters Gillian and Katie for their love, and also my mother, who at 90 years of age has started watching CPAC and Power and Politics for the first time.
    I also pledge that as science critic for the opposition, I will be fact- and evidenced-based in my approach to this portfolio. As a chemical engineer with more than 30 years of experience, from fundamental research to construction, it is my goal to use my expertise to advise my party and to work collaboratively with the Minister of Science, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and my critic colleagues, to achieve the best results for Canadians.
    I want to speak today about my riding and my constituents' concerns about the ISIS threat.
     For those members who are not familiar with Sarnia—Lambton, this beautiful community, with its lovely beaches, forests, and fields, is located on the shores of the St. Clair River and Lake Huron. It is also on the border of the U.S. and Canada, at Port Huron.
    We are the birthplace of oil in North America. We provide the gasoline in members' cars, if they are driving in the middle of the country. We have evolved into a diverse industrial heartland that produces almost one-third of this nation's petrochemicals, as well as being a biohub for both the biochemical industry and renewable energy. Collaborative partnerships between agriculture, academia, industry, and community have made this happen. One of the largest solar farms in North America is in my riding, and wind farms cover the rural landscape.
    However, as I was canvassing over 20,000 homes in Sarnia—Lambton over the course of the campaign, I continually heard concerns about the threat from ISIS. As members can appreciate, with the volume of fossil fuels and chemicals produced and stored in my riding, any terrorist action could have a devastating impact.
    In addition, as a border city, the concerns of our closest neighbour regarding security in Canada and threats from the border are important to us.
    The events of October 22, 2014 changed the view we had of Canada as a safe and secure place to live. The murder of Corporal Nathan Cirillo at one of Canada's most sacred monuments, the National War Memorial, rocked not only the nation, but the residents of Sarnia—Lambton, as we considered the threat not only to those in Ottawa, but also to our previous member who was greatly loved in our community.

  (1300)  

[Translation]

    We also need to remember that, just a few days before, in the beautiful town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was killed in a vehicular homicide that the RCMP determined was an act of terrorism.

[English]

    These events demonstrated that the threat was real, that the threat was against Canada, and that safety was not a guarantee.
    I would briefly highlight the importance of the fact that in our mission against ISIS to date, we were conducting it in full co-operation with our allies and we brought it to this House for votes at every possible time. We have not seen that from the new government.
    During the campaign and thereafter, the majority of people of Sarnia—Lambton were proud and grateful for the brave actions of our air force in the fight against ISIS. The Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Air Force have been carrying out both training and air strikes for years. Therefore, we have this resource to bring to the fight.
    During many of the Remembrance Day events I attended in my riding, I had opportunity to hear from many veterans who had previously defended Canadian freedoms and were proud that we were standing with our allies to fight the foe, the so-called Islamic State. It is a cancer on the world, killing and raping innocent women and children, killing those with religious beliefs that are not their own, and committing genocide. It is against all of the beliefs we hold most dear in Canada: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of choice, and gender equality.
    The Prime Minister has suggested that we should not give them what they want by speaking about them, but not speaking about them will not make them go away. We need to not just talk about this threat, but step up our actions and stand with our allies and the over 60 nations that have come together to fight this threat. We need to answer the plea from our Kurdish and Iraqi brothers and sisters. The people in my riding understand this.

[Translation]

    There are several reasons why the people in my community are prepared to support this fight. One of them is that our women are not prepared to give up their equality.

[English]

    As a woman who has experienced the rise in gender equity over my life, from the time I was told, “You can't be an engineer, because that's a man's job”, to the early days when harassment and discrimination were common, to our current state, where we are approaching equal opportunity and respect among our peers, I will not rest while this threat to restore women to a place of subjugation exists.
    I am not yet used to the politics of the House where questions are asked and not answered. It seems like questions that would provide Canadians the answers they need are sidestepped, like pressing a button and getting an auto-campaign party policy message. However, in this case, the questions of a very serious nature are being asked and they need to be answered with more than rhetoric.
    I understand that the government made promises to withdraw the Canadian CF-18 fighters from the fight against ISIS, but a lot of campaign promises have been broken, such as promises to keep the deficit to $10 billion, to make the tax cuts revenue-neutral, to restore home mail delivery, and to bring in 25,000 refugees by year end. The plan to withdraw our fighters from the fight against ISIS is a promise that needs to be broken.
    When new information comes to light and when Canadians speak, it is time to listen and modify our plans accordingly. With respect to the Syrian refugee crisis, we brought to the government the concerns of Canadians to ensure that our safety and security was preserved over any arbitrary timeline, and the government broke its promise so it could improve the security measures. I applaud that.
    In the same way, new information has come to light with the ISIS attacks against Paris, Beirut and Africa. Our allies are stepping up the fight. I am so disappointed that President Obama, when he mentioned his allies, did not include Canada in the list.
    As a border city, we need to stand with our friends, our closest trading partner. In addition, France has declared that it is at war. Did Canada disappoint France when it was at war before? Not at all. We stood at its side. We took Vimy Ridge. We delivered on D-Day, and we need to deliver today.
    Every week we sing in the House, “God keep our land, glorious and free”.

  (1305)  

[Translation]

     It is not enough to do humanitarian aid, to give people blankets and food when their heads are about to be chopped off. It is not enough to give refuge when people are being forced to flee their land in fear. It is not enough to train others to join the fight.
     We need to join all the nations involved. More than 60 of them are coming together under the UN resolution to eliminate this mortal threat before these terrorists come back onto our soil to kill again.

[English]

    I repeat that it is not enough to do humanitarian aid, to give people blankets and food when their heads are about to be chopped off. It is not enough to give refuge when in fear people are forced to flee their land. It is not enough to train others to join the fight.
     We need to join all nations, more than 60 of them coming together under UN resolution 2178 to eliminate this threat.
     I ask that the Prime Minister not withdraw our CF-l8 fighters from this most important fight against ISIS.
    Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague for a very dignified speech. She has not tried to pretend that she alone cares about the troops. She is concerned because we are withdrawing the fighter jets.
     I want to repeat that we are not withdrawing our effort. We are refocusing it in a way that will be, we think, more effective in the coalition. We are part of a coalition and we are in talks with it to see which way we may use optimally the skills we have in Canada that are very valuable in order to fight this terrorist group and to provide peace and security in the region.
    Mr. Speaker, I am proud of all of the efforts of all of the people who are working so hard in every area, in the humanitarian aid, in providing training. They are all excellent, but it is just not enough. My concern is that we need to do everything we possibly can.
    The rest of the world is watching us as well. We hear it in President Obama's comments. He feels that we have stepped back. I have heard discussion here today about the fact that the Prime Minister has met with all our other allies. It does not mean they understand and approve of us taking our jets and going home.
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member mentioned in her remarks about listening to Canadians, and that is exactly what we have done. We have come to this side of the House because we told Canadians we would take a different approach, that we would refocus our efforts, and that we would look in concert with humanitarian aid and some of the other things that we do very well military and as a country.
    Does the member feel that we should stick to a plan without recognizing the changing dynamics of a situation, irrespective of our discussions with our allies and their support?
    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to plans, I firmly believe that as new information becomes available and as new situations arise, we have to adjust the plan. Even though the Liberals' plan during the campaign was to withdraw the fighters, we now we see everyone else is escalating. People are attacking us all over the world. Things are arising and we need to adjust the plan. For that reason, we need to keep our CF-18s engaged.

  (1310)  

    Mr. Speaker, I note that the Liberal government and Liberal members opposite keep referring to the fact that we are not withdrawing from northern Iraq and Syria, but what they are failing to specify is that they are withdrawing from the combat mission and they are not proposing to re-engage in a combat mission of a different kind.
    This combat mission is authorized under resolution 2178 of the Security Council of the United Nations. It is also authorized by the direct invitation of a member state of the United Nations, the government of Iraq, which has made a specific request to allies like Canada to participate in a combat mission to counter ISIS.
    Would the member comment on the slippery language that members opposite are using to conflate the withdrawal from the combat mission with their continued participation in humanitarian aid and assistance?
    Mr. Speaker, that is a very good point the hon. member makes. When it comes to stopping one sort of activity, which is what the Liberals are doing by taking a decision to stop military activity to focus on other things, that is a withdrawal of services.
    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House for the first time. It is a real honour to represent the people of West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country in beautiful British Columbia.
    I will be splitting my time with the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard.
    The recent terrorist attacks in France, the United States, Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, and elsewhere, acts of barbarity that the government has condemned in the strongest terms, have shocked us all. We are in complete agreement on that. On behalf of the people of Canada, the government has conveyed its condolences to the victims and assured them that Canada stands with them in facing these difficult times.
    The motion we are debating today raises a number of important issues related to the fight against ISIL, and I would like to explain the government's approach further in direct response to questions that have been put forward by the opposition.
    One of the elements of this motion maintains that the government has an obligation toward its NATO partners within this context. First, to help inform the Canadian public, the coalition to combat ISIL is composed of over 60 nations. The 28 nations that make up the NATO alliance are all participating in the anti-ISIL coalition. However, it is important to note that although this matter was discussed at last week's NATO ministerial meetings, the NATO alliance itself is not at this time a member of the coalition.
     For this reason, while Canada remains a proud founding member of the NATO alliance, our commitment to the anti-ISIL coalition is not derived in any way from our membership in NATO, although I am very pleased to report that our government is working closely with its NATO allies, partly motivated by a desire to restore our international reputation in the world that was somewhat diminished by the former government.
    ISIL continues to present a serious threat to regional and global security, including a threat to Canadian citizens at home and abroad. ISIL has been carrying out a campaign of unspeakable atrocities against children, women and men, including members of religious and ethnic communities in Syria and Iraq. It has tortured and beheaded people, raped and sold women into slavery, slaughtered minorities, and kidnapped innocent victims whose only crime was to have a different ideology than ISIL.
    To face these challenges, the international community has come together under the coalition with one common specific aim: to defeat ISIL. There is a broad consensus in the international community that the struggle to defeat ISIL and prevent its corrupt and apocalyptic ideology from enduring and expanding requires a comprehensive and multi-pronged approach, which I am very pleased to share with the House today.
    The coalition has five lines of effort: one, military efforts; two, stabilizing affected populations; three, stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to and from the region; four, stopping financial flows to ISIL; and five, countering ISIL's narrative. Canada is one of few countries that contributes to all five lines of that effort, both military and civilian.
    The first of these lines of effort is a military one. Our airmen and airwomen have done, and continue to this day to do, a tremendous job. They have the gratitude of all Canadians for the amazing work they have done. In my few short days in the House, I am impressed by the service of some members to our forces, which every party shares.
    In addition to Canada's air assets, Canada has also deployed several dozen special operations forces personnel to advise and assist Iraqi forces fighting ISIL and has delivered critical military supplies donated by contributing allies to Iraqi Kurdish forces. The government has indicated that Canada will withdraw the CF-18 aircraft from the coalition. This was a clear campaign commitment. Canadians provided our government with a clear mandate to do so, and our government will honour that commitment. We will be refocusing Canada's efforts to areas where we can be most effective, and I would argue more effective, and have the greatest impact, including by providing training for local forces.

  (1315)  

    The second line of effort relates to stabilization. This includes the restoration of critical basic services such as sanitation, water, electricity, and the removal of hazards, such as unexploded ordnance. Canada is playing a significant role in this line of effort. This immediate work is essential before areas in Iraq that have been affected by ISIL can eventually rebuild as viable communities.
    The third line of effort relates to foreign terrorist fighters. Canada is working with partners in a range of multilateral fora to address the issue of returning foreign fighters. The presence of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq poses a risk, as individuals with experience gained in terrorist activities may return to Canada or third countries to radicalize and recruit others and potentially to conduct attacks. Over the medium term, the presence of unprecedented numbers of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq could create a new generation of terrorists with social networks spanning around the world. We are acting proactively to prevent this.
    The fourth line of effort is related to terrorist financing. Canada is demonstrating its commitment to tackling this critical issue by contributing to numerous initiatives in this regard through the work of the coalition's counter ISIL finance group, the Financial Action Task Force; the G7; and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, with a view to ensuring that ISIL cannot use the international financial system for its evil ends. This is the kind of thing the opposition has asked us to be clear about.
    The fifth line of coalition effort relates to countering ISIL's narrative. That too has been raised by the opposition. Canada is working with partners to support local and international efforts to debunk ISIL's propaganda and thwart its recruitment and radicalization efforts.
    We remain fully dedicated to ending ISIL's reign of terror and brutality. Our resolve, and it is a collective resolve, is unshakeable. The international community will defeat ISIL and Canada will be a part of that fight and ultimate success.
    Mr. Speaker, my criticism is directed toward the government, and I wonder if the member would comment on it.
    The challenge we are facing with the Islamic State, with Daesh, is one of the greatest challenges of our age, and we are only in the first early years of what will likely be a many decade campaign involving humanitarian assistance, diplomacy, and military combat action to counter this threat against occidental societies. However, the government is proposing to eliminate Canada's military contribution in respect of combat to counter this threat. This is a very dangerous position for the government to take in light of the long-term challenge we face.
    If we are not going to use military force to combat the threat of ISIS, then what kind of terrorist group would have to emerge in order for us to engage militarily against these threats to our society and to all western societies?

  (1320)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would ask the opposition to open its mind, first to the notion of working within a coalition. We are part of a team. We are playing to our strengths and contributing in the way best suited to Canada and Canadians.
    Second, the member's question about military might implies one way. There is a fixation with the one way. We are suggesting that in complete concert with our allies, we are going to contribute in a way that is Canada's strength.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my hon. colleague if she agrees that we agree with everything in this motion except for one point. We all acknowledge that now is not the time for Canada to step back and force our allies to take on a heavier burden in the fight against ISIS. We all agree with that.
    We agree that the opposition has the right and duty to remind the government, although the government knows it already, of its obligation to our NATO partners and its responsibility to protect the freedom, democracy, safety, and security of Canadians. Of course, we agree that we need to express our appreciation to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their participation in the fight against terror. We agree that we need to reconfirm our commitment to our allies to stop ISIS.
    The only disagreement is that the opposition would like us to call upon the government to maintain the air combat mission with the CF-18 fighter jets. We think there is a more optimal way to be effective. Does she agree that this is the way we should argue about this motion?
    Mr. Speaker, in fact all of us in the House share common ground. Canada's reputation in the world is reflected in four of those five pieces of the motion. The one piece is the fixation with the CF-18s, which is detracting from our ability to contribute according to our strength. It is detracting from our ability to work as a team. As was referred to earlier, Canada has punched above its weight in its history militarily and diplomatically, and that is what we intend to do with our approach to fighting ISIL.
    Before we resume, I would like to remind the hon. member for York—Simcoe that if he wishes to ask a question, he can stand like everyone else.
    Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to the debate all day. The Minister of Foreign Affairs said earlier that the bombing mission is effective. We have heard as well that Canada will continue to provide refuelling for the bombing mission, will continue to provide reconnaissance for the bombing mission, and will continue to paint targets on the ground or provide technology for that. That is what has been reported. There is obviously no philosophical objection to continuing with the bombing mission.
     I see that the parliamentary secretary is not listening to my question. Why would the government withdraw the pointy end of the spear? We have already philosophically agreed with everything that is necessary to enable the bombing. Why not continue the effective bombing with Canadian CF-18s? They are capable of doing the job. They are proud to do the job. We should continue to authorize them to do it.
    Mr. Speaker, we seem to be going over the same ground. I suppose that is the intent of this exchange.
    In describing the five-pronged approach we are taking in concert with our allies, it becomes clear that it is a sophisticated approach. It has to do with supply chains. It has to do with financing. It has to do with humanitarian aid. It has to do with stabilization. It has to do with training. This is the way that Canada, as one of 60 allies, can make its best contribution.

