The War on Iraq

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, "there is anxiety in the Canadian people today, they do not know exactly what is going on". Those are not my words, although I agree with them. They came from the Prime Minister in 1991 when he was speaking about the gulf war. He said then that it was embarrassing for Canada not to have a position.

It is more than embarrassing now. It is shameful that Canada is hedging its bets on a war on Iraq. There is a choice here. Will the Prime Minister say that it is wrong to invade Iraq and Canada will have no part of it?

Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there is a choice and we have made the choice. We will follow and respect the process of the UN and its resolutions.
Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, from the debate last night that we heard in this House, it is very clear that the government is hedging its bets. I believe that Canadians want to see leadership on this question. Why is there not an aggressive campaign for peace? I urge the Prime Minister to listen to his own words, not the official opposition. He said in 1991, "Why this war? What are our national interests in this war?"

Let us begin by having a democratic vote in this House. Never mind all the talk about formulas and what the history was, we want a democratic vote in this House. That is why we are here and that is what Canadians expect us to do. What is the government afraid of?

Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, no one wants war and no one wants the availability of weapons of mass destruction. We are following a process that will allow the UN inspectors to see whether or not the evidence exists that requires further action. We have been consistent in our approach. We will continue to take this approach and let the UN process work out.

This Question Period Transcript was posted on January 30, 2003