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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-08 14:08 [p.23458]
Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, November 11, thousands of Canadians will gather at various war memorials in Canada to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by so many of our ancestors and our contemporaries.
Our soldiers sacrificed their lives not only during both world wars, but also more recently, in UN peacekeeping missions and in Afghanistan, where Canada served to combat terrorism. Let us not forget the 158 soldiers we lost in this recent and major war in Afghanistan. Corporal Jean-François Drouin, from my region of Beauport, bravely served his country in Afghanistan and lost his life on September 6, 2009. Since then, his courageous parents have laid a wreath in Beauport every year in memory of their son. Let us keep them in our hearts and thoughts.
Let us never forget the ultimate sacrifice that Corporal Jean-François Drouin made for our great federation. Lest we forget.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-08 14:43 [p.10889]
Mr. Speaker, I would like the minister to answer my question.
Ministerial responsibility is a long-standing political convention in our political system. Ministers are honour-bound to uphold such conventions, or else resign.
From the outset, the Liberal government has repeatedly said that all that is required to end the crisis of confidence is an apology. This political approach is not in keeping with the convention we have in the House.
Why is the minister hanging on to his position, when it is obvious to all Canadians that he should resign immediately?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-08 15:31 [p.10900]
Mr. Speaker, during his speech, the member suggested that members from this side of the House had only put up examples coming from anonymous sources. That is not true. We spoke about retired Lieutenant-General William Carr, who said that the defence minister's search for recognition was a national embarrassment. We also spoke of retired Major Catherine Campbell, who has also spoken on the subject, and she is quite disappointed.
The member also said the same thing when the MP for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles gave his speech. He accused us of talking against the service of the minister. That is not the case. We are arguing that the minister has falsely exaggerated his role during Operation Medusa in Afghanistan. We are not talking about his honourable service to our country, but to his false exaggeration of being the architect of Operation Medusa.
When will the member correct his statement?
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
2017-05-08 16:15 [p.10906]
Mr. Speaker, the member is simply trying to create a diversion. In my speech and during this opposition day, what is important is talking about a minister. Like all his predecessors, the minister should follow the constitutional convention of ministerial responsibility, and, most importantly, honour it. Right at the outset, in December 2015, the Prime Minister told the House that he was not like Mr. Harper and he had a cabinet government. A cabinet government takes responsibility, and when a minister is in the wrong, he resigns.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-08 16:17 [p.10906]
Mr. Speaker, that is an interesting theory. I hope it doesn't, but if it holds true, the minister must be having a difficult time. That being said, there is no law requiring that he agree to his Prime Minister's request that he not step down.
On the other hand, he ought to respect and apply a constitutional convention endorsed for centuries in our British parliamentary system and resign when faced with a loss of confidence brought on by his actions.
Personally, I detest conspiracy theories. That said, I hope that this is not the case here.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-08 16:18 [p.10906]
Mr. Speaker, in 1848, the issue was responsible government. I am talking about ministerial responsibility, which is a convention pertaining to a minister who is at fault. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister can keep placing his trust in him, that goes without saying. However, the minister must realize, on his own, as a man or woman of honesty and dignity, that no one is listening to him anymore.
The defence report that has just been released paints the picture of a terrible Conservative government, even though that was not the case at all. The Canada First defence strategy meant $20 billion more for National Defence. Who is going to believe that report now, dear colleagues? No one. That is the reality. That is why the minister has to resign. He is compromising the work of all of his colleagues, mainly that of the Prime Minister. If the Prime Minister has not shown him the door in a few weeks' time, the situation will fester and the government will begin to rot from within.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2017-05-02 14:38 [p.10651]
Mr. Speaker, Ubique Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt.
“Whither right and glory lead” is the motto of the 6th Field Artillery Regiment, where I had the honour of completing my formal military service. Non-commissioned members like myself follow orders not because we fear officers, but because these orders ensure the protection of the federation and the honour of our homeland.
The Minister of National Defence has breached that trust. Since his moral authority is gone, will he do the right thing and step down?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-06-09 14:50 [p.4282]
There is more, Mr. Speaker.
With the funding cuts to the cenotaph program came the cancellation of a monument to honour the 40,000 military personnel who served honourably in Afghanistan and the 158 who unfortunately gave their lives there. It is shameful that the government cannot pay a small price to recognize the huge price paid by those military personnel.
How and when are the Liberals going to honour our Afghan veterans?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-05-11 15:00 [p.3197]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals announced that a monument would be established in Ottawa to commemorate trade unions.
Unfortunately, we are still waiting for a monument to honour our veterans of the Afghanistan War. Clearly, even though some of our soldiers gave their lives for Canada, the Liberals simply cannot give priority to a tribute in their honour.
Why does this government have the political will to go ahead with certain monuments, when it is clearly incapable of honouring our 40,000 veterans of the Afghanistan War?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-03-11 11:44 [p.1761]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the minister did not attend the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs meeting as planned. Moreover, by failing to answer any of the opposition's questions, the minister is turning his back on veterans. After the mission in Afghanistan ended in 2014, we planned to erect a memorial in honour of our 40,000 veterans who served there.
Instead of leaving Canadians in the dark, can the minister tell us today whether or not this memorial will be erected?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-03-09 15:12 [p.1634]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Veterans Affairs indicated that he was working with the Department of Canadian Heritage to identify opportunities for advancing the construction of a memorial monument. However, we still do not know whether there will be a national monument specifically for the Afghanistan mission.
My question is for the minister. Will the budget include an envelope for the national monument announced by our Conservative government, yes or no?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-03-07 14:38 [p.1502]
Mr. Speaker, 40,000 brave Canadian soldiers served in the war in Afghanistan. One hundred and fifty-eight of them gave their lives and many others were physically or psychologically wounded.
The former Conservative government announced a national memorial for these veterans, as well as a second memorial for the soldiers who were awarded the Victoria Cross. These plans are now obviously in limbo.
Will this government finally honour our veterans by committing today to follow through with building these two memorials?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2016-03-07 14:39 [p.1502]
Mr. Speaker, I have had enough. This House has been sitting for four months already, yet the minister has not been able to give me one real answer regarding the veterans.
We are talking about memorials for veterans. Will the Liberals honour our commitment to the Afghanistan memorial in the upcoming budget, yes or no?
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