  (1325)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, since this is the first time that I have risen in the House, I would like to take a few minutes to thank some people.
    First, I would like to thank Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe, the outgoing member for my riding. I would like to acknowledge all the work that she did for the riding. I would also like to thank the people of Pierrefonds—Dollard who elected me and gave me the opportunity to represent them in the House.
    My good fortune in being elected was the result of the efforts of a whole team. I was really lucky to be surrounded by a wonderful team of people and I would also like to thank them. Finally, I would like to thank my wife, my children, and all the members of my family who supported me throughout the entire process. I want to thank them, particularly my parents.

[English]

    With respect to my parents, I could say that everything good I am and everything good I have achieved is ultimately due to them and their support. In that light there are no words I can say, there are no gestures I can make, that would ever repay them for all that they have done for me. As I cannot pay them back, I plan to pay it forward.
    I have come to the House to work to the best of my ability for the betterment of my riding, my city of Montreal, my beautiful province of Quebec, my country Canada, and my world.
    With respect to the motion at hand, the Government of Canada has an important role to play, and we are committed to working with our allies to fight against Daesh. To this end, as my colleague the member from Vancouver west has said, we are taking a multi-faceted and multi-pronged approach. This group is unquestionably a menace to the Middle East and throughout the world. We are, and will remain, a part of the coalition that will defeat them.
    This multi-front approach we are taking is based on numerous points—ideological, humanitarian, and military. All of this will be pulled together by our Minister of National Defence, the hon. member for Vancouver South, a combat veteran who has shown that he knows that area and how to work there.
    On the ideological front, I would say that we do not legitimize Daesh. The first and most important way not to legitimize this group of terrorist thugs is by not allowing them to speak for the religion of Islam. They do not represent Islam. Therefore, our government has not given in to Islamophobia. We have refused to give into that because they are speaking for a religion they do not have to the right to do so. Therefore, we are actively combatting them every day by refusing to give in to Islamophobia in any way, shape, or form. That is our entire philosophy and approach. It is the approach that our leader, the right hon. member for Papineau, has given us.
    On the humanitarian front, we have made a significant commitment to humanitarian aid. We have put aside $100 million dollars in funding for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help those people who are suffering in Syria, Turkey, and the Middle East. We have also made a major commitment to bring 25,000 refugees to Canada as quickly and safely as we can.
    On the military front, we have a clear interest in training and equipping the Iraqi and Kurdish forces to fight Daesh. Our men and women in uniform have years of combat experience in places like Afghanistan. We will have a major impact on ensuring that Iraqi and Kurdish forces are well prepared to defeat Daesh once and for all. The training of forces to fight for themselves was the strategy the previous government employed in Afghanistan. Therefore, I am somewhat perplexed why its members suddenly see this as a bad strategy here. Through all of this we are privileged to be led by a Minister of National Defence who is a combat veteran, who has done three tours of duty in the region, and who will bring that excellent knowledge to those people. Therefore, I personally find this new approach to be a ray of light, an opportunity, a hope for us to do better and to be better in this area. I think we can expect a different and a better outcome because of it.

  (1330)  

[Translation]

    In summary, we have a multi-pronged approach. We are going to go after them by providing humanitarian aid. We are going to attack their ideology and we are going to help victims in a humanitarian way. By working together on this new approach, we can look forward to a new and improved situation.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member on his speech, but I want to get some clarification on this. The government is saying that the Liberals' way is more effective. I want to ask them this: more effective according to whom?
    We had in the last two weeks a representative of the Kurdish regional government here in Canada telling us that Canada's contribution to the bombing mission was very important. Of course, we have members of the Liberal Party, with their political agenda, saying something different. So we have the Kurdish regional government telling us one thing about what is needed on the ground, and then we have some politicians who are saying something different.
    Is the member aware of any regional players who are actually supporting the government's position, who have said what the Liberals are saying, or is it something they have come up with, independent of what the regional players are saying about this?
    Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of anyone who believes that bombing alone will win this fight. I have not heard that from anyone. What I have seen and what we have before us is a request to simply stay the course and do the same as for the last 12 months and just continue on the same path. We have seen the situation deteriorate. It is not getting better; it is not even staying the same. This refugee crisis has exploded.
    Why do members sit there and ask us to please change nothing, do nothing new, and continue on the same path that has led us here?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would first like to congratulate you on your appointment.
    I have a question for the hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard. Does he know whether the opposition has presented any other options and provided evidence to support its position, or any evidence against it, and whether it has informed Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel for the question.
    The answer to his question is no. From what I have seen so far, the opposition is proposing that we continue to do exactly the same thing and that we change nothing, without recognizing the fact that armed forces—not necessarily ours—are needed on the ground to combat Daesh. No, I have seen no change in the opposition's position.

  (1335)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in the member's comments he said we are saying to keep only the status quo. That is not what we are saying at all. We said we would support the government if it came forward with a plan for a more robust military intervention, more robust training. We believe in attacking this from the standpoint of humanitarian assistance, undermining Daesh in any way possible, and also making sure that we finally defeat them in the military theatre. So Canada needs to step up and do more, as we are seeing from all of our allies. Why do the Liberals want to retreat?
    Mr. Speaker, when I read the motion, I was actually surprised at the complete lack of imagination within it. I am also surprised to hear that, other than what is written here, members have other ideas; because this is what is before us, and this is what we are debating, and there is nothing new here.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Pierrefonds—Dollard for trying to take a different approach to the Middle East. I appreciate the effort there. He talked about the root causes and tackling this problem on a multi-faceted level.
    The parliamentary secretary, who spoke before, talked about threats here at home. Does the government intend to introduce or support deradicalization efforts here in Canada, and if so, has it put money aside for it, and what is the plan?
    Mr. Speaker, the first step in stopping radicalization is to not marginalize people. We have already started on that very first front, by simply not marginalizing anybody who happens to be of the Islamic faith and by fighting Islamophobia everywhere.
    Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to be able to stand here today and support this motion. I will be sharing my time today with the member for Beauport—Limoilou.
    I believe that my job as a member of Parliament is to do three things. First, it is to represent my constituents, their values, and their beliefs. Second, I need to stay true to what I believe as an individual. Third, I have to do what I believe is in the best interests of Canadians as a whole. That is why I am so proud that I can support this motion and speak in favour of this motion and, indeed, encourage all members to support this motion, because their constituents would be happy, and the members themselves would be able to have satisfaction that they have done the right thing, and Canadians overall would be served to the best of our abilities.
    The motion, among other things, would reaffirm our commitment as Canadians to remain true to our allies and stand shoulder to shoulder with them in the fight against ISIS. It would also reaffirm that a government's top priority should always be to protect the freedoms, democracy, safety, and security of its own citizens. In this case, the Canadian government's top priority should be the safety and security of Canadians.
    Supporting this motion is indeed in the best interests of Canadians and, again, it is something I believe my constituents would want me to do. The riding of Portage—Lisgar, which I am very proud of, has a proud and solid history of military service. Men and women from right across the riding have volunteered throughout history to fight for the freedoms we enjoy here in Canada. My riding is just under 13,000 square kilometres. It used to be 14,000 square kilometres, but it has gotten a little smaller. Even within that 12,600 square kilometres, it includes the communities of Portage la Prairie, Oakville, Roseisle, Darlingford, Morden, Winkler, Altona, Carman, Treherne, La Salle, and Morris. That is just to name a few. November 11 is very busy in my riding because all of these communities are honouring not only veterans who have served and those currently serving, but veterans who come from those very towns, cities, villages, and communities.
     I am very proud of that, and the people in Portage—Lisgar are very proud because they have never shirked away from their responsibility, whether it is to serve as volunteers, to give, to work and contribute, or in this case, to fight and to sacrifice for military service. For them to now see Canada step back from the fight against ISIS, under the new Liberal government, goes against the very values and history of the people whom I represent in Portage—Lisgar. In fact, many of our pilots who are bravely and skilfully bombing and degrading ISIS right now were trained in Southport. Southport is also located in my riding of Portage—Lisgar. It is just south of Portage la Prairie.
    Southport is a former Canadian Forces base, and is now a primary pilot-training centre for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Canadian fighter pilots are some of the very best in the world, and most of them have come through Southport or been in Southport at some point in their career. Today in Iraq, they are doing exactly what they were trained to do and given a mandate to do. That is to bomb, kill, degrade, and destroy barbaric, cruel, immoral, cowardly jihadist terrorists who call themselves ISIS.
    Sadly and wrongly, the Liberals have reversed that mandate, based on what, we are actually not quite sure: a campaign pledge; not enough money, they are now saying. We are actually not sure. They have not explained the logic as to why they are withdrawing our military action of our air force against ISIS. Whatever their reason—and again, it has not been clear—it is not based on what is in the best interests of Canadians. It is also not in keeping with Canada's ability to stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies.
    A couple of days ago, the Prime Minister was asked about this. It was actually the first day of question period. He was asked about what our allies' position was. We asked why we were not standing with our allies and why we were shirking away. The Prime Minister said, “I have engaged with our allies on these issues and they have reassured me that we are continuing to be helpful”.
    The fact that the Prime Minister has to go cap in hand and look for validation and reassurance from our allies for his plan to pull away and back out of being an equal partner just shows that even he is not confident that we are doing enough; nor should he be, because reluctant validation from our allies that we are simply being “helpful” just is not enough. Canada should stand side by side with the international coalition—the Kurds, the people of Iraq and Syria—in their attempt to physically degrade and defeat Daesh.

  (1340)  

    While Canada should promote the additional humanitarian assistance and step up in the training of local forces, this should not stop us from continuing the bombing campaign alongside these initiatives. As we have reiterated on this side, we support both initiatives. We are not advocating for the status quo; we look forward to a plan from the Liberals, but we should not be backing away.
    This morning, in fact, the Minister of National Defence acknowledged that Canada's CF-18s played a phenomenal role in this mission and around the world. He is right. If they are doing a phenomenal job degrading Daesh, and we agree with him, why should they not continue to contribute in such a meaningful way, alongside the additional proposed trainers and humanitarian aid workers, either civilian or military?
    There have also been some questions about our legal obligation under the UN to participate. Some would argue that we do not have a legal obligation. I believe we have a moral obligation to fight this death cult. In fact, in 2014 Ban Ki-moon looked back and said that the UN was ashamed of its failure to prevent the genocide in Rwanda.
     Do Liberals want us to look back 20 years from now and be ashamed? As one of my colleagues mentioned on this side, this is not a short-term battle; this is long term. I do not believe any of us on this side of the House or on the other side want us to look back 20 years from now in shame. Rather, we want to be able to stand proudly together and know that we did everything we could to fight this death cult.
    This is a cult that kills thousands of non-Arab, non-Sunni Muslims, as well as homosexuals, Christians, and other minorities, with summary executions, crucifixions, beheadings, burning people alive, drowning, using rape as a weapon of war, forced marriages to ISIS fighters, and trading women and girls as sex slaves.
    Today is the international day of human rights. What a perfect day for us to stand together, to be able to say, 20 years from now, that both Conservative governments and Liberal governments fought the fight against ISIS, and we did not shirk. Liberals traditionally would stand in this fight.
    I hope we can look back on this day and be proud that, together as Conservatives and Liberals, we took the fight to ISIS, we did not step back, we stood up, and we were proud Canadians as we did it.

  (1345)  

    Mr. Speaker, one thing we can all agree with is the phenomenal capability of our men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces.
    The member talked about the current threat in terms of the brutal ideology and the actions of ISIL, Daesh, or whatever one wants to call it, and what it is doing right now.
    As we talk about the current threat, we are talking about different capabilities. There is a multitude of capabilities to achieve the mission. That is one thing we need to be focused on to make sure we get this right.
    We are talking about the current threat. I asked this question earlier, and I am asking again. Where was the previous government's leadership in identifying the indicators early on when this threat was small? This issue is so important. If we had tackled this threat early on, all the victimization that has been mentioned could have been prevented. That is what we need to get better at.
    Where was the previous government's leadership at that time in identifying this threat that we call ISIL now?
    Mr. Speaker, I first just want to let the Minister of National Defence know that I think he missed the mention of Southport in my speech. Canadian Armed Forces pilots are being trained in my riding, Portage—Lisgar. They are being trained with excellence, and I know we are all very proud of them.
    The minister is asking about something; we are proud of what we did. Obviously armchair quarterbacking and 20/20 vision is always perfect, after the fact. That is why what we do today is so important.
    My question back to the minister is this. If these kinds of horrific practices, this torture, this death cult—whatever we want to call it, as the minister has said—does not warrant our combat, does not warrant our air strikes, what does? That is the question the current government has not answered. It needs to answer that question.
    Mr. Speaker, we are being presented with a false choice by the Liberal government.
    It is presenting us with the false choice of engaging in either humanitarian or military assistance. Now it has gone even further and said that, militarily, we have to choose between bombing and training. This is a false choice.
    The minister just talked about different capabilities. Canada and its military has the capability to deliver justice through our CF-18s, to provide humanitarian aid, and to provide training. Why does the member think that the Liberal government is falsely presenting that we can do only one of these things at a time?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague's question is a valid one. It is something that we are looking for the government to answer.
    I am concerned that there is not a plan. Because there is no plan, this is more of an ideological decision, trying to fulfill a campaign promise, and now naming other excuses such as financial restraints. We are not sure why the government has made this decision and presented these false choices.
    It seems that in some areas where leadership is required, for example, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions where we account for about 1.8% of those emissions, the new government of Canada wants to take a role, and I congratulate the Liberals on that. However, on fighting ISIS, we now contribute over 2%. It is the same number. Why are we not still continuing to work and provide the same leadership when it comes to fighting ISIS as we are when it comes to fighting climate change?
    Mr. Speaker, as this is my first opportunity to speak in the House, I congratulate you on your appointment to your position. I would also like to thank the constituents of Hamilton East—Stoney Creek for giving me their confidence to represent them in the House.
    One of the things we talked about during the election was real change. That change, I believe, will include evidence-based decision-making.
    What I am hearing from across the way is a lot of gut feeling and symbolism. I would like to know what the evidence is that my colleague across the way uses in her evaluation of the performance of the CF-18s. Does she have any specific data or evaluation that lends itself to that, or is she just continuing on with what has been done in the past by the previous government?

