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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-11-24 11:50 [p.15565]
Madam Speaker, my colleague was not talking about the fight against ISIS. He was talking about how this government is treating our serving military members. Its treatment of them is callous. It is turning its back on our veterans and even now threatening to cut the monthly allowance for injured soldiers.
The Liberals are proposing a state-funded program for radicalized terrorists, but they are not even providing a similar level of service to law-abiding Canadian citizens.
Why should terrorists who fought against our country be entitled to free reintegration services even as the Liberals abandon our own veterans and serving military members?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-11-03 11:06 [p.14934]
Mr. Speaker, this November, as members of Parliament, we have the duty and privilege to say a few words in the House to acknowledge the extraordinary dedication that our veterans and active military members show to our country, day after day, from one military conflict to the next.
We must not forget that these men and women in uniform often serve on Canadian soil, as we saw most recently during the unfortunate flooding last spring.
Therefore, in addition to remembering their many sacrifices, we must also develop legislation that helps improve their lives. I have taken action, and in May, I introduced Bill C-357 to fix a bureaucratic injustice that affects veterans.
During this time of remembrance, I urge my colleagues from all parties to take a serious look at this bill and to help me pass it, to guarantee that our veterans will be respected in their transition to civilian life.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-06-05 15:12 [p.12007]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-357, An Act to amend the Public Service Superannuation Act (Group 1 contributors).
He said: Mr. Speaker, it is with honour and pride, but mostly with humility that I rise today because this is the first time in my life that I have had the opportunity and incredible privilege, as a Canadian, to act as a legislator and introduce my first bill.
It is a private member's bill, of course, but it would require royal assent. I intend to do everything I possibly can to make the government see the importance of this bill.
It seeks to ensure that veterans can benefit from the grandfather provision in the changes made to the federal public service pension legislation.
In 2012, some changes were made to ensure the vitality of federal public service pensions. Some grandfather provisions were applied to ensure that those who were public servants before 2013 could benefit from the status quo. Veterans were inadvertently excluded from this.
When a veteran who fought for our country for many years brought the issue to my attention, I did not hesitate to move forward. For a year, I prepared everything I needed to and today I am very pleased to introduce this bill.
In closing, I would like to say that I love grassroots politics, but I want to be a full-fledged legislator. This is a big day for me and for all the veterans who served this country in another way, in the Canadian federal public service in particular.
That is why I am introducing this bill today.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-30 14:52 [p.11660]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has managed to mess up yet another an important file, that is, the replacement of Canada's search and rescue aircraft.
That is not surprising, however, since the department has been without leadership since 2015, and even more so for the past two months, considering the very partisan parliamentary secretary who is responsible for the department's policy issues.
When will the Prime Minister understand how important and how urgent procurement is and finally intervene before this completely falls apart?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-08 16:04 [p.10904]
Mr. Speaker, I will begin by simply saying that the Minister of National Defence must resign, not only because of numbers or political decisions, but because of ministerial responsibility, a very important constitutional convention in this country. Since he does not want to follow that convention, we need to use an opposition day today to call for his resignation, which is coming soon. By the end of my speech, members will understand why.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the men and women who serve their country in the Canadian Armed Forces for the hard work they do every day, as demonstrated recently when they took quick action to help address the flooding in many regions of Quebec and Ontario.
I would also like to thank the members of the 6th Field Artillery Regiment, with whom I had the honour of serving our country, for the dedication they have shown since the regiment was created to the homeland and in every conflict.
Like my other opposition colleagues, today, I want to talk about our motion, which reads as follows:
That the House has lost confidence in the Minister of National Defence's ability to carry out his responsibilities on behalf of the government since, on multiple occasions the Minister misrepresented his military service and provided misleading information to the House.
This is really very serious. It all began with earlier issues, which I will talk about shortly. First, I want to explain a little about what has brought us to this opposition day, namely Operation Medusa, which took place in Afghanistan in 2006.
