Canada’s Role in Afghanistan

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): – Mr. Chair, I was outside on the steps of Parliament Hill earlier this evening with another member and I was glad I was there to hear the concerns being voiced by peace activists and anti-war activists. This is where they should be voicing their concerns about the government’s policy and the nature of the mission in Afghanistan.

It has been alarming to hear Conservative members being critical of members of the NDP and members of other parties for daring to ask questions about their programs and policies. I would like to pursue this further because, as has been explained tonight, many of the questions that we are raising are the same questions that were raised by the Minister of Defence when he was in opposition. I guess they were okay then when they came from that member but they are not all right now if they are coming from the NDP.

It strikes me as very hypocritical that on the one hand a propaganda machine is now underway in the United States, and being referred to by the Minister of Foreign Affairs as “boots on the ground”, which has been launched by the Conservative government to convince Americans of what we are doing and to appease George W. Bush, and yet on the other hand the same government is refusing to answer the questions Canadians have about this mission.

I would like to ask the member if he knows what the exit strategy is. Does he know what the objectives of this mission are in terms of what will happen after February 2, 2007 if he is the parliamentary secretary? If he believes in the transparency and accountability of his government, why is he not willing to share that with the Canadian public?