  (1350)  

    Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member on speaking for the first time in the House.
    I am listening to the Kurdish leaders who were here. They have told us of the huge contribution and the important role that Canada plays.
    It is the Liberal government that said it would make evidence-based policies. Look at the Liberals' policy on refugees. They realized how flawed it was. They took our advice. They backed down from that plan. They changed their mind. They made a change on their refugee policy. It is still pretty flawed and needs some work, but we do appreciate them changing their mind on that.
    We ask them to look at the evidence, to look at what our allies are asking for and not just going cap in hand and asking them to say that we are being helpful. We are going to play a strong role. I ask the Liberals to change their mind, support our motion and continue to fight against ISIS.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, like many of my colleagues, I want to speak in this honourable House today to talk about ISIS. To do so, I must first address some of the consequences of the very existence of this terrorist group, specifically for free societies around the globe. Second, it is important to discuss the need for us, Canadians, to respond decisively to the international challenges that can arise at any time, especially those that can have dangerous consequences for this country and for our allies.
    As I have previously indicated, my family has served in the Canadian Armed Forces since the 1890s. It should therefore come as no surprise that many of the decisions recently made by this government regarding our armed forces and their overseas engagement are particularly important to me.
    I am referring of course to the hasty decision made by this government to withdraw Canadian CF-18s from the combat mission currently under way in Iraq as part of a coalition led by the President of the United States.
    Colleagues, for both historic and contemporary reasons, this decision strikes me as misguided and ill-considered. Need I remind the House that our country has never shirked its duty to the international community? Need I further remind the House of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere around the world?
    Colleagues, ISIS controls several cities in Iraq, many of which are home to dozens or hundreds of thousands of people. In those cities, the so-called Islamic State has set up tax collection systems, a major economic activity within the area it controls. It has a stranglehold on the region's economy and even hands out parking tickets.
    The self-styled Islamic State is pillaging many regions of Iraq and Syria, appropriating the resources and destroying cultural and historic property. Let us not forget one more important fact: this terrorist group collects billions of dollars a year, enabling it to recruit thousands of people to its cause around the world every year. Because of that, this group is a major threat to our country, Canada.
    The election is over. As the President of France said, we are at war against terrorism. Canadians understand that. Does the Prime Minister understand that? Does the Prime Minister and this government realize that following the recent terrorist attacks on its soil, in the city of light no less, France effectively asked for help and expects us to stand by its side?
    We on this side of the House want to know: when is Canada going to offer its unwavering support to a country that has been an ally at every moment of Canada's history?
    Hon. members of this House need to understand that terrorist attacks are looming. The threat is not limited to some faraway place on another continent. On the contrary, terrorism can strike anywhere here in Canada, even at the heart of our democratic institutions. Need I remind hon. members that terrorism has already targeted us more than once and spit its venom right here in the Parliamentary precinct?
    What the official opposition wants is simple. We are calling on this government to get serious on both domestic issues and international issues. We are calling on this government to take the right approach to terrorism, and to acknowledge that it is a serious problem and that ISIS is the brains behind these low-lifes.
    We must remain strong in our belief that we are right. We must remain determined to make no concessions to those who want to destroy us. We must remain united in the face of this threat. That is why we must hit the terrorists precisely where they are plotting against us, before it is too late.

  (1355)  

     My colleagues opposite are saying that we need to combat ISIS more effectively. We agree. Indeed, we should help train local anti-terrorism forces. We should increase aid to the hundreds of thousands of poor people driven from their homes by terrorism. That is all good. We must increase our efforts, not reduce them. Everyone agrees on that, of course. However, that would also mean that we need to keep our fighter jets where they are. Our colleagues opposite keep repeating over and over that the Royal Canadian Air Force's participation is basically not very significant and that they simply do a few strikes here and there. I want to ask these members what they are waiting for to take action, to do something and to reverse their decision to recall the Canadian CF-18s currently participating in the mission. As a G8 country, should we not contribute to this international mission in every way we can?

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

[Translation]

The Francophonie

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my constituents in La Pointe-de-l'Île for electing me to represent them and to champion and promote Quebec's independence.
    I would also like to take this opportunity to underscore the importance, here in the House, of securing the future of the French language in Quebec and Canada and of being able to debate this issue in a respectful and democratic manner.
    Since the Official Languages Act was passed, the use of English by francophones outside Quebec has increased with each census. The use of French is rapidly declining in Montreal and, in the medium term, throughout Quebec.
    The recent ruling by the Supreme Court in the Caron-Boutet case has shown once again that the federal official languages policy makes no sense and has failed.
    I hope to have the co-operation of all my colleagues in the House to ensure the survival of the French language in Quebec and Canada.

[English]

Hastings—Lennox and Addington

    Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour to stand in the House for the first time to thank the people of Hastings—Lennox and Addington for placing their trust in me as their elected representative. I would also like to thank my wife, family, friends, and supporters for their love, support, and sacrifice.
    The government has talked about a change in tone and an increase in accountability and collaboration. I could not agree more. I would like to add to this goal two important lessons that I learned while serving municipally under the recently retired 90-plus-year-old reeve of Tyendinaga Township, Margaret Walsh.
    If we wish to serve the interests of all our constituents, we must put aside partisan politics, and we must not think about the next election. If we do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, the rest will take care of itself.
    I look forward to serving with all members in the House in the interests of all Canadians.

  (1400)  

Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today for the first time in this 42nd Parliament as the first member to represent the constituents of Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek and to thank them for placing their confidence in me. As their representative, I will continue to work hard every day to help make Canada the best country in which to live, work, and raise a family.
    We have so much to be thankful for here in Canada. This Christmas season, I hope we all take the time to reflect on the many blessings we have received. In my case, my husband, our four children, their spouses, and our grandchildren are my inspiration and give me great hope for our future.
    In the spirit of the season, may we share generously with those who are less fortunate and make this a memorable Christmas for all. I wish my hon. colleagues here in this place and, indeed, all Canadians a safe and blessed Christmas.

Kingston and the Islands

    Mr. Speaker, as this is my first opportunity to rise in the House, I want to thank the great people of Kingston and the Islands for the privilege of following many notable parliamentarians from my riding, including Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, and, of course, more recently, Hon. Peter Milliken, the longest-serving Speaker of the House.
    I rise today to recognize the amazing work of countless organizations in Kingston and the Islands, both public and private, currently preparing to accept hundreds of Syrian refugees into the community, families, men, women, and children who need us now more than ever. In the light of recent world events, we cannot give in to fear. We have a shared responsibility and Kingston and the Islands will proudly play its part.
    I am honoured to represent a community that embodies such enthusiasm, generosity, and compassion when called to action.

[Translation]

International Human Rights Day

    Mr. Speaker, today is International Human Rights Day.
    This year, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is raising global awareness of two international covenants on human rights, covenants that establish a universal framework of rights and freedoms that everyone in the world should enjoy.

[English]

    As we mark this occasion together, we should be mindful of those who have struggled to guarantee these basic liberties: men and women like Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger and dissident sentenced to imprisonment and lashes for his ideas; or Malala, whose advocacy for the right to education has inspired us all.
    On behalf of the New Democratic Party, I invite all members to honour those who fight so valiantly for the rights of all human beings.

Guelph

    Mr. Speaker, as this is the first time I am addressing the House, I would like to thank those who helped get me here: my wife, Barb, our wonderful family, the amazing campaign team, and the 34,303 voters in Guelph who helped get me here.
    As the House knows, we are currently facing a historically tragic humanitarian crisis, with unprecedented numbers of refugees displaced from Syria. I rise today to acknowledge an incredible effort currently under way in Guelph to bring 50 families to our community in the coming weeks. This is a community-wide and entirely locally funded effort spanning several faith groups, local businesses, and social agencies. Guelph entrepreneur Jim Estill, the driving force behind this project, has provided financing of $1.5 million and arranged employment and mentorship.
     On behalf of the people of Guelph, I wish to thank everyone involved for their great efforts to help.

  (1405)  

[Translation]

Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the voters in Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix, which, in my opinion, is the most beautiful riding in Quebec, for putting their trust in me in the most recent election.
    I am proud to be able to play a key role in this riding. It has many challenges, but the people there are very passionate. I will work hard to advance the issues that matter to our region by engaging with decision-makers, organizations, social clubs, and anyone who is seeking to develop this wonderful part of the country.
    I also feel it is important to support our local craftspeople. That is why I encourage everyone in my riding to promote our local products. I will make it my duty to introduce our local products here in Ottawa. Whether it is the cheese makers in Île d'Orléans and Charlevoix or the microbreweries in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré and Baie-Saint-Paul, one of my priorities is to make these economic players known.

[English]

Human Rights Day

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today on the 67th International Human Rights Day, when we celebrate the day on which the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

[Translation]

    We all know that there are people throughout the world whose civil, economic, political, and social rights are being violated. In my work, I have seen how these rights and still others are being trampled on. I have seen how people are being deprived of their democratic voice and how they are being arrested and attacked for participating in the democratic process.

[English]

    Canada is a country that stands for freedom, democracy, and human rights at home and abroad. Canada is needed in the world now more than ever to be a leader and to promote the universal declaration.
    At home, I am so proud to see our government uphold our platform commitment to a full national public inquiry on our own human rights tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

Dalai Lama

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 26th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Prize to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
     As the member of Parliament for Parkdale—High Park, thousands of my constituents are Tibetans who take great pride in the cultural and spiritual leadership of the Dalai Lama. The important work of spreading the Dalai Lama's teachings and wisdom are being done in my community in Toronto by the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre and its president, Mr. Sonam Lankar.
    His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not simply a leader for Tibetans, he is a leader and example for us all. The global community recognized his tireless advocacy for the cause of peace with the award of the Nobel Prize on December 10, 1989. On that date, His Holiness accepted the award with great humility, noting that:
...I am no one special. But I believe the prize is a recognition of the true value of altruism, love, compassion and non-violence which I try to practice...
    I ask all members of the House to join me in recognizing this significant anniversary.

[Translation]

Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis

    Mr. Speaker, I want to express my gratitude to the people of Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis for once again so enthusiastically putting their trust in me on October 19. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
    I want to thank them for giving me a fourth opportunity to contribute to long-term prosperity and to support our families, seniors, communities, and businesses. However, these were overlooked in the throne speech. The speech had nothing for families and nothing to address the cracks in our borders that are jeopardizing our farmers.
    When will the government take action and protect our milk producers? Yes, Canada is back under the Liberals: back to empty words, runaway deficits and hidden tax hikes.
    Canadians can count on a Conservative team in Quebec that is stronger than ever and that will be their outspoken advocate.

[English]

Aga Khan

    Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to thank the constituents of Don Valley East for re-electing me to Parliament.
    My riding is proud to house three architectural jewels of Toronto: the Aga Khan Museum, the lsmaili Centre, and the Aga Khan Park built in Canada by His Highness the Aga Khan with his own funds.
     On December 13, His Highness will be celebrating his 79th birthday. I rise today in the House to pay a special tribute to a remarkable human being. His tireless efforts in building bridges across the globe, his commitment to eradicating poverty and ignorance for millions of people, irrespective of race or religion, through the AKDN network are unparalleled.
     I was fortunate to have worked with His Highness in establishing the Global Centre for Pluralism here in Ottawa.
     Happy birthday to the Hazar Imam. May all who come in touch with him benefit from his integrity, humility, honesty, and courage to do good.

  (1410)  

[Translation]

International Human Rights Day

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the people of my riding and my family. It is thanks to them that I am here before you today.

[English]

    I thank my beautiful grandmother, who I lost last year. She taught me how to stay brave and courageous in the face of adversity.

[Translation]

    Today, Canada joins the whole world in celebrating International Human Rights Day, the culmination of 16 days of action on violence against women. This is the day we remind all Canadians that living a life free of violence is a basic human right.

[English]

    Every one of us has a role to play in protecting that right. It can be as simple as showing respect in all of our interactions with each other and teaching our children to do the same.
    If all Canadians commit to ending gender-based violence, our actions can make a real difference for women, girls, and all Canadians.

Human Rights Day

    Mr. Speaker, on this day, 67 years ago, nations came together to establish a world standard for the human rights of all individuals.
    Human Rights Day serves to remind the international community of the political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights that everyone deserves, no matter their creed, race, or wealth. Today is an opportunity to reaffirm and amplify Canada's voice for these global values. As Canadians, we often take these rights for granted. Unfortunately, countless individuals around the world continue to endure levels of persecution unimaginable in Canada. As citizens of one of the most prosperous, democratic, open, and tolerant countries in the world, we have a responsibility to stand up for those who cannot.
     Today we honour all advocates of human rights for their tireless efforts, often in the face of violent opposition, to promote and protect the rights of all people.

Human Rights Day

    Mr. Speaker. today is international Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration outlines the basic rights of each and every citizen of this world. We have collectively agreed that certain rights need to be protected, yet we have failed to give life to these rights. Around the world there is not a moment that passes without human rights being routinely violated.
    As Canadians, we can celebrate our achievements in advancing human rights and dignity, especially on the day where we welcome 164 Syrian refugees, but we need to be mindful that much work lies ahead, particularly with our indigenous people.
     I want to recognize the indelible work of human rights defenders who are often threatened or, worse, killed for their work. I am proud to welcome to Canada and to Parliament Hill Mr. Hossein Raeesi, an Iranian lawyer, protected this year by the scholars at risk program between Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. Mr. Raeesi has defended the civil, political, and human rights of Iranians.
    Let us celebrate these unspoken heroes and commit to achieving human rights for all.

Regina—Lewvan

    Mr. Speaker, it's a great honour to be one of the first New Democratic MPs elected from Saskatchewan in over a decade. Far be it for me to stand up and declare, “Canada's back”, but I am pleased to report that the birthplace of Canadian social democracy is back.
    Saskatchewan's new MPs have enjoyed our first week in this House. Tomorrow, I will go to Rideau Hall for the presentation of a Meritorious Service Medal to one of my constituents. Kim Sutherland founded Street Culture Kidz in 1997 to provide housing, education programming, and work experience to at-risk youth in Regina.
     We thank Kim for his service to our community.

[Translation]

Agricultural Producers

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the House that the Speech from the Throne did not contain a single word, let alone a paragraph, about our farmers. Maybe this new government simply made a mistake, one that is very embarrassing for its members from Canada's rural areas. It will be hard for those members to look farmers in the eye and say that they are standing up for them in this Parliament.
    The Canada we treasure today was built on family farms. Products evolve, and so does technology, but one thing remains the same: from long before sunrise until well after sunset, Canadian farmers work tirelessly to feed our country.
    Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector contributes over $100 billion to the Canadian economy every year and employs over two million people.
    The Conservative Party has always made farmers a priority, and we will continue to do so on this side of the House.

  (1415)  

[English]

42nd General Election

    Mr. Speaker,

T'was the week before Christmas, and all through the land
A spankin' new government was now in command.

We will soon settle in for debating and voting;
But after 10 years over there, forgive me for gloating.

