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Results: 1 - 15 of 522
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair. Welcome to our three witnesses.
My colleague mentioned that there was a great deal of concern regarding all of the changes in terminology being made. You said yourself that you wanted to examine the matter carefully. You brought the major players to the table to talk about the situation and how you could address it. Earlier on, you also said that your objective was to facilitate dialogue between the Minister's office and the other units in the department.
So, here is my first question. The issue of violence against women in the DRC has been raised many times. Several areas where we are now sensing a change at foreign affairs significantly affect women. That is why the committee is concerned with this whole approach.
Foreign affairs speeches dealing with the DRC used to mention violence and impunity. Now, the emphasis is more on prevention, although we know full well what is happening on the ground. After all, Mr. Weetman, you brought people to the table who could confirm that. In reality, however, the talk on the ground is about displaced persons. Wars like these bring with them major acts of violence, especially towards women. The first people to be displaced in a country are very often women and children.
We cannot be afraid of telling it like it is in situations like that. When you look at speeches at the departmental level, you can see that the language has changed. Those terms are not longer in use. A number of NGOs have come here to confirm that trend in your department.
I would like to hear your views on that. Was an action plan put in place as a result of the meetings that you had? What action was taken to improve dialogue between the Minister's office and everyone else, to use your expression?
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Then why are NGOs telling us the opposite of what you just said? I am referring specifically to the language used in serious conflicts, in Africa or elsewhere, such as in Rwanda or Burundi where women were systematically attacked.
We know that words play an important role in describing these conflicts. Why is no one using those words any more? NGOs have told us that. You are saying the opposite; but Mr. Weetman convened the meeting to look at how they could change the language or wording to propose different approaches at the departmental level in order to facilitate dialogue, if I understand correctly.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Why hold this meeting if you say that there is nothing to change? Mr. Weetman just said that he wanted to look at the situation in order to improve dialogue. My reading of the situation is that, often, when a government is in power, it wants to make changes. In other words, to use different terms to match the policy it wants to establish. You say that the language did not change. Mr. Weetman told us that meetings are held to discuss these matters to see how to facilitate dialogue with everyone at the departmental level.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Chair, first of all, I would just like to be clear about one thing.
Mr. Angell, although Mr. Weetman has been in this position for only a few years, I hope that the fact that he dared to chair a meeting like this one will not be held against him. You said that he may one day be a director and that you hoped that this would not weigh against him. You said that in an arrogant fashion.
You say that there has been no change in the approach to the various regions because different words are being used. However, since the Conservatives have been in power, we have noticed that ministers no longer use words such as “violence against women”, “gender-based violence”, nor do they use the words “gender”, “equality” and “gender equality” in their speeches.
Has the government really changed the directives or changed the labelling to reflect its conservative policies, which are more to the right? Have there been any directives issued in that regard further to discussions that you have had with the minister?
Mr. Weetman said earlier that these meetings were designed to improve the dialogue with the minister. I imagine that the minister had some things to say on the matter.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Why do we no longer find these words in the speeches? We no longer find expressions such as gender, equality, violence against women, gender-based violence in the minister's speeches. Something is happening somewhere along the line. There must be a directive somewhere that states that speeches are no longer to contain these words.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
I am referring to Lawrence Cannon, David Emerson, Maxime Bernier. I am referring to those individuals.
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
The speeches come from the department, from the Department of Foreign Affairs. Right?
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Would it be possible to obtain the speeches that you prepared and that include these words?
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Ms. Golberg, you referred to an action plan for the department. Did this action plan involve significant changes to the language used in various locations where the department is involved? Earlier, I referred to the Congo, Burundi and Rwanda.
I think that you will agree with me if I were to say that words are important when they are meaningful, when they really mean something, and are not just empty words.
Would you agree with me on that?
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
Would you agree that the word “impunity” is a meaningful word when it is used? By using the word, we are saying that we are going to ensure that someone will pay for something that has been done; we are not saying that we are going to prevent sexual violence.
Do you think that there is a difference between these two expressions?
View Luc Desnoyers Profile
BQ (QC)
And in your plan...
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