Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill for her efforts.
This is a terrible day for Canada. The Prime Minister bet his reputation, and Canada's as well, on pulling out all the diplomatic stops to get a seat on the UN Security Council, but he lost. After spending millions of taxpayer dollars, after trying to convince dictators around the world to support Canada, and after setting aside the vital Canadian values of protecting rights and freedoms and protecting homosexual people, the Prime Minister has shown the world how little influence he had on the outcome of this vote.
Most unfortunately, the Prime Minister must take personal responsibility for this failure. I do not want Canadians to bear the blame for this failure, because Canadians are well regarded around the world. Canada is a good country that everyone can be proud of. Unfortunately, through his actions and his deeply flawed foreign policy, the Prime Minister created today's outcome, which was the result of all the years of embarrassment he has caused us on the international stage.
I can cite several examples. He managed to mix up Japan and China at a very important meeting. The Prime Minister embarrassed our allies at the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I remember the pictures vividly. The leaders of all of the TPP signatory countries were waiting for the Prime Minister of Canada to attend a crucial signing meeting. The Prime Minister of Canada never showed up. He failed miserably at representing Canada’s interests in China.
At the time, I was the agriculture critic, and I can say that it was utterly tragic to see how little energy Canada was putting into finding a solution. We were working very hard, we were creating committees, but the Prime Minister himself would never defend the Canadian farmers caught in this predicament. Should I take a moment to remind everyone of his disastrous trip to India?
It got the whole world talking. People everywhere were talking about our Prime Minister and his trip to India, but for all the wrong reasons. That was the beginning of the end for the Prime Minister of Canada’s brief flirtation with international diplomacy. When they saw how he acted in India, several countries decided to turn their backs on this Prime Minister, who is more concerned about his image than his own country’s interests and values.
Although he promoted Canada far and wide, saying that we would play a major role in the UN's efforts to protect people and countries in difficulty, Canada has already withdrawn from a peacekeeping mission in Mali that it had been asked to join. We do not know why.
With respect to our relations with the United States, need I remind the House of the concessions that were made, to the detriment of the dairy industry, and the government’s inability to find acceptable solutions for softwood lumber? The government was not able to include that. It set the issue aside, and we are still having problems today. It was unable to resolve that situation. During the negotiations, the government failed to reach a proper agreement that would protect Canadian aluminum workers. It is one failure after another. Canada lost the vote, but not because Canada is Canada. I certainly do not want Canadians to think that this failure is their fault. It is the fault of the Prime Minister himself. He is the one who channelled all his efforts, all his influence and Canadian taxpayer money and brushed aside Canadian values to speak with dictators in Qatar, Oman, Rwanda and Uganda during the pandemic, rather than defending Canadian values.
It is good to want a seat on the UN Security Council, but it is also good to stand up for Canadian values. We have seen what it costs when the government sets aside those values and everything we believe in and uses Canadian taxpayer money to promnote itself. Our allies turned their backs on Canada. That is what happened.
We want to be able to build a relationship of trust with other countries on the international stage. However, some countries hoping to negotiate on the international stage and trying to push the boundaries a little further try to do it with Canada first, because they know that Canada will not react. We saw this with China, with Italy in the case of durum wheat, and with India. This was the Prime Minister's failure, and we are extremely disappointed that today's loss is tarnishing Canada's international reputation.
Does the Minister of International Development regret jeopardizing Canada's reputation, abandoning Canadian values and making it so that, today, Canada is no longer seen as a country worth consulting? She pulled out all the stops to get a seat on the UN Security Council. Today we are seeing the result: Canada came in third.