The minister’s political career began recently, in 2015. Before the November 2015 election, he was still in the Canadian Armed Forces. In a speech in New Delhi, India, for the second time in his political career, he stated that he was the main architect of Operation Medusa. This was not an inadvertent error, since he had made the same false statement, the same exaggeration, previously, during the 2015 election campaign, in an interview with a journalist.
Operation Medusa was one of the most important operations conducted by the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan. It has contributed to our national pride, since it was a success, according to a majority of analysts.
Since making that false statement, the minister has been severely criticized for this lie by the media, the opposition, and numerous active or retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Today, my colleagues have clearly shown this by referring to a number of retired members of the military who are disappointed and stunned by this minister’s conduct.
What is unfortunate, but what reinforces our position on this opposition day, is that the Minister of National Defence is setting a trend in terms of how he performs his ministerial duties.
Right at the beginning of his term as minister, in December 2015, when the newly elected government decided to end our CF-18 campaign in Iraq, the Minister of National Defence held talks with certain members of the Iraqi government. When the minister returned to Canada, we asked him several times whether he had actually heard any comments about the withdrawal of our CF-18s in Iraq, and he said that was not the case. However, thanks to the good work done by journalists, we recently learned that, on the contrary, the Iraqi government had informed the minister on numerous occasions of its concerns regarding the withdrawal of the CF-18s. That is the first point on which the Minister of National Defence misled us.
The second example of the trend that the minister is setting relates to Kuwait. We have armed forces personnel in Kuwait, and, since October 5, 2014, they have received tax relief that was put in place by the Conservative government, as is often the case for other missions.
Responding to questions on the Order Paper, the Minister of National Defence acknowledged that the Conservative government had in fact put that tax relief in place. In spite of the minister’s clear statements saying that members of the military deployed in Kuwait were entitled to tax relief offered by the previous Conservative government, he kept saying, several months later, falsely, that those soldiers were deployed without receiving tax relief from the Conservative government. Why did he change his mind? Did his parliamentary assistants not bother to tell him that he had signed a paper saying that in the House? That is probably what happened, and that is another example of incompetence.
The third thing that further highlights the minister’s pattern of misleading conduct toward Canadians and the House is our fighter fleet’s lack of capacity. There is no such thing. The commander of the air force, Lieutenant-General Michael Hood, said when he appeared before the Standing Committee on National Defence, as my colleague from Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles who sits on that committee and was there can attest, that there was no lack of capacity when it comes to Canada’s fighter fleet.
I have given three flagrant examples that show that the minister has misled the House of Commons, the parliamentarians who must vote for or against the government’s decisions. His pattern seems quite obvious to me, and that brings me to the second part of my speech.
I want to come back to the convention of ministerial responsibility. If there is one fantastic thing bequeathed to us by mother England, and its fantastic mother of parliament, Westminster, it is ministerial responsibility, which rests, first and foremost, on the honour of a man or woman, the honour of serving and of acknowledging that, when the time comes, he or she must resign from his position or her position.
I have to say that Canada has an interesting history when it comes to ministerial responsibility. I am going to give all the examples of ministers who have resigned, since 1867, for reasons ranging from the trivial to the most serious.
I thought that the change in the political culture that had taken place since the 1950s should have meant that very few ministers had resigned recently. We treat politicians as we treat products of mass consumption: we toss them out when they are no longer good. Contrary to what I thought, until this millennium, ministers have had the courage to resign for much more trivial reasons than we are currently discussing in the case of the Minister of National Defence.
Mr. Galt, one of the founders of the nation, resigned in 1867 because he no longer had the support and confidence of his cabinet colleagues, who held his policy responsible for the collapse of the Commercial Bank of Canada.
In 1878, Mr. Vail, defence minister, resigned because he had violated ministerial directives by being a shareholder of a company that had received government printing and advertising contracts.
