That, given the Prime Minister has supported a claim that the invitation issued to a convicted attempted murderer was the work of a foreign government attempting to interfere in Canadian foreign relations, while others in the government, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, claimed that the invitation was an “honest mistake” on the part of the Canadian government, the House call upon the Prime Minister to instruct his National Security Advisor, Daniel Jean, to appear before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to provide the Committee the same briefing he gave to journalists on February 23, 2018, and that the briefing take place in public and no later than March 30, 2018.
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Foothills.
I rise in the House today to speak to an important issue, although one that is also sad and shameful. Yes, I want to talk about the Prime Minister's recent disastrous trip to India, as well as our immense need to get to the bottom of the unfounded accusations made against the Indian government.
Our Prime Minister has been arrogant and disrespectful to the House and elected members from all parties. He is in the habit of sharing information with journalists ahead of Parliament and that is shameful. His arrogance, his lack of judgment, and his impetuous behaviour has spoiled our diplomatic relations with India. The relationship between our two countries is in shambles. That relationship was built over years with a great deal of effort. It is sad, but true.
We have a Prime Minister who is not very keen on coming to the House to answer questions. I guess that when he was young and dreaming of becoming Prime Minister, it never occurred to him that as leader of the country he would have to be accountable to Canadians. I guess that he thought it would be just like in the movies, where decisions and problems are neatly wrapped up in the end.
I honestly believe that the Prime Minister has woken up to the reality of his responsibilities and role and is in a state of shock. He rarely comes to the House, and when he does honour us with his presence, he does not answer the questions. He is all talk and no substance.
Let us review the facts. During the Prime Minister's family vacation to India, the media reported that a criminal convicted of attempted murder had been invited to one of the Canadian Prime Minister's events. To save face, the Prime Minister's first instinct was to do what he usually does and blame someone else for his own mistakes.
Usually, he blames our former prime minister, Stephen Harper, for all the mistakes that he and his ministers are making here in Canada. However, since he was in India, on the other side of the world, he could not find a Stephen Harper or a Conservative government, so he had to improvise. Since he is not overly skilled in the art of telling the truth, he made another mistake in an attempt to hide his first mistake. If you can imagine, our Prime Minister actually accused the Indian government of plotting to embarrass and undermine Canada by placing Mr. Atwal's name on the Prime Minister's guest list.
To lend some credence to his made-up story, the Prime Minister sent a senior official to a media-only briefing, to try to sell them this story.
Later, the Prime Minister said that he stood by the claims and accusations his official made against the Indian government. They did not hesitate to make allegations against India to Canadians, but they never provided any evidence or other information to justify their position. The Prime Minister ended up being the only one who believed the story he had made up.
That same day, both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Liberal member for Surrey Centre readily, though clumsily, denied the Prime Minister's claims.
From the very beginning, the Indian government rejected the accusations. Even Mr. Atwal confirmed, with deep dismay, that India had not been involved.
Who are we to believe? We have two versions to choose from, the one from the Prime Minister and his national security adviser, and the one from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Atwal, the Indian government itself, and the member for Surrey Centre. This latter group all denied that the Indian government had played a role in extending this invitation to Mr. Atwal. They all affirmed that there had been no plot, and the minister even apologized to the Indian government.
On the opposite side, there is the isolated and unrepentant Prime Minister, who continues to level serious accusations at India.
This Prime Minister often uses big words to say nothing at all. This Prime Minister loves to hear the sound of his own voice. For all of these reasons, we need to shine a light on this affair.
Every major nation knows that it is important to maintain good relations with other countries.
Year after year, we, as elected representatives, work hard in partnership with our staff in diplomatic affairs and other services to sign free trade agreements and increase our exports to new markets. This work is crucial because it is the main driver of job creation in Canada.
In a fit of impulsiveness and wanton recklessness, our Prime Minister destroyed our business community's chances of securing business opportunities in the Indian market.
For all of these reasons, we need to hear the testimony of the public servant who could tell the House the whole truth about this infamous affair.
First, why did the Prime Minister force Daniel Jean to tell the media an unbelievable story? Now, that same Prime Minister is hindering the work of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security by preventing Mr. Jean from answering the questions of elected officials. Why? Does he have something to hide? The Prime Minister likes to brag about being transparent and about having cleaner hands than any other leader in Canadian history. He claims to be the the Obama of the north.
We want explanations and we want answers. The only man—sorry, I meant to say the only person—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus: One has to be careful these days, right?
The only person who has the power to resolve this issue once and for all is the Prime Minister himself. I am therefore asking the Prime Minister to do his job.