It began August 2nd, an eleven-week campaign;
Which Canadian voters believed was insane.

Conservatives were disappointed, not pleased with their tally;
They expected more bounce from that Rob Ford rally.

Their refugee plan left them wounded and smarting
When it became disembowelled by Rosemary Barton.

And the cultural practices tip line, add that to the list;
Yes the Tories were angry, but the Dippers, they were...pretty angry too.

The loss left them stinging, all wounded and sore
When all they said they needed was 35 seats more.

And our Green Party leader, she has no room to laugh;
Her fledgling young party was reduced by one half.

Canadians have spoken and have done so with zeal;
They want hope for the future and change that is real.

    I was given an indication by the members to my left, actually, that I should be generous to the member for Cape Breton—Canso with the time for his statement, this time, given the season and all.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, during the election, the Liberals promised to keep the deficit at $10 billion.
    Unfortunately for taxpayers, that promise has already been broken. The Prime Minister cannot keep blaming others. He is the one in charge of spending now.
    What is his new number, $20 billion, $30 billion, or $40 billion? How high will his deficit get?
    Mr. Speaker, we were very clear from the outset that we would always be open and transparent with Canadians when it comes to the state of our finances and our projections.
    We have always said that there are two cornerstones: continuing to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio and restoring fiscal balance by 2019.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, in my home province of Alberta, people are worried. With dropping oil prices, tens of thousands of Albertans have lost their jobs. Now what has been the Prime Minister's response? Nothing. Not a mention to date. If it were the auto sector or the aerospace sector, the Liberals would be scrambling to help, but to the Prime Minister, I guess Albertans are just collateral damage.
    Why is the Prime Minister turning his back on Albertans in their time of need?
    Mr. Speaker, the previous government made a big show about being a great friend to Alberta and to the oil industry, but, unfortunately, for 10 years the Conservatives got nothing done. For 10 years they were not able to build a pipeline. They built their entire strategy around hoping that oil prices would remain high, and when those did not, they were unable to help Alberta. That is why we are working hard to lower taxes for the middle class and to get our resources to market sustainably and environmentally responsibly.

  (1420)  

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, that will be cold comfort to people in Alberta who are facing Christmas without a job right now, but we look forward to the green jobs that the Prime Minister will create very shortly.
    Let us remember that the refugees who are arriving tonight are fleeing from ISIS. Canada made the right decision to send our CF-18s as part of the global fight. The Liberal Party has demonstrated a total failure in leadership by stepping back.
    If they will not show leadership, this Conservative Party will. Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and vote with us tonight and keep our CF-18s in the fight?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have made clear many times, Canada continues to be engaged in a robust manner with the coalition, including militarily, on top of great initiatives for humanitarian aid and refugees. Not only are our allies understanding of that, they are supportive of that. In fact, for the first time in almost 20 years, the White House will be hosting a Canadian prime minister for a state dinner. That is the kind of good relationship we are building with our allies.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, when President Obama alluded to his allies in the fight against ISIS, he named Germany, France, and Great Britain, but made no mention of Canada.
    In this week's Speech from the Throne, this government describes the United States as its best friend and partner. Again yesterday, the Obama administration called on its allies to ramp up their support in the fight against ISIS.
    Is it fitting for a Prime Minister of Canada to turn his back on Canada's main friend and partner by ceasing air strikes?
    Mr. Speaker, for 10 years, the previous government ignored its relationship with the United States. It caused trouble and was hostile and insulting toward the United States on numerous occasions.
    We are a taking a positive tone in building a better relationship and creating better jobs in Canada. What is more, the United States has just invited the Canadian Prime Minister to a state dinner in Washington for the first time in 19 years.

Democratic Reform

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister alluded to the process that resulted in the unilateral patriation of the Constitution in 1982 to justify the fact that he would not hold a referendum on his democratic reform.
    Can the Prime Minister explain to Quebeckers and Canadians why the 1982 patriation is a good example to follow for democratic reform?
    Mr. Speaker, I find it very curious that the Conservative Party is so concerned about consulting Canadians when, for the first time in our country's history, the Conservatives introduced electoral reform without consulting Canadians or even the opposition parties.
     You wanted to change the rules to your advantage. However, Canadians were not fooled and did not go down that road.
    I would remind the Prime Minister to address the Speaker. I believe he knows that I did no such thing.

[English]

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson made a stark admission that there are racists in the RCMP. What specifically is the government doing to combat this racism?
    Will the government make the mandate of the inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women broad enough to include issues like systemic racism in judicial and police institutions in Canada?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, obviously racism in any form is unacceptable and runs contrary to Canada's long history of diversity and inclusion.
    The Government of Canada is committed to real change and supports decisive action by the RCMP to hold its members accountable. As we are beginning the process of an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls, we will of course fold in a broad range of stakeholders and questions to ensure that we create justice and accountability in a nation-to-nation relationship moving forward.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we welcome the government's plan to usher in a new era in its relations with indigenous peoples.
    However, the government should realize that after years of disappointment and broken promises, it has an obligation to produce results. The Prime Minister has promised to put an end to boiled water advisories in all reserves in Canada.
    Can the Prime Minister tell us when his government will present a plan with specific timelines for fulfilling this commitment during his term of office as promised?
    Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable that there are so many communities without access to drinking water in a country such as Canada.
    During the election campaign, the Government of Canada undertook to ensure that within five years these communities would no longer have to boil their water. We will work with these communities and make the necessary investments to eliminate this serious problem.

Canada Post

    Mr. Speaker, here is a quote about Canada Post: “We will save home mail delivery.”
    Did the Prime Minister say that or not?
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party clearly committed to stopping Canada Post from installing the community mailboxes it was forcing on people under the former government, and we also committed to working with Canadians, taxpayers, Canada Post, and stakeholder groups to ensure that Canadians get the postal service they deserve.

[English]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, last year the Federal Court ruled that withholding health care from refugees was “cruel and unusual” and it ordered the federal government to reinstate the federal health program.
    During the campaign the Liberals promised to fully restore health care for all refugees, but yesterday we learned that the Liberal government is restoring federal health benefits for refugees from only one country. Ignoring the courts is not real change; it is what we had before the election.
    Why is the Liberal leader picking and choosing which vulnerable people can get help?
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party of Canada committed to restoring health funding for refugees. We will be doing exactly that.

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, it is clear in the House today that the Prime Minister is really excited about quaffing champagne and nibbling on canapés in the White House.
    However, here is what he has to say about terrorism. He has an aversion to talking about terrorism, talking to Canadians about the reality of terrorism. He said in this very House, “what we will not do is continue trying to talk about it and give ISIS any free publicity”. Meanwhile, our American allies, our French allies, our British allies have no problem calling out ISIS.
    Why are the Liberals sitting quietly by while our allies take on the burden alone?
    Mr. Speaker, the question is why my hon. colleague is distorting the policy of the Government of Canada. The Government of Canada is very proud of what the men and women in uniform are doing. They are courageous, and they are requested by all of our allies in order to strengthen our contribution in the coalition. We will do it in an effective way, an efficient way, an optimal way, and courageously, as Canada always does.

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, the Liberals still have not told us what they plan to do about our mission against ISIS.
    Canadians support that fight. They deserve to know why we are turning our back on it. Our allies deserve a real partner, not someone who just stands on the sidelines. That has never been the Canadian way of doing things.
    What is the plan?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, that is a more reasonable question. It is the opposition's role to ask the government when it will release its plan.
    The plan is coming, and meanwhile, the former government's plan is still in place. There will be no vacuum between the two plans.
    It would be easy to jot a plan down on a napkin, but we are working with our allies in order to come up with a plan that will ensure that Canada strengthens the coalition's role and makes an optimal and complementary contribution.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as you see, there is no plan.
    When the Prime Minister announced that he would pull Canada's fighter jets out of the combat mission against the jihadist death cult ISIS, there were only two groups celebrating that Canada was going to back down: the Liberals and ISIS.
    Canada should be standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies in this fight. The brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces are always willing and able to do the heavy lifting. We must do our part in the fight against ISIS. Why does the Prime Minister want to cut and run from stopping ISIS?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada and our allies have stood shoulder to shoulder, and I have stood shoulder to shoulder in combat with our allies. That is exactly the way, along with due planning, that the next process will move forward, making sure that we have an appropriate plan and take the time to get this right and take the fight to ISIS.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are not proposing that they are going to take the fight to ISIS; they are bringing it home and withdrawing from the combat mission.
    It was just over a year ago that we lost two members of our Canadian Armed Forces in attacks carried out by ISIS-inspired terrorists right here in Canada. Over the last few weeks, we have witnessed ISIS-orchestrated terrorist attacks in Lebanon, Egypt, France, and now the United States. Clearly, ISIS is willing to bring the fight to us. Why will the Prime Minister not take the fight to ISIS? Why does he want to retreat?
    Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the member opposite brought this important issue up in terms of threats to our country. This is something we need to take very seriously, but we also need to make sure that we identify the right threat. When it comes to radicalization, it is a completely different fight. Yes, we need to fight them in their territory, but we also need to be mindful in making sure that we have the right tools to prevent radicalization of our own Canadians in this type of fight.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, ISIS has engaged in deadly attacks across the entire world, and it still has Canada in its sights. The government must protect Canadians and fulfill its commitments to our allies.
    Withdrawing our CF-18s from Iraq and Syria sends the message that Canada does not take this threat seriously and, even worse, that we are incapable of doing so.
    Why is the Prime Minister abandoning the fight against ISIS instead of fighting alongside our allies?
     Mr. Speaker, this war is not about religion or civilizations. It is about the conflict between human civilization and terrorism.
    Canada will bravely do its part in Iraq and everywhere. It will do so as best it can with its coalition allies.
    Mr. Speaker, while the international coalition is stepping up air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the Prime Minister insists on withdrawing our CF-18s, despite calls from the international coalition.
    When will the Prime Minister finally step up and agree to defend Canada's values alongside our allies?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to air strikes, that is one tool in the toolbox in taking the fight to ISIS. We need to ensure that we look at all of the capabilities when we assess the situation, because if we do not and we come up with a knee-jerk reaction plan, we will not be effective. As the Minister of National Defence, I want to ensure that when we propose the right option that it will be effective and it will take the fight to ISIS like we want it to.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, the government has promised to implement all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including recommendation 29, which is to conclude all outstanding claims from residential school survivors through negotiations. Canada must stop forcing survivors into a painful and adversarial court process like the one taking place in Labrador. Will the minister commit to keeping her promise of resolving all outstanding claims through negotiations?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, I believe that the courts are not the right place to deal with so many of these issues that are so painful for the survivors. I endeavour to work with the Minister of Justice to figure out how we can get these things out of the courtroom and back to the negotiating table.
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the sentiment, but reconciliation cannot just be words. Therefore, I will ask my question to the Minister of Justice.
    Last week, her lawyers were lambasted in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland for their unconscionable behaviour in resisting the rights of survivors of the Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools, just as they obstructed the rights of the survivors of St. Anne's Residential School. Will the minister personally intervene? Will she tell her lawyers to stand down and end this culture of obstruction that has denied the rights of survivors of these brutal institutions? Do the right thing.
    Mr. Speaker, I certainly recognize and respect the conversations that we have had on this issue. Our government is committed to establishing a nation-to-nation relationship that respects an approach that will lay the framework for a true reconciliation with indigenous peoples. I am talking with my colleague and others on this issue. We will chart a path forward that respects the relationship that we will pursue with indigenous peoples.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, all Canadians will soon be welcoming Syrian refugees. However, they also want assurances that proper security screening has taken place. Can the Minister of Public Safety guarantee to this House that each and every Syrian refugee will get a full comprehensive security screening that is also signed off by the RCMP, the intelligence service, and border services?
    Mr. Speaker, about three or four weeks ago, the RCMP, CSIS, and CBSA all indicated collectively that they were fully satisfied with the security procedures that had been put in place with respect to the Syrian refugees. Indeed, they helped to design them.
    Mr. Speaker, earlier this week in the House, the minister talked about biometrics as one of the layers of security screening. However, comparing fingerprints to a Canadian database is meaningless. Without previous records, biometrics cannot be used to identify people. Can the minister admit that biometrics is not part of security screening, but a smokescreen to give Canadians the assurance that security is taking place as the government is rushing its plan through?
    Mr. Speaker, we have made it clear from the very beginning that there will be no compromise in security procedures, that they will adhere to the highest Canadian standards. That will include the selection of the individuals who will be considered as possible refugees to Canada. It will be included in the extensive interviews by trained professionals, and done in other ways, such as biometrics, checking against computer records, and constant and repeated identification examinations. We will ensure that every step of the way the results are satisfactory, and that Canadians can be proud of what we have accomplished.
    Mr. Speaker, my party supports Canada doing its part to assist with the Syrian refugee crisis, be it through humanitarian aid, the international mission to contain the so-called Islamic State, and welcoming refugees to our country.
    Out of the 1,537 permanent resident visas that the minister's department says has been granted to Syrian refugees since November 4, will the minister tell us how many of the resettlement applications were started prior to October 19 of this year?
    Mr. Speaker, this is a wonderful day, when we welcome the first plane full of 160 new Canadians. I learned from a 10-year-old girl, when I went to visit an apartment that was being made ready for refugees, how to say this in their own language. I would teach every member of the House to say Ahlan wa sahlan fi Canada.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, many of these new permanent residents to Canada will expect answers from their immigration minister.
    The minister has not said if other citizenship and immigration service lines would be impacted by the government's arbitrary year-end target for their Syrian refugee initiative. This is troubling to many Canadians who have pressing applications in other streams.
    Have any visa officers been displaced from other duties, including processing spousal sponsorship applications, to meet the government's self-imposed timeline for the Syrian refugee initiative, and, if so, how many?
    Mr. Speaker, we are into sunny ways; I would suggest that my colleague look a little more cheerful.
    In answer to her question, I will give an answer. I can assure her that my department has assured me that no people have been displaced by other refugees. There will be no impact on their entry.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. I encourage members not to be provocative in this place and to show respect for each other, on all sides.
    The hon. member for Saskatoon West.

Canada Post

    Mr. Speaker, during the election, the Prime Minister promised to restore home mail delivery. That means that he would reverse the cuts. However, now the Minister of Public Works says people who lost home delivery will not get it back. They will be stuck with superboxes. The government is turning its back on 850,000 Canadians who lost door-to-door service.
    Why did the Prime Minister promise to restore home delivery if that is not what his government plans to do?
    Mr. Speaker, what we committed to do was do away with the installation of roadside mailboxes, and that happened. We also committed to a comprehensive review, consulting Canadians from coast to coast to coast, about the future of Canada Post.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, promising one thing and doing the opposite only fuels cynicism.
    The Prime Minister made it clear during the election campaign that a Liberal government would restore home mail delivery. Now, the Liberals are promising consultations. Wow. This all sounds like a scheme to hide the fact that they are reneging on their commitment.
    My question is simple. Can the minister confirm that her government no longer intends to restore home mail delivery?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we did what we said we were going to do. We put a stop to the installation of roadside mailboxes so that Canadians could continue to receive door-to-door delivery where the mailboxes were not installed. We have also committed to a review of Canada Post, and we are going to do that so Canadians can have their say.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, Surrey, and in particular my riding of Surrey—Newton, is facing a violent crime situation day in, day out, and residents are very concerned. In April of 2015, the City of Surrey requested 100 new RCMP officers to combat this problem.
    Can the Minister of Public Safety please update the House on the progress of putting those 100 new RCMP officers into action?
    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his tremendous efforts to ensure that his constituents have the police services they require.
    I am pleased to inform the House that 75 of the 100 officers who were requested have actually arrived now in Surrey, and an additional 10 officers will be arriving very shortly. The RCMP expects the remaining 15 to be assigned by spring, ahead of the deadline in April.