In 1907, the minister of railways and canals, Mr. Emmerson, resigned because he had been accused of going to a Montreal hotel with a person of ill repute. Is that not unbelievable?
In 1965, the secretary of state of Canada, Mr. Lamontagne, resigned because he had been accused by the opposition, not by a court, of being involved in the scandal relating to a bankruptcy close to the prime minister.
Mr. Dupuis, a minister without portfolio, resigned in 1965 after exerting undue influence in the matter of a race track in Saint-Luc.
In 1986, the minister of regional industrial expansion, Mr. Stevens, resigned because he was being investigated in relation to conflict of interest allegations, which is much more serious.
In 2002, the solicitor general of Canada, currently Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, resigned because he was being investigated in relation to conflict of interest allegations.
In 2005, the present member for Humber River—Black Creek resigned in the midst of allegations of improprieties.
Last, in 2010, minister of state Helena Guergis resigned because she was being investigated regarding allegations relating to her conduct.
As we can see, for various reasons, trivial or otherwise, ministers have followed a very important convention in our country, a constitutional convention that requires a man or woman who holds office as a minister of Canada to resign when the members of the House question their confidence in him or her. Here, it is not only us; it is the entire Canadian Forces that are questioning their confidence in the minister. He should simply resign.
When we learn the truth about all of the issues that concern us, and if he did not in fact lie to Canadians, he will be able to return.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-04-13 11:42 [p.10510]
Mr. Speaker, the military see the truth. They see it on their paycheque at the end of the month.
On April 6, the hon. member for Gatineau told me that I would get evidence of the capability gap that was cited as the reason for procuring the 18 Super Hornet jets without a bidding process. He told me that the Department of National Defence would provide me with that information.
However, on Tuesday, in committee, the Liberals voted twice against the Conservative motion calling on the Minister of National Defence to come present that evidence.
The Liberals keep saying that this capability gap exists. Why are two ministers responsible for this file unable to prove it and unable to illustrate their point in writing in a letter?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-04-06 18:47 [p.10307]
Mr. Speaker, somebody needs to get the situation at Public Services and Procurement Canada under control yesterday. Just look at the outrageous bonuses paid to executives involved with the Phoenix fiasco in various capacities.
I wish my colleague from Miramichi—Grand Lake were still here so I could tell him that the fact is, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement launched the Phoenix pay system on February 24, 2016. All of the access to information requests and all of the questions that we put on the House of Commons Order Paper leave no room for doubt, and the member for Gatineau knows it.
We initiated the Phoenix project as any responsible government would have done. We realized the previous pay system was outdated and had to be changed. However, we were not the ones who implemented it. Again, all of the access to information requests show that expert reports to the minister of the day said the system was not ready.
This evening, I want to talk about the Super Hornets, which the government plans to acquire very soon. My colleague from Edmonton West spoke about the advisability of procuring these aircraft and how long it would take. I would like to address another aspect of the problem.
The Government Contracts Regulations must apply to the Department of Public Services and Procurement because, in the end, that department's minister must give the go-ahead to the department that wants to enter into procurement contracts. The reason we have a framework for government procurement, the Government Contracts Regulations, is to prevent questionable acquisitions of this magnitude.
What I suspect, and I am confident in saying that my party colleagues agree, is that the exceptions in the regulations were rigged by the Liberal Party because it often mentions the exception contained in subsection 3(1)(g), which allows a contract to fulfill an interim requirement for defence supplies. I would like the record to show that this is not simply a legal void that the Liberal Party can use to contravene the Government Contracts Regulations.
For greater clarity, if the Minister of Public Services and Procurement approved the future purchase of the Super Hornets without a tender, she must have a letter from the Department of National Defence stating, in black and white, why an exception is being made to proceed without a tender. There are four possible reasons for the exception: state of war, an emergency, a gap, and so forth. In this case, the Liberals are saying that there is a capability gap. I do not believe it, and my party does not either. Where is the proof?
