Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for being here, Minister.
I have to say at the outset that I was rather disappointed with your remarks. You had 10 minutes of remarks for your first time before committee, and almost eight minutes of it used “the middle class and those working hard to join it”. You used that line twice. You recited the list of names of all members of cabinet, and it was only in the last two minutes that we actually got into international development. So I'd ask you to take that back for your next appearance. We'd like to see a robust discussion of the issues under your portfolio.
The Rohingya have come up both from Mr. Saini and in discussion. The plight of the Rohingya was first advanced by then-ambassador Bennett in 2014 and 2015 when he travelled to Myanmar. He was the ambassador for religious freedoms, an office your government cancelled and replaced with the Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion. The budget was tripled, but we've heard nothing from that office. Can you give an example of when you partnered with that office on a development issue around the world?
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
You'd have to agree with me. That's one of the tag lines of your government, so the first eight minutes—
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
Did you have to list the names of all your colleagues, leaving out Jody Wilson-Raybould, I note?
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
Specifically perhaps about the Rohingya or the Uighurs. Has that office been involved in any way in those very troubling circumstances with those groups?
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
I appreciate that.
Minister, if there can be any follow-up, I would like some case examples from that department because the budget was tripled, but I see it doing virtually nothing compared to the work Dr. Bennett did.
Let me turn to the developing world. In the last two weeks it has been launching the garbage flotilla headed back to Canada. It appears in recent years that the developing world, as we've seen in Malaysia and the Philippines, is very upset about containers of garbage and recycling being sent to their countries from Canada.
Since they are development partners in some projects, what are we doing to alleviate those projects? It's never good when Canada has garbage flotillas headed to our shores from the developing world.
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
Are these high-profile things with the garbage blanking out the good work, or making people disregard the good work we're doing on development?
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2019-05-28 10:06
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for appearing, Minister.
Canadians are keeping Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor and their families in their thoughts. Certainly, there's very minimal consular access to them each month. Can you update Canadians on their well-being?
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2019-05-28 10:08
Thank you.
In late November, the Prime Minister was advised about the extradition arrest that would take place of Meng Wanzhou. On December 1, the arrest took place. On December 5, the arrest became public. On what date did you reach out to your counterpart to talk about the extradition and the process that would be followed?
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2019-05-28 10:10
Minister, I didn't get a date in that response.
Last week on CBC radio you reached out to the Chinese government, but I'm wondering whether in the days following the arrest the Prime Minister had been briefed about the arrest ahead of time because they knew it was going to be a diplomatic dispute. When did you reach out to your counterpart to allay concerns, to talk about our extradition process directly, and to address the issue, or at least after the detention of our citizens?
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2019-05-28 10:12
It's been almost six months.
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