[Translation]

Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, when a government respects its democracy and wants to change it, it consults the people. Several provincial governments, including those of Ontario, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island, have done just that. In October, just 27% of Canadians voted for the Liberal Party.
    What will it take for the Liberal government to understand that it cannot change the basic rules of our democracy, which date back to the time of Confederation, without consulting the entire population?

  (1445)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I can appreciate the member opposite's new-found passion for public consultations.
    Allow me to reiterate. In the months ahead, Canadians will have an ongoing conversation about electoral reform, a conversation that will answer many questions, not just one. I can appreciate that the party opposite may be uncomfortable with hearing a diverse range of views, but we are not.
    Mr. Speaker, I am reliably informed that nothing is more diverse than the views expressed in a referendum.
    In 2007, Ontario's Liberal government consulted Ontarians in a referendum on electoral reform. It lost 37% to 63%, but the Liberal minister who administered that referendum still thinks it was the right thing to do. Back in June, she took issue with the Prime Minister's undemocratic approach and said, “If you’re going to totally change the election system...I think it would have to be a referendum.”
    However, what is the lesson the current Prime Minister has drawn from 2007? It is not to ask Canadians because they might not approve the system that his minions are designing.
     Provincial Liberals do not fear a referendum. Why does the Prime Minister fear it?
    Mr. Speaker, allow me to try it this way.
    As part of a national engagement process, we will ensure that electoral reform measures, such as ranked ballot, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting, are fully and fairly studied and considered. As part of that process, we are absolutely committed to ensuring that Canadians from coast to coast to coast are heard.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister quotes from a platform that was supported by 39% of Canadians. She quotes from a platform as if that is the only reason anybody voted Liberal. Maybe she believes that.
    However, Jonathan Rose, the expert who designed the electoral reform proposals that were put to Ontarians in 2007, also disputed the Prime Minister. He said, “I think it shouldn’t be a blue-ribbon panel deciding this, or politicians...it should be put to a national referendum for approval.”
    If he is not afraid of it and if the Ontario Liberals are not afraid of it, why is Justin Trudeau afraid of it?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I know members are very spirited today. It is December and it is the season and all that, but let us remember that we do not use personal names here. We refer to titles, riding names and so forth.
    The hon. Minister of Democratic Institutions.
    Mr. Speaker, we firmly believe that a decision on an issue as important as this deserves a thoughtful and comprehensive process. We will not prejudge the outcome of this process. Early in the new year, I will work with the House leader to convene an all-party parliamentary committee to assess all possible options and move forward.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order, please. As always, let us all try to restrain ourselves and listen to the other person's argument, whether we like it or not, and sometimes we do not. However, let us try to listen and show respect for him or her, but also, more important, for this place.
    The hon. member for Banff—Airdrie.
    Mr. Speaker, it is clear, and the minister has made it very clear, that the Liberals are doubling down, and they will refuse to ask Canadians about fundamentally changing our electoral system.
    This is the method of voting that we have used since Confederation. I am not talking about routine amendments here. There are three provinces that have all proposed fundamental change, and they all knew that it was important enough to put that question to a referendum. If the Liberals are so sure that they have the support of Canadians, why are they so afraid to put it to a referendum?
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians entrusted us with a mission to restore the integrity in our electoral process, to restore fairness, and to ensure that every vote counts. We will deliver on that process, and we have committed to engaging the people of our country, young and young at heart, in this engagement process.

  (1450)  

[Translation]

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, thousands of children go to school with empty bellies. Thousands of seniors live in poverty. They are the ones who would benefit from a new Canada child benefit or an enhanced guaranteed income supplement, promises this government made.
    What is the government's priority though? Cutting taxes for people earning between $90,000 and $200,000. Can the minister explain why his government did not choose to make helping those who really need help a priority?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her question, which is a very good one. I know that she is happy the new government has big plans to fight poverty and exclusion. I invite her to watch closely as we announce measures over the coming months.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are giving a $700 tax break to the well-off, while 7 out of 10 Canadians get nothing. Seniors waiting for an increased pension are told to hang on. Parents who are struggling to pay for child care are told to wait. However, a banker who makes $190,000 a year gets help.
    Where is the urgency to help those who need it the most? Why are Canadians who live in poverty not getting anything, while the wealthy get another handout?
    Mr. Speaker, we started this week with an important step to help Canadians. We have introduced a tax cut for the middle class. We are going to move forward in budget 2016 with a measure that we know will take hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty and help nine out of ten Canadian families. That will be our Canada child benefit, and it will make an enormous difference for the most vulnerable in our country.

Justice

    Mr. Speaker, in September, the Prime Minister indicated that he had problems with the mandatory sentences that were introduced by the Conservative government. Yes, under our government, people who brought illegal drugs into Canada, those who kidnapped and sexually exploited children, and those who produced and distributed child pornography went to jail.
    Why does the Prime Minister have a problem with that?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to undertaking a review of the criminal justice system, including sentencing. We will do that in a comprehensive way, engaging with our colleagues in the provinces and territories.
    With respect to mandatory minimums, we will also be reviewing those. Certainly, with respect to mandatory minimums for the most serious of crimes, we support them, but only with respect to adherence to the charter.
    We will continue to update the House on our progress.
    Mr. Speaker, the previous Conservative government did everything in its justice legislation to protect victims and hold violent criminals accountable for their crimes. The Liberal government, on the other hand, wants to go easy on violent criminals by eliminating mandatory minimums.
    Why does the government insist on giving violent criminals a break?
    Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to reviewing the criminal justice system and looking at sentencing, including mandatory minimums. We are taking an approach to the criminal justice system that focuses not only on punishing offenders, but on restorative justice and being smart on crime.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government is punishing law-abiding gun owners again by bringing in a needless permit regime that would require gun owners to get a permit every time they go hunting or go to the range. Clearly, it is a gateway to bringing back the billion dollar gun registry and make life as difficult as possible for rural Canadians.
    Why do the Liberals always target law-abiding gun owners? Why do they not go after criminals for a change?
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is simply wrong in what he says about the long gun registry.
    We made it very clear in our platform that we had no intention of reinstating the long gun registry. We announced a number of other measures in the platform that had to do with public safety, and gun safety in particular. We will implement our platform.

  (1455)  

[Translation]

Public Service of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, as the member for Gatineau, I know just how much our federal public service stands out for its professionalism. Like my colleagues, I have met thousands of our public servants who expect their government to respect them and value their contributions. This government is committed to negotiating in good faith with our public servants. Can the President of the Treasury Board tell the House what steps he has taken to improve the federal government's relationship with its public servants?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Gatineau. Restoring a culture of respect towards our public service is a priority for us. I recently met 2,000 public servants at a gathering. I met union leaders and spoke with them about the report on mental health in the federal workplace. Our commitments are clear: we will respect the bargaining process, we will negotiate in good faith, and we will restore a culture of respect.

[English]

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, members of the media are telling us that they have been unable to get hold of the ambassador for religious freedom since the new government was sworn in. The ambassador has previously been a highly effective advocate internationally, earning widespread acclaim and achieving substantial results.
    At a time when religious minorities are more vulnerable than ever before, why is the ambassador being muzzled?
    Mr. Speaker, that is quite rich coming from that party. We do not muzzle officials at all. The Conservatives did. They did it all over the place.
    We will fight to protect the right of freedom of religion, and all freedoms will be protected as much as possible by this government.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, this week Canada is back in the hall of shame on climate change.
    First the government showed up at the Paris negotiations with the Conservatives' weak targets. Now it is blocking agreement on compensation for the world's poorest people.
    This has earned Canada a fossil of the day award. Just like the old government used to get. It is déjà vu all over again.

[Translation]

    When will this government stop blocking negotiations and finally show some real leadership on climate change?
    Mr. Speaker, I disagree completely. For the first time in 10 years, Canada is a leader in the fight against climate change.

[English]

    Instead of being a laggard, we are a leader. That is a change. We must congratulate the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. She has been appointed as a facilitator by the chair of the COP21. It shows how great she is at helping to reach the result we want in the fight against climate change.
    Canada is back.

[Translation]

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday we were proud to hear the Prime Minister talk about the efforts being made by the government to settle Syrian refugees in Canada. This is a testament to the commitment we made to Canadians and the world in response to the urgent need that is being felt internationally. Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell the House what measures the government plans to take to help Syrian refugees integrate into society?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Sudbury for the question. In fact, federal agencies and other partners are currently working with my department on helping Syrian refugees with social inclusion.
    When the refugees arrive in Toronto this evening, we will provide them with a welcome kit, which will include movies and books in French and English that will give them a sense of our country's diversity of cultures, including aboriginal culture. We can count on Canadians' warmth and hospitality when the new Syrian refugees arrive.

  (1500)  

[English]

Infrastructure

    Mr. Speaker, during the election, the Liberals told Canadians that $10 billion a year in deficits would pay for new infrastructure, but as we have seen, the government has already committed billions of dollars in spending, and it has also a $1.2 billion revenue shortfall from this week's tax announcement. On top of this, no new infrastructure spending has been announced.
    How much are the Liberals going to cut back from their infrastructure plan that was promised to Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, we are committed to doubling our infrastructure funding over the next 10 years. That will help us create sustainable, livable, and healthy communities. We have committed to do that.

[Translation]

Intergovernmental Relations

    Mr. Speaker, in 2013, the previous government decided to support a court challenge of Bill 99, the legislation that reaffirms Quebec's right to determine its own future.
    I would like to remind the government of the unanimous motion of Quebec's National Assembly, which reaffirms the right of Quebeckers to determine their political future.
    Does the government intend to withdraw from this case in order to respect the unanimous will of the National Assembly, or will it continue to thwart Quebec's right to determine its own destiny?
    Mr. Speaker, no pro-independence government has the right to take Canada away from Quebeckers who want to remain within Canada. It is a matter of rights and democracy.
    In any event, the vast majority of Quebeckers are very proud Quebeckers and very proud Canadians. They do not want to be forced to choose between these two wonderful identities.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, 3,500 Haitian and Zimbabwean refugees, including those who survived the earthquake in Haiti, have been facing deportation since June. That is unacceptable and inhumane.
    The Government of Quebec has submitted several stay applications to try to help these individuals obtain permanent residency. Since the federal government has the capacity to immediately welcome thousands of refugees, it is certainly capable of taking action on this.
     Will the Prime Minister commit today to regularizing the residency status of these individuals in a comprehensive and collective way?
    After discussions with my colleague from Bourassa and the Quebec immigration minister, I decided that my department was going to help these Haitians to regularize their status in Canada. I am consulting with my colleague, the Minister of Public Safety, and we will provide more details about this soon.

[English]

Presence in Gallery

    I would like to draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of Ms. Catherine Baylis who will receive the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal in the Civic Division tomorrow.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

Points of Order

Tabling of Documents  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, subsection 49.8(5) of the Parliament of Canada Act requires that the chairs of the recognized parties inform the Speaker of the House of Commons of the outcomes of the four votes that took place in the caucuses that met on November 5.
    I also note that it is the practice that the Speaker tables certain documents, such as bylaws stemming from the Parliament of Canada Act, and seeing that these three documents that your office has received stemmed from that Act, I am wondering if the Speaker has any plans to lay upon the table the three documents that pertain to the outcomes of the recorded votes that were to have taken place at the first meeting of the three recognized parties of this House of Commons.
    I thank the member for his intervention. I can assure him that all actions required by the act to be taken by the Speaker have been taken.
    The member for Calgary Nose Hill.

  (1505)  

Oral Questions  

    Mr. Speaker, earlier in question period I asked the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship a fairly important question on which I think he could have engaged in any number of ways.
    The worst logical fallacy we can make is the ad hominem attack, and in saying that I should look a little sunnier—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Hon. Michelle Rempel: —and I am being heckled now as I raise this point of order—and given that you, yourself, Mr. Speaker, said that this Parliament should be about how we conduct ourselves as parliamentarians, and while I would question whether or not he would have said that to a man in this place, I would ask, Mr. Speaker, if you would consider asking him to apologize.
    As well, and I will admit I became a little heated after his response and I asked him that question, the Prime Minister laughed at me, and I asked him, “Are you laughing at this?” and he said, “I'm laughing at you”. My colleagues saw that.
    I would ask both of my colleagues to stand up and apologize, on behalf of all women in this place.
    Mr. Speaker, my comment was intended in a lighthearted way to celebrate the arrival of the refugees this evening, but I understand it could have been taken in a number of ways. I understand now, on reflection, that I should not have made it, so I am happy therefore to apologize for that comment to my colleague.
    I thank the hon. minister for his comment and his apology. I remind members that we ought to avoid the kind of language that provokes a reaction. We should show respect for one another, and I am sure that new members in this House will appreciate the fact that when we make a mistake—we are all human and we make mistakes—we apologize for it.
    Now I believe it is time for the Thursday question. The hon. House leader of the opposition.

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, as this is the first time I rise in the 42nd Parliament, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, on your election to this most prestigious office.
    I will mention that I did leave a package of Rolaids in the compartment to your right, if you need to use it. I hope you do not, for a long period of time, but it is there for when you do.
    Since this is the first and last Thursday before the Christmas break, I would like to take a few moments to thank a few people who support us in the work we do on behalf of Canadians.
    First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the other chair occupants who will assist you in the work you do, Mr. Speaker, presiding over this chamber.
    We are very fortunate in this House to be served by a great group of professional individuals, the Clerk, the clerks at the table, and all the legislative support staff who help us in what we do.
    The House of Commons, the Parliament of Canada, is a great place to work and visit, and that is because of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes by all the support staff, whether it is maintenance, printing, postal, or security. They do a great job on our behalf as well.
    Of course, the pages have had a short period of time to work in this session, but no doubt when we come back in February, we will put them to work again to make up for it.
    Thanks also to the Hill and constituency staff and the spouses and families, all those who keep the fort running at home while we go away. We all owe thanks to our spouses, our children, our friends, and our families.
    I also want to congratulate my counterpart, the government House leader. I have worked with him for some time in the past and we have already had some productive meetings; and also the House leader for the New Democrats. I think we have found some areas of common ground, while at the same time we have engaged in very vigorous debate, holding the government to account.
    I would like to wish a very merry Christmas to all those in this place and back at home, and indeed, all Canadians. I hope they have a very merry Christmas and safe and happy holidays.
    Now I would like to ask the government House leader if he could inform the House what the business will be for the remainder of this week and when we come back in February.