Can the parliamentary secretary show us a document from the Department of National Defence, signed by the minister, that proves there is a capability gap?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-04-06 18:54 [p.10308]
Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary mentioned an honest political disagreement between the two of us. That is indeed the case, but that is not what I am talking about.
I would point out that Denmark was able to complete an open, transparent competition in 11 months.
I am speaking to the parliamentary secretary, and it is not up to the Department of National Defence to answer me. My question is this. The rules surrounding government contracts demand that the Minister of Public Services and Procurement play a role. Any department can say that it wants this or that, for any given reason. It is too easy. Public Services and Procurement and the Government Contracts Regulations necessitate, require, and demand that the minister of public services receive a letter that explains why there is an exception, why the need is exceptional. I assume that, for the Liberals, the exception here is the capability gap. Personally, I do not think the capability gap exists—
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-02-10 11:48 [p.8791]
Mr. Speaker, there is clearly a political controversy surrounding the procurement of the Super Hornet fighter jets.
At the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates yesterday, the Liberals refused to hold an emergency debate, even though that committee's mandate is to examine procurement contracts. The goal is to ensure that everything is done by the book and that Canada's Government Contracts Regulations are followed.
Will the Liberal government allow our committee to do its job on these important matters and will it respect the parliamentary process?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-02-07 14:44 [p.8579]
Mr. Speaker, that is the main point: it is not the right equipment.
The Super Hornets will be operational for about 12 years, at most, and will cost Canadian taxpayers over $300 million per plane. Worse still, there are no significant industrial benefits on the horizon for Canadian workers or businesses. The Minister of Public Services and Procurement has a duty to manage taxpayers' money prudently, while also supporting Canadian industries.
How far is the minister willing to go to promote the Liberal Party's political interests rather than the interests of all Canadians in this great federation?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-12-12 15:57 [p.7966]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her speech.
I heard something that really surprised me. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought she said that jobs in the Canadian Armed Forces are precarious. I would like to tell all Canadians who are listening that, on the contrary, working for the Canadian Armed Forces is wonderful. I did it, as did my brother, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. It is a very well-paid job.
I strongly encourage all young millennials who are watching at home to contact their closest recruitment centre and join the Canadian Armed Forces.
If the member is saying that being a member of the Canadian Armed Forces is precarious because it involves dangerous missions, I would like to remind her that statistics show that it is much more dangerous to be a fisherman in Acadie or a city firefighter than to be part of the Canadian Armed Forces.
I want Canadians to know that being part of the Canadian Armed Forces is a wonderful experience.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-12-05 14:52 [p.7636]
Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement indicated that she did not intend to provide Canadians with the financial details of the contract to purchase Super Hornet fighter jets. She said that she wanted to talk to Boeing and the American government about it first.
The minister suggested that her government has not yet entered into discussions with Boeing, which is rather unbelievable. What is worse, Canadians are being treated like a second-class third party in this transaction, even though the minister is accountable to Canadians and Canadians only.
When will she rectify this situation and tell Canadians the unit price of the Super Hornets?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-12-01 14:46 [p.7517]
Mr. Speaker, we know three things for sure.
First, the Minister of Procurement does not know how much Super Hornet fighters cost. Second, in negotiations with Boeing and the United States, the Liberals put their cards on the table before the game even started. Third, the process to replace our fighter jets will not be done before the 2019 election.
Obviously, either the Liberals are totally incompetent, or they have a hidden agenda.
Can the minister tell us which is true?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-11-30 14:54 [p.7440]
Mr. Speaker, I asked the Minister of Public Services and Procurement a very simple question yesterday. She did not answer me, so I would like to repeat my question.
Her government's controversial decision to purchase 18 outdated Super Hornet fighter jets makes no sense. The minister's mandate is to ensure that all contracts awarded by the Canadian government are as profitable as possible and represent the best possible value for Canadian taxpayers.