  (1510)  

[Translation]

     Mr. Speaker, to answer my hon. colleague's question, this afternoon we will continue debating an opposition day motion from the Conservative Party. Following the vote on the motion, the House will consider the appropriation bill for the supplementary estimates, which provides funding for our government's program to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada.
    Tomorrow, the House will have the third of six days of debate on the address in reply to the Speech from the Throne. As members are all aware, the House will then stand adjourned until January 25, 2016.

[English]

    I want to briefly join my colleague, the opposition House leader, in wishing you, Mr. Speaker, Kelly, and your family a very happy holiday and a very Merry Christmas. It has been a long election campaign. It has been a quick series of events that have brought us to Parliament before the end of the year. I know members on all sides of the House are looking forward to a holiday break to catch up on constituency work or set up constituency offices, as so many hundreds of our new colleagues are still doing.
    I urge all colleagues to take some time with their families to enjoy the holiday season. The January to June period, as you know Mr. Speaker, is a busy one for parliamentarians. Jolène and I are looking forward to spending some time in New Brunswick at our place on the Northumberland Strait, and I would urge colleagues to take advantage of the same moment.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Hon. Dominic LeBlanc: Mr. Speaker, I was not inviting you to come to my cottage. It sounded very bad. It would be very inappropriate, because you would have to go to the cottage of every member. It would not work.
     I join the opposition House leader in recognizing the staff who work so hard here to help us with so many important tasks, starting of course with the Acting Clerk, Mr. Bosc, and his colleagues at the table. Right through the administration of the House of Commons, in every branch and every service, we are served by a remarkable group of women and men. The pages are getting the experience of their first parliamentary session. They missed a good chunk of the fall because of the election, but we look forward to seeing them in the new year.
    A final word: it is not a secret that the chief financial officer of the House of Commons, Mr. Mark Watters, a CA, is leaving after many years of distinguished service, both in the House and with the Office of the Auditor General in a number of senior public administration functions. He has certainly been, for me, a very valuable ally. He has served all members of Parliament in an extraordinary way, and I know that all of us wish him much success and happiness in a new stage of what I hope will be a continued career of serving Canadians.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to be here every Thursday, but I think it is important to be here today to congratulate you on your role as Speaker and to congratulate my colleague, the new Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and, of course, the new House Leader of the Official Opposition.
    I think we will be able to work together very productively. I also want to thank all of the staff in the House and in our constituency offices across Canada. These individuals and the work they do make it possible for us to serve Canadians.

[English]

    On behalf of the NDP caucus, I would like to wish each and every one here very happy holidays, all the best in 2016, happiness, and good health.

[Translation]

    I want to thank all the House leaders for their comments and well wishes, which I appreciate and share with all of our colleagues, employees of the House and everyone else who was mentioned. I wish the same to all of you.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

  (1515)  

[Translation]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Combat Mission Against ISIS  

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, I am glad I can continue my speech.
    To explain my position to those of my colleagues who feel that we should be doing more, I said that we should reconsider the decision to end the CF-18 mission. As a G8 country, should we not contribute as much as we are able to this international fight?
    Have we forgotten our traditional allies, our most precious alliances, and our friends? France, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States have answered the call for air strikes. Other countries are sure to join them soon.
    While the international community rallies to a common cause, will Canada beat a retreat? To withdraw our fighter jets and our courageous pilots would be to send the wrong message to ISIS. We might as well be saying that it is not important to fight terrorism and support our allies and that we could not care less about ISIS. We need to take this more seriously.
    No self-respecting government can act on a whim, not when it comes to ISIS and certainly not when it comes to the safety of Canadians.
    That the government think before it acts is not too much to ask. Let us wait before taking any ill-conceived action. We need to begin by listening to and consulting Canadians, our allies, and first and foremost, this House, in the spirit of collaboration and transparency.
    Here on this side of the House, the only message we want to send beyond our shores is that Canada is standing up. If Canada will not stand up to ISIS, who else will?
    We have the means, the materials and the equipment. Our soldiers are very well trained, and in that regard, as a former soldier myself, I know what I am talking about. We have everything we need to do our part with pride and conviction. Imagine what a difference we could make. After all, that is what Canadians expect from their government.
    At the end of the day, what is the Prime Minister so afraid of? Is he afraid of terrorism or is he afraid of being wrong?
    In closing, and in keeping with the mood here as this session begins, I urge all members of the House to reflect carefully on the thoughts and criticisms my colleagues and I have shared here today.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am sure the member can appreciate the fact that we have just come through a national election from which a new government has been formed. Part of its election platform was to recognize that Canada could play another role outside that of the CF-18s. I wonder if the member would recommend to the government that it should in essence break an election promise.
    It is something that was very clear and made to all Canadians. Canadians then decided to support the Liberal Party and the commitment it made to recognize that there might be other ways that the air force, which I am a former member of, could actually play a role. It does not mean that it has to be with fighter jets; there are alternatives.
    Given the fact that a solid commitment was made by the Liberal Party in the last federal election, is there not an obligation, in the member's mind, that we maintain that commitment?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the very good question.
    If the member had been here for the beginning of my speech, he would have heard what I said about his government, namely that it should take note of how international relations are developing right now. As we know, there have been a number of attacks in recent weeks, including one in Paris.
    Under the previous Conservative government, we had a three-pronged strategy: bring in refugees, provide humanitarian assistance to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, and go into battle with our CF-18s.
    Today we are not asking the government to break any promises. We are just asking the government to recognize the current chaotic reality of international relations and reverse its decision.

  (1520)  

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank and congratulate my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou for another heartfelt and thoughtful speech.
    Over the past few days and earlier today the Liberal government told us that we make up barely 2% of the air strike missions. They keep putting the emphasis on “barely 2%”.
    The hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou is a former soldier. He wore the uniform with pride and honour for five years. He comes from a military family.
    As a soldier, how does the hon. member feel when he hears the government repeatedly say that our participation amounts to barely 2%, when our pilots are risking 100% of their lives in such a difficult and dangerous situation?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent, whose riding is quite close to Beauport—Limoilou, for his question.
    I find that way of thinking shameful. I would like to reiterate that, in those 2% of cases, 100% of the individuals are serving our country and putting their lives in danger every day to protect our freedoms.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I keep hearing the phrase "cut and run". Republican Senator John McCain is not a man who cuts and runs. He suffered for months in a Viet Cong prison. He is currently the chair of the U.S. Senate armed services committee. On Tuesday, he said that the United States needed to reconsider the focus of its campaign in the Levant. I will quote from an article he wrote with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham for The Wall Street Journal. He wrote that the United States needs to “develop a strategy that is credible to the American people and I don't think that is the case today“ with the air campaign focus. Would you like to comment on Senator McCain's position on this?
    Order, please. I would remind the member to direct his comments to the Chair, please.
    The hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for that very good question.
    I will not comment on American politics or on the U.S.'s decisions on international relations. I do not understand “reconsider the focus” to mean redefining the U.S. air strike approach, so I do not see how that changes what we are saying here.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Etobicoke Centre.
    This afternoon, it is with a great sense of responsibility, humility and pride that I rise before my colleagues in this honourable House for the first time.
    I would like to thank the people of Mississauga—Lakeshore for putting their trust in me. I would also like to thank my family and my extraordinary team in Mississauga—Lakeshore. I also want to congratulate all of my colleagues in the House on getting elected or re-elected and you, Madam Speaker, on your re-election.
    I am rising on a very important topic, namely ISIS, a terrorist group otherwise known as Daesh.

[English]

    I would like to begin by thanking my colleague opposite, the hon. member for Parry Sound—Muskoka, for introducing this motion so that we can have this important discussion here in the House of Commons today on developments in the Middle East.
    I was in the Middle East for nearly seven years, from 2005 to 2012, serving as a senior United Nations official in Baghdad, Iraq. The majority of my time was devoted to supporting the Iraqi parliament, the Iraqi executive, and elected officials of the Iraqi Kurdistan region. My team and I supported our Iraqi counterparts in building an all-party dialogue on important questions of political and constitutional reform, including their struggle with early incarnations of the Islamic State of Iraq.

  (1525)  

    As a Canadian who has served proudly under the blue flag, one of my proudest moments was when former prime minister Jean Chrétien decided not to join the coalition that intervened in Iraq in 2003, a decision that was supported by members of the Conservative caucus but opposed by President Obama.
    It is difficult for me to fully capture just how much goodwill this Canadian decision generated among the people of Iraq during the subsequent decades and how profound a role it played in allowing my UN team and me to build trust and effective working relationships with our Iraqi counterparts and Iraqi-Kurdish counterparts.
    Let me be clear. Today the question of how to deal with the Islamic State is of the utmost importance for people of the Middle East, for us in the west, and in all other parts of the world and, ultimately, for human civilization. By all indications, fear, division, and widening global conflict is what this murderous group wants to achieve. We must not indulge it. We need to defeat it in other ways.
    Canada's most effective contribution to the fight against ISIS will focus on empowering those voices and forces in the region that are prepared to stand up and take on the fight to reclaim their territory and their collective future from this terrorist group, like our friends in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.
    One of the greatest obstacles to the fight against ISIS is that at the moment there is no alternative vision in the Middle East. Young men or women in Iraq or Syria who contemplate standing up in the struggle against ISIS will first ask themselves what exactly they are fighting for. The formulation of an alternative, the vision of a better tomorrow for an economic and social future, is not something that can be created by dropping more bombs on Syria.
    The Islamic State is a complex, multi-faceted humanitarian, economic, religious, cultural, political, and military problem. It has those components. Most important, the vision for a better tomorrow has to be created by the people of the Middle East; it cannot be imposed from the outside.
    I am proud of the government's decision to withdraw our fighter jets from the Syrian air campaign, all the while remaining engaged in the effort to defeat ISIS on other fronts, including military training and advisory capacities to support the brave military forces in the region that are taking up the armed struggle and who have developed their vision for a better tomorrow.
    Just to be clear, the Canadian Armed Forces has a strong record of projecting leadership abroad through its participation in international operations. Foremost in our memory of course is the mission in Afghanistan. Over the 12-year mission, Canada sent more than 40,000 personnel to the region. Many of our members served more than one tour, including our hon. Minister of National Defence.
    Our achievements in Afghanistan were hard won. Our forces had to overcome many challenges. Canada undertook ambitious projects that aimed to improve the lives of Afghans, including helping to build critical infrastructure such as roads and schools and supporting partners with important initiatives like education on polio.
    We are proud of Canada's legacy in places like Afghanistan and in many other places around the world, and of the tremendous effort of our brave women and men in uniform. Our legacy continues as the people of Afghanistan now continue to progress toward a democratic and secure country.
    Our government has never been opposed to deploying our armed forces in combat when it clearly serves our national interests. The Government of Canada will shift our mission to a non-combat role that will be focused on training and humanitarian aid.
    I am particularly proud of the fact that Canada participates actively in the humanitarian aid effort, which includes, most importantly and most recently, the fact that we will be welcoming 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by March of next year.
    The problem of Daesh is multi-faceted. There are many roles to play. Canada is not advocating for an end to the air campaign. There are countries that are going to conduct an air campaign. We are not telling them to stop. All we are saying is that there is a better way for Canada, a more effective way that better fits Canada's historical missions. It is sophistication. It is an understanding of the region and it is a history of diplomatic engagement. For that reason, I am proud to speak against the motion today.

  (1530)  

    Madam Speaker, I am quite surprised listening to the member's background that he was in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan, considering that he feels that humanitarian assistance and diplomacy is what will work in that region and not military and that he would like to withdraw.
    Let me remind him that I was also engaged with diplomacy and everything in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq. I can say from our experience, without having strong action being taken, if we had taken very strong actions with the Maliki government when it was in power, ISIS would not have had the opportunity to do the horrendous crimes that it did and is doing right now.
    I am extremely surprised that the member is talking about actually withdrawing. Making it even worse, he is telling the coalition to do it and we should not. That is exactly what he just said. Let others carry the burden and we will stay home. That is something we will not agree with.
    Madam Speaker, again, the problem of ISIS is multi-faceted. There are many tasks that need to be accomplished. Canada can play a better role in this conflict than simply dropping bombs. Canada has demonstrated its engagement at political, diplomatic, humanitarian, economic, and governance levels in the past. There are roles for us to play that others are not playing effectively that we could and should play. Again, most emphatically at this point, training the brave men and women of the Kurdish forces who are standing firm in their fight against ISIS. It is a local solution that is required; it is local embrace of their own collective future. We are here to help the Iraqi people, the Kurdish people, the people of the region who stand against ISIS to achieve exactly that.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the Conservatives have been providing erroneous information about the combat mission since the discussions on this subject began. The combat mission is not being carried out under the UN or the NATO banner, and many coalition countries are not participating in combat missions but are simply providing humanitarian aid.
    Does my colleague have any information about the type of humanitarian aid that Canada could provide? How can we provide real assistance on the ground by providing humanitarian aid?
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her very pertinent question.
    It really is about what Canada does best. What is our expertise, what is our record when it comes to international engagement?

[English]

    What can we do best? With the problem of the complexity of ISIS, it is a question of figuring out what is not only in our national interest, but through which avenues we can help the Iraqi people, the people of the Middle East the best. It is not simply by dropping bombs on Syria; that is not the Canadian way. It has never been the Canadian way to reflexively engage in air strikes without further thought.
    Maybe I can take this opportunity to question fundamentally a perspective on the side of the Conservative caucus that somehow suggests that we dishonour our women and men in uniform, or dishonour their service, by pulling them back or redeploying them. That calls into question the civilian control of our armed forces that is fundamental to our democracy and that this caucus seems to be throwing into question.
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his exceptional understanding of this question. I find myself in the position of asking a genuine question and trying to probe my way through this discussion. From his expertise in the area and region, in that large arsenal of tools that we have to help in this situation, what would his first or second priority be in terms of diplomacy, or aid, or on-the-ground training? What would he suggest to the House and the government?