Will the minister finally confirm the unit price of each Super Hornet? If she cannot do so, we will have to assume that she went ahead without full knowledge of the facts.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-11-30 14:55 [p.7440]
Mr. Speaker, the truth is simple. She is not answering because she does not know the cost of the planes. That is what we call bad governance.
In Norway, their open and transparent process to replace their fleet of fighter jets took two years. The same kind of process took 16 months in South Korea and 11 months in Denmark.
The Liberals know that their management of this file will be a turning point for Canadians, who will judge the current government's performance very severely. That is precisely why they extended the bidding period over five years, until after the next election.
When will the minister properly fulfill her ministerial mandate instead of—
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-11-25 11:55 [p.7257]
Mr. Speaker, as we speak, the Liberal government is making 235 members of the Canadian Armed Forces and public servants involved in replacing our CF-18 fighter jets sign lifetime non-disclosure agreements. That is a first.
I have no intention of wasting my question by asking the Liberals what they have to hide. It is clear that they are just going to repeat, as they just did, that they do not want to disclose the information because it is supposedly commercially sensitive and that they are following the appropriate procedures.
Instead, I would simply like to know whether public servants are being forced to sign these agreements because they did not agree with the government's decision.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-11-23 14:48 [p.7123]
Mr. Speaker, our participation in the joint strike fighter program over the past few years has injected more than $1 billion into the Canadian economy and created and maintained thousands of jobs across the country.
Yesterday the Premier of Manitoba, Mr. Pallister, expressed his concerns about the plan to purchase the Super Hornet, and with good reason, since those aircraft will be built almost entirely in the U.S.
Is that what leadership means to this government, creating jobs outside the country?
Can the Minister of Public Services say otherwise? Has she forgotten her mandate?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-11-22 14:38 [p.7076]
Mr. Speaker, the joint strike fighter program has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in investments in Canada's aerospace industry. It would have created thousands of jobs in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick.
The government says that it will hold an open and transparent process after having awarded a sole-source contract for the Super Hornet today. Its approach lacks credibility.
Why is the government buying CF-18 Super Hornets now given that the capability gap is a complete fabrication?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-11-22 14:39 [p.7076]
Mr. Speaker, it is an open competition for five years, bringing the decision to after the election. All Canadians know that is a joke.
Lieutenant-General Hood and Chief of Defence Staff General Vance both confirmed in a committee hearing in Parliament that our current fighter jets do not have a capability gap. They can be flown until 2025.
Why is this government refusing to launch an open and transparent competition right now in order to identify the best contract for our Canadian Forces and provide good jobs in Canada right away?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-10-05 14:56 [p.5519]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening I had a visit from Claude Lalancette, a veteran who fought bravely for us overseas. He was in tears, and he is clearly in a very serious situation.
He has been on a hunger strike for two days and has slept outside for two nights. The first was at the National War Memorial here in Ottawa, and the second was in front of Parliament itself. This situation concerns all members of the House.
What is the Prime Minister going to do for Mr. Lalancette right now?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-02-23 15:33 [p.1273]
Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to speak to the unfounded and wrong-headed nature of the mission the current Liberal government has adopted in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.
There is no doubt that this group poses a real and tangible threat. No one in this chamber can deny it. This armed terrorist group claims to be the equivalent of a sovereign state, although nothing could be further from the truth. This clearly illustrates its clear desire to be a lasting, structured organization.
To achieve that, this group and its acolytes have managed to embroil a region of the world that has never truly known peace even more deeply in extremely violent armed conflicts and by so doing, pushing that region even further away from becoming the just and peaceful society that every population in those imperilled areas certainly dreams of.
Peace defined as an in-between period is a consequence of war and not the opposite. Thus, before we prepare for peace, we must face war. For that reason, since the start of Canadian air operations in Iraq and Syria, there have been almost 250 air strikes resulting in the destruction of almost 270 fighting positions, 102 pieces of equipment and 30 explosives factories by only six Canadian jets. In light of this objective and factual statement, we will simply say that operation Impact is aptly named.
However, in light of these facts, I would like my dear parliamentary colleagues, especially those in government, to realize that this is not the type of record often associated with the fight against a simple terrorist group. On the contrary, we must unfortunately acknowledge that we are at war with an organized and well-funded group, not to mention one that is motivated by certain intangible spiritual considerations, obscure reasons and other irrational motivations.
This democratic institution of the Canadian Parliament must provide a qualified and strong response, that is, a response that makes use of the entire arsenal available to Canada.
As we have heard many times in this House, it is true that we have access to all kinds of advantages in this combat, but, from the beginning, our greatest advantage against the so-called Islamic State has come from the air. In all of the chaos caused by its recent appearance, this terrorist group has managed to get its hands on tanks, heavy machine guns, and a staggering amount of ammunition.
This is a sophisticated and well-armed enemy, which means that Canada's involvement must be equally aggressive. I have to wonder why this government insists on sending Canadians and, indirectly, our allies, an incoherent, inconsistent, and deceptive message.
The government claims to want to increase Canada's presence in the armed conflict and to consolidate our impact over there, yet is rushing to withdraw the one thing that has been hugely successful on the front lines, which, has, so far, made us a strong and effective ally. With foresight, retired General David Fraser rightly said that, although we would not win this war with only air strikes, we certainly would not win the war against ISIL without them.
As always, history is repeating itself. Obviously, the Liberals are trying to get out of the Middle East without getting their hands dirty and with a feeling of moral certainty that they did everything in their power to help our allies and the people who are being oppressed by an organization as abhorrent as ISIL.
However, I would like to give them some advice. How can they hope to achieve their desired goal with the contribution they have planned for Canada? In fact, the dice have already been thrown. The air mission has already been terminated, whether we debate it or not. Once again, the international approach being taken by the Liberal government shows its one-dimensional objective to create a utopian history for our country by denying our past military contribution and our combat expertise.
I would like to remind Canadians that, historically, Canada has participated in more combat missions than peacekeeping missions. A combat mission is not the antithesis of a peacekeeping mission. On the contrary, it is the foundation for a peacekeeping mission.
Canada has always been known for its fiercely hard-working and dedicated soldiers. That is still the case today. It is only since the Liberals decided to rewrite history that we have accepted the government's false claim that Canada has never helped countries in need by providing military support and engaging in direct combat.
What our allies are asking us to do today is not to claim that we are acting in good faith and brag about taking some sort of moral high ground in this conflict but to put our military expertise and professionalism to good use in fighting the enemy.
I took the time to mention that because, as I said at the beginning of my speech, the Liberals have never sent our country to war or waged one. What this government is doing is a blatant example: they want to send more troops on the ground without providing them with any domestic air support.
Our troops are going to wonder where Canada's planes are. With fewer resources and less support, we will be exposing our troops to elevated risk. Moreover, our Griffon helicopters are vulnerable to ground-based fire, in contrast to our fighter planes, which operate at higher altitudes out of range of lighter weaponry.
The Liberals' current strategy is utter nonsense. I will be asking the government for formal justification in the unfortunate event we experience Canadian losses because of this political mess.
Let us instead do the opposite. Let us show that Canada can make a strong contribution to the conflict. Let us send our allies a clear message. Need I remind the House that our allies considered us as equals when we showed our willingness to use necessary force in the context of a just war?
Here we are in 2016, and the Liberal government is claiming quite arrogantly that Canada is back in the international arena. However, quite unbelievably, it is doing so by positioning itself as vassal to an international coalition, not as a leader among leaders.