  (1535)  

    Madam Speaker, most important would be the resumption of diplomatic relationships. We are providing humanitarian aid and assisting with military training of the Kurdish forces. We have let go of our diplomatic engagement in the Middle East. If we are not trusted as political interlocutors, we have no future in working toward a comprehensive solution.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to begin this debate by expressing the gratitude of all of us in the House, in fact, of all Canadians, to the men and women of Canada's armed forces.
    Canada's forces have a fearless history of facing down evil. Most recently, in the Levant, it is Canada's air force personnel who have contributed to the allied air war campaign against Daesh that we are proud of. However, our capacity in this regard is modest and it is reflected in the statistics of the air campaign, to which we have contributed a mere 2% of all bombing runs.
    It is also significant to note that 75% of our aircraft engaged in this campaign return with their payloads unspent due to the correct and strict rules of engagement preventing bombings that cause collateral civilian deaths. Having no such qualms, Daesh uses civilian settings as human shields. Today, virtually all military and counterterrorism experts have come to the conclusion that this war will not be won from the air. It will be won on the ground.
     Daesh is a scourge that must be eliminated. This is a war that must be won. It is time to reassess our strategy and strategically re-examine our military commitment to the allied war effort in ways that match our abilities and can produce results on the ground. That is why our commitment of providing training and arms to local forces, such as the Iraqi military and Kurdish peshmerga fighters, is of critical importance to winning this war.
    This past Tuesday, in testimony before the U.S. Senate armed services committee, two former top Obama officials underscored that the U.S. was not winning the fight against the so-called Islamic state. Michèle Flournoy, former under secretary of defence, stated, “I don't think we are fully resourcing a multidimensional strategy.... ...[we] need to play more of a leadership role...in terms of enabling others militarily,...”
    However, this war on terror in the Levant has two fronts. Three of the five major terrorist attacks have occurred in NATO countries in recent months and most of the suicide terrorists were born and raised in the west. As a lonely Virginia born and raised teenager, Ali Amin stated in a New York Times interview this past month that, curious about the Islamic State, he went online. There he found a virtual community waiting. He stated:
    For the first time, I felt I was not only being taken seriously about very important and weighty topics, but was actually being asked for guidance. By assimilating into the Internet world instead of the real world, I became absorbed in a “virtual” struggle while disconnecting from what was real: my family, my life and my future.
    In the west, these sympathizers number in the thousands. For weeks and months, they marinate in the rhetoric and symbolism of the fictitious Islamic State, courtesy of Twitter and other platforms. They are lauded for being wise and told that they are leaders. Finally and tragically, they are recruited to travel as fighters to the Levant or encouraged to commit horrific acts of terror against non-Muslims or, as they are called, infidels, and non-supportive Muslims, so-called apostates, in their home countries.
    In June of 2014, a huge surge in foreign recruitment began. By September of this year, estimates are that nearly 30,000 foreign recruits have poured into Syria, a doubling in the number of terrorist fighters. It is estimated that approximately 300 have come from North America, mostly from the United States, but a handful from Canada as well. This coincided with Daesh declaring online that it was now an "Islamic caliphate" or "Islamic state."
    Clearly, there is a powerful communications battle taking place. We must not inadvertently feed the false narrative and provide this terrorist death cult with legitimacy by calling it an Islamic state. It is neither Islamic nor a state. In fact, it propagates a perversion of basic tenets of the Muslim faith and can only militarily occupy a decreasing number of cities and towns in Syria and Iraq.

  (1540)  

    We must join the Arab countries and our closest allies, Great Britain and France, and call it what it is: Daesh, a death cult.
    The crisis we face in Syria and Iraq has layers of complexity and has due political significance. Currently, our allied war effort faces new and additional challenges posed by a significant ramping up of involvement by Kremlin President Putin.
     As we have learned in recent years, Putin's stated intent and actions are often diametrically opposite. Instead of bombing Daesh, the vast majority of bombs unleashed by the Russian military land on anti-Assad forces and civilian neighbourhoods. The Kremlin is expanding existing and adding to the number of Russian naval and air force military bases in Syria. At the same time, it continues to test NATO partner Turkey's resolve.
    Problematically, while for the most part avoiding bombing Daesh, the FSB, Russia's intelligence services, has been funnelling hundreds of fighters from Dagestan into Daesh's ranks. A recent investigation by Novaya Gazeta, one of the few independent newspapers left in Russia, based on extensive fieldwork by Elena Milashina has concluded that, “Russian special services have controlled” the flow of jihadists into Syria. Russia has now become the third-biggest source country for foreign Daesh fighters.
    The FSB's establishment of a green corridor is meticulously documented by Novaya Gazeta, from FSB recruiters to supply of travel documents. FSB funnels potential terrorists who, instead of causing trouble and blowing things up in Russia, militarily engage NATO forces. This has, in the Kremlin's view, the added benefit of making impossible a Qatari gas pipeline through Syria and Turkey to Europe so as not to challenge Russia's gas chokehold of western European gas markets.
    In our war against Daesh, we must find ways to address all of its complexities in the Levant, on the Internet, at home, and geopolitically.
    As Republican Senator John McCain, chair of the U.S. Senate armed services committee co-wrote with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in the Wall Street Journal in regards to the current allied war effort, which focuses on our air campaign, the U.S. needs to “...develop a strategy that is credible...I don't think that is the case today.”
    Our government intends to develop a comprehensive strategy to fight this war in ways that make the most effective use of our military resources and with our allies, help rid the Levant of the Daesh death cult and its global tentacles.
    I would like to conclude with a quote from U.S. Ambassador to Canada Heyman, this morning on Ottawa radio station CFRA AM 580. He stated:
     I think each country is making their own decisions as to how they are going to contribute to this. In my conversations with the Prime Minister and his team, they have a firm commitment to the coalition. It will be robust...and I am confident that we're going to work very well together.
    For the above stated reasons, I will be opposing the Conservative motion.
    Madam Speaker, it is nice to see you in the chair. Congratulations on this special role.
    I listened to my friend's speech with some interest. It seems he quotes John McCain in the United States without even understanding the context of that quote.
    The original mission, we all might remember if we followed this for a few years, was to degrade and destroy ISIS or ISIL. Canada has been a proud part of an international coalition of countries from around the world doing just that. In fact, it has been successful. In between 25% to 30% of the land area in Iraq and in parts of Syria, ISIS has been pushed out and there has been the containment.
    What Senator McCain was actually asking for was the destruction of ISIS, which is the next step. The President of France has been going around the world urging all countries to step up, not just to degrade but to destroy, because we have seen what leaving that threat out there can cause to even democracies far away.
    My question for the member is: Having played the role degrading ISIS to this point, when our allies are actually calling for the effort to be stepped up, why are we the only one stepping away?

  (1545)  

    Madam Speaker, Senator McCain was quite clear during hearings in the committee, and in the article that I quoted, that an air campaign on its own was not effective and that a ground campaign was critically necessary.
    On that same day, The Wall Street Journal also wrote a piece, which I would like to quote from. It said, “as in the past, air power alone will not win this war. Any administration strategist or presidential hopeful who pretends otherwise isn't serious about achieving victory.”
    Madam Speaker, I welcome you to your new position. I would also like to welcome the member for Etobicoke Centre and extend a hand of invitation. I look forward to him joining our Canada-Ukraine parliamentary friendship association. I am sure that he will want to join those activities.
    The Liberal government has committed that it will be withdrawing its fighter jets from Syria, but we still have not clearly heard what the timetable is on that withdrawal. I wonder if the member could provide clarification on that, and also advise the House what actions are being taken to stem the flow of arms and funds to ISIL. Our party has been very outspoken since the bombing began in Syria, and before, when there was the activity in Iraq and around the world. We have continuously campaigned to have Canada sign the arms trade treaty.
    Can the member update us on the actions by the government in that direction?
    Madam Speaker, I will certainly take up the hon. member's offer to join the committee.
    With regard to the questions posed, our government will take the time necessary to develop a strategy that will make a difference on the ground and that will be a robust part of the allied war effort. I am sure that in due course, we will all be aware of what that strategy entails.
    With regard to the funding, recruitment, and international character of this particular Daesh problem, we live in a global village connected by the Internet. One of the problematic parts of this, as I stated in my speech, was how insidious that reach can be. Part of what we do will probably entail talking to providers and platforms about how they can make sure that their channels are not used by groups with jihadist terrorist intent.
    Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise to speak on my first debate in the 42nd Parliament.
    Before I begin, I want to take this opportunity to thank my constituents of Calgary Forest Lawn and Calgary East for electing me for the seventh time, and for having put their trust in me again. I want to say a very big thanks to them.
    I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member for South Surrey—White Rock.
    The motion today is to continue our engagement to fight ISIL. This is now an international human rights issue. Those who sponsor and carry out these horrendous crimes against humanity must be brought before the International Criminal Court and brought to justice, in the same way as the Nuremberg trials were held. However, first we have to defeat them.
    Our previous Conservative government brought this current engagement to Parliament and sought its approval. I have participated in numerous debates on this issue of tackling ISIS in this House.
    I listened to the Minister of National Defence, and I am not convinced he is on the right path. We are downgrading our engagement by removing the air force and stopping Canadian air strikes.
    During debates in the previous Parliament, we found support for this mission from Canadians and from many Liberals, as well as our allies in the international community. Not surprisingly, of course, we never got any support from the NDP.
    However, to see the government trying to follow the same NDP logic by downgrading the fight against injustice is doing an injustice, not only to the victims of the terrorist group, but also to future generations who would fall victim to this terrorist group. Paris comes to mind. I can say from experience that when strong action is not taken to fight injustice, its consequences can be devastating.
    After the fall of Saddam Hussein, the G-8 and neighbours of Iraq held three conferences, in Egypt, Istanbul and Kuwait. I represented Canada at all three of these Iraq meetings. It was an attempt by the international community to stabilize and rebuild Iraq. We all pledged money and help for Iraq, but the Maliki government did not take it seriously, and our international partners, including us, did not demand stronger accountability from his government.
     This resulted in the continued weakening of the Iraqi government, to the point where this terror group, ISIL, filled the gap. The results were massacres, rape, killings, and much suffering. The lesson we have to take from this is to take strong action when a threat arises.
    Today's motion is asking the government to ensure that our engagement is not downgraded. Canadian air strikes have been successful in engaging the terrorists. Why the government wants to stop this is beyond our understanding. Only today reports say that the financial chief of ISIS was killed in air strikes. This is a big blow to ISIS.
    The question Canadians are asking is this. Are the Liberals serious in fighting ISIS, or are they talking about token support? They keep talking about this robust engagement that is going to come. They keep talking as if there is a vacuum right now in the war against the terrorists. The Liberals are forgetting that Canada has been engaged, not only on humanitarian grounds but in training peshmerga. I have heard Liberals talking about training peshmerga. They seem to have forgotten the fact that has been going on, through the motion that was passed by the previous Conservative government.
    I do not understand where this robust thing is going to come from. It is already there. Why does the government want to take away what is already a successful engagement against this terrorist group? It is beyond anybody's understanding.
     I know the defence minister served in Afghanistan. However, I was on the House of Commons special committee on Afghanistan, which was there to oversee our mission in Afghanistan, recommended by former Liberal foreign minister John Manley. I travelled with the committee to Afghanistan and saw our operations first-hand.

  (1550)  

     The Taliban is still a threat today. Only yesterday it attacked the Kandahar airport, where over 50 people are now confirmed dead.
    Have we abandoned Afghanistan? No. However, the presence of American forces is what is keeping Afghanistan safe today. It could easily revert to becoming another region where terror and terrorists reign. Therefore, the government must engage with ISIS to destroy it, before it destroys us.
    Britain went through a debate as to whether it would perform air strikes. Because of the threat posed by ISIS, it has now changed its mind and is engaging in air strikes.
    Let us look at France, Britain, the U.S.A., and the other neighbouring countries, like Jordan and Iran, that engaged in air strikes to stop ISIL because they recognized it as a threat.
    We say that we will stop it, and then we say that we will find a robust and better way of doing it. I have heard others say today that we should let the others carry the burden and we can stand on the sidelines.
    When we go to the Remembrance Day parades and talk to the veterans who have fought for the freedom of this country and I listen to their stories, it is evident that the reason they have put their lives on the line is for our freedom and our country's freedom. They went out and they fought. They did not run away like this Liberal government wants us to run away from the air strikes. It is beyond my understanding.
    Everyone talks about the great job being done by our air force. Our armed forces are well trained. When the previous Liberal government was in power, it cut the military expenditures, to the point where our armed forces were no longer effective, creating a period of darkness. The Conservative government invested in the armed forces, and today it is doing an excellent job in Iraq and wherever else it is deployed. We are all proud of the excellent work they have been doing, including the members on the Liberal side.
     Therefore, I do not understand why the Liberals want to pull out. Time after time, I have heard the argument that we should provide humanitarian assistance. If there is no security on the ground, what is the point of humanitarian assistance? Where do they think it will go? It will not go to the people who need it. First and foremost, there is a need for security, and that security can only come if we take up the fight. That is why this motion is very apt. If the Liberals do not support it, so be it. However, Canadians will support this motion, and we will stand to fight against ISIL.

  (1555)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's comments.
    ISIL is not waging a conventional war. The Conservative opposition seems to be fixated on air strikes as the ultimate tool for countering the horrors committed by ISIL.
    Would my colleague tell us how the CF-18s can prevent recruitment in western countries of radicalized youth who commit crimes in our major cities? How can the CF-18s prevent massacres like the one in Paris?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I agree with the member that air strikes are not the only way to defeat ISIL. It is only one way of weakening ISIL, not defeating it, but weakening it so that it is powerless.
     Do members remember the town of Kobani, which ISIL was going to take over and the whole community was under threat, or the Yazidis, who were massacred by the ISIL group in that state and the large graves that were found? Do you not think we should go to fight and stop all of these refugees from coming out of there? The government has just taken 25,000 refugees out of the million refugees that are over there. I have visited those camps in Turkey and everywhere else. That is why it is important to take on ISIL and fight it, so that the minorities are safe in their own country and in that country. That is why it is important and why I say it is one of the tools that we need to go ahead and fight ISIL.