On another note, we have every reason to ask ourselves if this is a just war. The answer, although quite complex, is unequivocally yes. Long before our time, the philosopher Thomas Aquinas, the father of the school of Christian optimists , established a series of criteria for determining whether a war was morally justifiable. First, do we have just cause to go to war? Second, do we have a legitimate authority to wage war? Do we have a plan and formal intention? Lastly, are there any other possible, appropriate solutions to the problem we are trying to solve?
Like the world wars that Canada has had to face in the past, the answers to those questions, in the context of the conflict with the so-called Islamic State, are as follows: we have a moral obligation to fight, and in doing so, to provide any assistance that we can in this struggle in order to help those most affected by this scourge. We also cannot forget that this terrorist group is already on their doorstep and, in many cases, in their homes.
It is also important to note that beyond the combat mission, which is proving to be the most important part of our involvement in those distant lands, the Liberals have no plan for the distribution of food or the humanitarian resources it plans to send, and yet that aspect is a key element of their specific approach.
Need I remind this House that we have seen on many occasions that the organizational aspect of humanitarian assistance is needed to ensure success? How are we going to protect convoys of food supplies or ensure that medical services are provided at the heart of an active conflict?
The Liberals have simply forgotten that before preparing the land for peace, and enjoying it even a little bit, we must first win the war.
To sum up what I am submitting this afternoon, I can only reiterate how wrong the current government's decision is, and that it will have negative consequences for our troops on the ground and for the civilians we are trying to help. We have a duty to ensure that the so-called Islamic State stops hounding people in the world who want to live in peace and security. Finally, we have a duty to ensure that the so-called Islamic State never gains official state status.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-02-23 15:44 [p.1275]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her question. I grew up in New Brunswick, so I appreciate any questions from members from New Brunswick.
In no way did I minimize the government's plan to provide more humanitarian aid and training on the ground. That is what our threefold mission was over the past two years: to provide humanitarian aid, welcome refugees, and provide military support in Iraq and Syria.
What we on this side of the House disagree with is the fact that this government is continuing with the plan but taking away the third component, or possibly the first, depending on your perspective. I am talking about the military mission itself, the mission undertaken by our CF-18s.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-02-23 15:46 [p.1275]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her question. There are three reasons for that.
First, it is because it is dishonourable and shameful that has Canada has withdrawn from an ongoing mission for the first time in history. Second, it is because we committed to contributing our jets and we should keep our word. Third, it is because we need to be aware that we are no longer living in Pearson's internationalist era, when there was a power struggle and cold war going on between the United States and the former Soviet Union.
Today, Canada is more or less a world power. We deal with very significant emerging powers. It is time for Canada to muster up its courage and present itself as a leader among leaders. I think that is very important. That is why I mentioned it in my speech.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-02-23 15:47 [p.1275]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
First of all, the American president is required to be diplomatic in exchanges with other countries. However, according to other internal sources, the American government is not so happy with this government's decision. As I told the member's colleague, this is not a matter of providing more or less humanitarian assistance. This is about maintaining the CF-18 military mission, which could have been done.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-02-17 17:29 [p.1034]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his fine speech. I want to acknowledge that the government is holding this debate in the House and carrying on the tradition started by the previous Conservative government.
That being said, I was surprised by one of the statements made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and I would like to know what my colleague to my left thinks about it. The Minister of Foreign Affairs talked about the fact that he wanted to put more emphasis on deradicalization in Syria and Iraq. We know that even here in Canada the various social sciences experts who study this phenomenon of radicalization, namely political scientists, anthropologists, and psychologists, all say that the root of the problem has not yet been determined and that we are far from finding the solution to this problem.
What does my colleague think about the fact that the minister wants to deradicalize people in a combat zone when we are having such a hard time doing that here at home?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2015-12-10 13:51 [p.233]
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.
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?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2015-12-10 15:15 [p.247]
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.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2015-12-10 15:19 [p.247]
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.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2015-12-10 15:21 [p.248]
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.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2015-12-10 15:22 [p.248]
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.
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