  (1600)  

    I know the member has been in the House for quite a few years. I want to remind him to please direct his comments to the Chair and not a specific member in the House.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for North Island—Powell River.
    Madam Speaker, I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate you for sitting in the chair today.
    When the member was in the government and committed Canada to this mission, Conservatives did so without providing incremental funding to the armed forces to cover the costs of the mission. Therefore, the forces had to find the money by reallocating money from other departments and programs like the navy. Why was this mission not properly funded when the Conservatives originally committed Canada to it?
    Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate you as well for being in the chair.
    I am pretty surprised about the resources she says were not properly funded. This mission was properly funded. The approval of this mission was done in the House of Commons. There was a debate here and everybody had a chance to speak, and it was very clear that it was absolutely funded. I do not know what she is talking about, that this is not funded.
    I hope the Liberal government, before it does anything, will bring it to the House so we can debate this here like the Conservative government did. We are a little concerned. For example, on electoral reform, the Liberals do not want to have a referendum. Therefore, I do not know if they will consult us with this change in their plans.
    Madam Speaker, nobody in the House denies the need for humanitarian aid and for diplomacy as two crucial elements in countering the Islamic State. The real issue at play today in this debate is whether or not the Gouvernment of Canada's and Canadian Armed Forces' combat mission should continue against the Islamic State. The Conservatives believe it should.
    The Liberal government has said that it should not and the whole issue here is why is that the case. Many Liberals like Irwin Cotler have long called for a combat mission as a central part of an international coalition response to counter the Islamic State. I cannot believe that all 183 Liberal members are in agreement with the government's position on this and I encourage them to support the motion in front of the House.
    Madam Speaker, very briefly, I agree with him.
    Madam Speaker, I am pleased to stand in the House on behalf of my riding of South Surrey—White Rock. I congratulate you on being in the chair.
    I want to speak to the motion that has been put forward by my hon. colleague.
     As former mayor of the city of Surrey, where over 95 languages are spoken and which is home to the largest number of government-assisted refugees in the province of British Columbia, I am well aware of the issues on the ground that the refugees are faced with and the horrific conditions that many have endured.
    To this point, the Syrian and Iraqi-based crisis has required a multi-faceted approach, which has been continually supported and maintained by the Conservatives.
    I want to go back a bit and talk about the CF-18 fighter jets. In October, 2014, those jets bombed weapons caches, training facilities, critical infrastructure, and command centres. The Canadian Special Operations Forces have trained more than 1,100 soldiers on the ground.
    With regard to humanitarian aid for the Iraqi people, the Conservatives, on behalf of Canadians, provided food for almost 2 million people and relief supplies for 1.2 million. In Syria, starting in 2012, we committed $503 million in international humanitarian aid. In addition, we understood the need to identify and deal with the root causes in the country of origin, as well as helping the people who were fleeing the violence. Some 10,000 refugees were processed or in the final stages of being processed when we committed to an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees. We wanted to ensure that there was a more secure and more robust screening process in place due to current global events.
    As I stated, this effort to defeat ISIS has to be multi-faceted. That is the only approach that we have ever supported. There are two main points to emphasize. The first is to maintain the air combat mission of the CF-18 fighter jets in the fight against ISIS. The second is to reconfirm our commitment to our allies.
    The United Nations Security Council determined that ISIL constituted an unprecedented threat to international peace and security, and further called upon its member states to take all necessary measures to prevent and suppress its terrorist acts on territory under its control in Syria and Iraq.
    The foreign affairs minister for the Kurdistan regional government said:
    We would like to tell them that the air strikes have been effective, they have helped us a great deal. They have helped save lives...And if it were for us [to decide], we request that to continue.
    When President Obama referred to his closest allies as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, I would suggest that Canada is not back.
    From a purely moral perspective, how can we turn our backs on this coalition and our closest allies, including the people still living in Syria and Iraq who face the violence and brutality of ISIS on a daily basis? Let me remind the Liberal government exactly what we have been witness to.
     We have seen the recent attacks and murders of innocent people in Paris, Lebanon, and Beirut. We have also been witness to the sheer brutality of ISIS as demonstrated by the beheading of foreign aid workers, journalists from the U.S., U.K., France, Australia, Japan, and 21 Egyptians who were lined up on a beach, and the burning alive of a Jordanian coalition pilot. Most disturbing of all, as pointed out by the member for Calgary Centre-North on Monday, is the genocide of a reported 8,000 Yazidi women and young girls. Thousands of others have been kidnapped, sold and raped.

  (1605)  

    I am deeply saddened as a Canadian, as a woman, and as a mother that Canada would not stand with her allies and protect these innocent people.
    I would like to reinforce this point in a much more personal way.
     For over a year, I have been associated with two young Yazidi orphan girls. They were once a family of five. These girls were forced to watch their mother be raped and then shot in the head. They were forced to watch as their father was beheaded and then witnessed their 9-year-old brother crucified. Their home was burned to the ground and their livestock and pets were slaughtered. It was only by a sheer miracle that they managed to escape the chaos and get safely to a refugee camp. No child should have to witness such horror.
    I heard the Prime Minister say on Monday “...what we will not do is continue trying to talk about it and give ISIS any free publicity”. That comment frankly is offensive to every man, woman, and child who has been brutalized by ISIS. We have to talk about it and we cannot pretend it does not exist. Nor can we be silent. We need to stand with our allies, maintain the air combat mission of the CF-18 fighter jets, continue the humanitarian aid that we started in 2012, and properly screen and support the refugees coming to Canada in a meaningful way so they can succeed and live in a country that welcomes them.
    However, we also need to deal with the root causes in Syria and Iraq, namely, ISIS, because many of those who are fleeing their homeland do not want to leave, but they have no choice.
    This is why the motion before the House is so important. As I stated earlier, this has to continue to be a multi-faceted approach, and we cannot and must not be silent on this issue.

  (1610)  

    Madam Speaker, the hon. member opposite keeps referring to this terrorist death cult as ISIS, Islamic state. Does she believe that this death cult reflects the tenets of Islam? Does she believe that in fact it is a state? If not, why continue using terminology that lends credence and legitimacy to this death cult? Why not refer to it as Daesh, as our allies do?
    Madam Speaker, the terminology that has been used is very familiar to those in the general public. We can define it any way we want, but the fact is it is killing hundreds of thousands of people who are fleeing from their country. It is murdering and raping young girls and children. That is what we have to pay attention to.
    Madam Speaker, I am glad to see you in the seat.
    Last month the UN Security Council urged its members to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of arms and funds to foreign terrorist fights and to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism. Specifically, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commented, “Over the longer-term, the biggest threat to terrorists is not the power of missiles – it is the politics of inclusion.” The truth is air strikes are sadly being used as a recruitment tool for ISIL.
    Could the member please explain why they believe bombing works, given the many examples we have from the region that bombing does not in fact contribute in any way to a peaceful outcome?
    Madam Speaker, I will answer the member's question in a two-fold way. I totally agree that the financial flow and the weapons need to be addressed as part of the multi-faceted approach.
    However, I would also say that we look at bombing weapons caches, training facilities, critical infrastructures, and command centres. That is the focus in making sure that we are crippling them in their country of origin where they cannot expand.
    Madam Speaker, I listened to the story by the member for South Surrey—White Rock about the horrors that are being visited upon people in Syria and Iraq by the Islamic State. It really struck me that the Liberal Party has long argued for the policy of the responsibility to protect vulnerable persons who are subject to atrocities just like the ones that the member enunciated here in the House of Commons. It also strikes me that it is a classic position of the Liberal Party to say one thing and do another. The Liberal Party has long argued for the responsibility to protect doctrine and yet when atrocities the likes of which we have not seen or witnessed in recent memory are happening on a widespread scale within the Islamic State, it suddenly abandons the policy and no longer believes that military or combat action is necessary to counter this threat and to ensure the protection of these vulnerable persons.
     It is something that really struck me when I was listening to the member's speech and I am wondering if she would care to comment.

  (1615)  

    Madam Speaker, it strikes me as a bit odd as well when I hear the Liberal government talk about the vulnerability of young women and girls and about protecting them when over 8,000 young women and girls have been murdered. I am astounded that the Liberal government would not take a stronger position. In fact, I am ashamed.
    Before resuming debate, it is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Lévis—Lotbinière, international trade; the hon. member for Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, democratic reform.
    Madam Speaker, every member of the House certainly recognizes that ISIS is a serious threat to global peace and security and to Canada. New Democrats, like members of all other parties in this House, have condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist acts of ISIS and its violent extremist ideology. We deplore its continued gross, systematic, and widespread abuses of human rights. We not only believe that the international community has an obligation to stop ISIS expansion, to help the refugees in the region, and to fight the spread of violent extremism, but we also believe that Canada should be a leader in these efforts. We welcome the opportunity to have this debate in the House on how best to engage and defeat ISIS. What is disappointing is the very limited range of options being considered by the official opposition in its motion and by the government in its response.
    New Democrats have been clear that the current mission is not the right role for Canada. We think it should end. Conservatives remain, perhaps understandably, tied to the current bombing mission. As it was virtually their only concrete response to the ISIS threat as government, so it remains at the heart of their opposition motion today. Leaving aside whether Canada's contribution to the bombing campaign at just 2% to 3% of missions flown was ever anything more than a symbolic effort, one has to ask whether the bombing had any significant impact on the task of undermining or defeating ISIS. At best, it may have slowed ISIS's territorial expansion, but it has not stopped ISIS from administering territory and acting like a state, two crucial factors in its survival and a point I will return to in a moment.
    However, as a response to ISIS, the bombing campaign at least had the advantage of suggesting specific actions to achieve a clear goal—a halt to ISIS's expansion—though I would still argue that it fails as a tactic as we have little evidence to show it has been effective in challenging control of territory by ISIS. Moreover, it also fails as a goal since threat from ISIS will not be eliminated even if its expansion is slowed.
    The new government's alternative of an expanded training mission to enable local forces to be more effective in combatting ISIS seems at best poorly thought out. It suggests that we can accomplish the goal of eliminating the threat from ISIS with a tactic that at best takes years to accomplish. I know from my own professional experience working in Afghanistan the challenges of trying to create viable local security forces to challenge an insurgent movement.
    I went to Afghanistan in 2001 as the policing researcher for a major international human rights organization, having previously worked in conflict zones in Nicaragua, East Timor, the Philippines, and the province of Ambon in Indonesia. Working in these conflict zones, I learned some crucial lessons, including the unlikelihood of success when there is a mismatch between the resources available and the size of a challenge, and also when those being trained neither understand nor share the goals of their trainers. In my case, it seemed particularly futile to talk to police about the importance of evidence collecting and accurate record keeping when the police lacked paper, pens, a copy of their criminal code, and often even literate officers.
     I also learned first-hand about trainers becoming targets when our organization had bombs placed outside our compound in Kabul, and when our field mission had to leave Mazar-e-Sharif in the north abruptly after death threats to our local driver and translator.
     I therefore have a lot of questions about the Liberals' proposed training mission.
     What resources is the government prepared to devote to this mission? In Afghanistan, Canada ended up with more than 2,000 trainers in the field, along with a large logistical support organization. When the Prime Minister made an off-hand reference to thousands of trainers, did that indicate where we are heading in Iraq?
    Even if training does not inevitably involve outside-the-wire operations, like the kind that tragically cost Seargeant Doiron his life in Iraq on March 6, 2015, will not 2,000 to 3,000 Canadians in the field present all too tempting and all too many targets for ISIS? Inevitably, in trying to protect those trainers and their logistical support organizations, do we not risk being drawn into boots-on-the-ground operations?
    I would ask the government also, what are the goals of this training mission? Training locals to fight ISIS, while perhaps in and of itself is valuable, is more a tactic than a goal. How will this training in fact accomplish the goal of degrading ISIS in the near term? We all know that progress in training security forces in Afghanistan was painfully slow, despite the great skills and the dedication of the Canadian Forces deployed.

  (1620)  

    The hon. member for Calgary Forest Lawn made reference earlier to the unfortunate incident in Afghanistan yesterday, where the local security forces, despite years of training and equipment from the west, were unable to protect the airport against temporary seizure by the Taliban, which resulted in more than 50 deaths. Therefore, this training mission must consider the long-term nature of its getting results.
    The Liberals' commitment to an enlarged training mission also raises other questions that take me away a bit from the themes of today's motion, but I have to say that I am concerned that the Liberals, like the Conservatives before them, seem to be implying that the Canadian Forces can take on additional responsibilities without a corresponding funding increase.
    Having already had to absorb the costs of the bombing mission under the Conservatives without an increase in incremental funding, I question whether the Canadian Forces can absorb the costs of another large mission without impairing their ability to carry out the rest of their mandate. Talk of a leaner military by the Liberals during the campaign, continued talk of a leaner military before we have actually had the promised review of our defence strategy completed, and in the face of taking on new responsibilities in Iraq seems reckless at best.
    What are New Democrats advocating if it is neither the Conservative option of more bombing nor the Liberal option of more training? We believe that Canada needs is strategy based on a clear understanding of the nature of ISIS. There is much for us to learn in an article that was published in March of this year in The Atlantic by Graeme Wood. Wood draws our attention to the millennial nature of ISIS, with its ideology that looks forward to an imminent great military confrontation with the west, which will usher in the end of time. We have to understand the mindset of people who are guided by such an ideology and to take seriously the point that confronting this ideology head on with military force may actually feed its myths and fuel its recruiting. For all the many positive suggestions about the benefits of bombing, we know that it has helped recruit foreign fighters to their cause.
    As well, Wood notes that the whole legitimacy of ISIS as a caliphate and, therefore, its ability to command loyalty from its followers and its ability to attract foreign fighters comes from its ability to control territory. If it fails as a state, then it loses the mandate granted to it by the prophecy that it holds dear.
    If these two propositions are true, that taking ISIS head on militarily may actually be what it wants and if its ability to control territory is what is key to it attracting support—and it seems to me abundantly clear that they are—then the best strategy for eliminating the threat from ISIS may be to deprive it of the legitimacy defined in its own terms while containing it. This kind of strategy is exactly what the UN Security Council called for in its resolutions 2170 and 2199.
    Canada could be a leader not only in addressing the desperate humanitarian needs created by the conflict in the region, as we are doing in welcoming Syrian refugees to Canada, but it could also be a leader in a strategy to deprive ISIS of the oxygen it needs to survive. Canada can and should lead the world in cutting off the lifelines of ISIS, the flow of funds, the flow of arms, and the flow of foreign fighters.
    On August 15, 2014, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2170, which lays out a clear action plan calling on the international community to suppress the flow of foreign fighters and to suppress the financing of terrorist acts. On February 12, 2015, resolution 2199 was unanimously adopted by the Security Council. This resolution specifically gives instructions to member states to act, to counter the smuggling of oil and oil products, to ensure that financial institutions prevent ISIS from accessing the international financial system, and to prevent the transfer of arms to ISIS. These two resolutions lay out exactly the kind of leadership role Canada should take up in fighting this threat to global peace and security.
    When it comes to financing ISIS, ISIS is still reportedly earning up to $3 million per day from the sale of oil on black markets in the region. That has to be stopped if we are to have any hope of defeating ISIS. Canada could play a lead role by identifying those routes by which ISIS oil enters the regional markets and cutting off those sales. In addition, ISIS continues to receive significant flows of funds from outside sources. Let us track them down and cut them off, even if this may lead to some potential embarrassment for some of those in the region who Canada counts as allies or trade partners.

  (1625)  

    Let us put pressure on those international financial institutions that manage the international flows of money to cut off the funding for ISIS. When ISIS no longer has the funds to act as a government in the territories it controls or to pay its fighters, then we will have really begun to degrade ISIS.
    On the arms trade, not only has Canada failed to lead, but we have in fact been an international laggard under the Conservatives. In 2013, a global Arms Trade Treaty was adopted by the UN General Assembly. This is a treaty with practical mechanisms designed to keep weapons out of the hands of those who would use them to commit war crimes, abuse human rights or engage in organized crime: groups like ISIS.
    Canada remains the only NATO country that has refused to sign onto the global Arms Trade Treaty. Our new government needs to move quickly to sign and ratify this treaty and then become a leader in making sure its provisions are enforced.
    On foreign fighters, Canada again has failed to take sufficient action. Over the last two years, we have seen communities across Canada reaching out to the federal government asking to work together with the government to implement strategies to protect our youth from ISIS' sophisticated recruitment techniques. The Conservatives never implemented any effective measures to tackle the problem of domestic radicalization, and the new Liberal government failed to include this as a priority in its throne speech.