January 25, 1994

LIB

Francis Leblanc

Liberal

Mr. Francis G. LeBlanc (Cape-Breton Highlands-Canso)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour of presenting to this House, in both official languages, the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association's report on the annual meeting of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, or CSCE, at its parliamentary assembly held in Helsinki, Finland, from July 6 to 9, 1993.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Interparliamentary Delegations
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LIB

Herb Gray

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (for the Minister of Finance)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-3, an act to amend the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements and Federal Post-Secondary Education and Health Contributions Act.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements And Federal Post-Secondary Education And Health Contributions Act
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NDP

Nelson Riis

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis

Mr. Speaker, I wish to introduce a bill that would prohibit the export of water by interbasin transfers.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements And Federal Post-Secondary Education And Health Contributions Act
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The Speaker

Order. I presume the hon. member has had consultations and will need unanimous consent. Is there unanimous consent to introduce this private member's bill?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements And Federal Post-Secondary Education And Health Contributions Act
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Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements And Federal Post-Secondary Education And Health Contributions Act
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NDP

Nelson Riis

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nelson Riis (Kamloops)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-202, an act to prohibit the export of water by interbasin transfers.

Mr. Speaker, I have a very short explanation.

During the discussions regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement questions were asked whether the passage of that legislation would not facilitate the sale of water from Canada to the United States and Mexico through interbasin transfers. While there may be some concerns in people's minds, this bill will put those to rest because it would simply prohibit the export of water by interbasin transfers from Canada to either the U.S. or Mexico.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Canada Water Export Prohibition Act
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

Mr. Peter Milliken (Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons)

Mr. Speaker, with the unanimous consent of the House I move, seconded by the hon. member for Laurier-Sainte-Marie:

I. That Standing Order 104 be amended as follows:

In Section (1) thereof by striking out the words "House Management" and substituting therefor the words "Procedure and House Affairs".

By striking out sections (2), (3) and (4) thereof and substituting the following therefor:

(2) The standing committees which shall consist of not less than seven and not more than fifteen members, and for which lists of members are to be prepared, except as provided in section (1) of the Standing Order, shall be on:

(a) Agriculture and Agri-Food (b) Canadian Heritage (c) Citizenship and Immigration (d) Environment and Sustainable Development (e) Finance (f) Fisheries and Oceans (g) Foreign Affairs and International Trade (h) Government Operations (i) Health (j) Human Resources Development (k) Human Rights and the Status of the Disabled (l) Indian Affairs and Northern Development (m) Industry (n) Justice and Legal Affairs (o) National Defence and Veterans Affairs (p) Natural Resources (q) Procedure and House Affairs (r) Public Accounts (s) Transport

(3) The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs shall also prepare and report lists of members to act for the House on the standing joint committees on:

(a) the Library of Parliament (b) Official Languages (c) Scrutiny of Regulations;

Provided that a sufficient number of members shall be appointed so as to keep the same proportion therein as between the memberships of both Houses.

(4) The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs shall also prepare lists of associate members for each standing committee and standing joint committee referred to in this Standing Order, who shall be deemed to be members of that committee for the purposes of Standing Orders 108(1)(b) and 114(2)(a) and who shall be eligible to act as substitutes on that committee pursuant to provisions of Standing Order 114(2)(b).

II. That Standing Order 108 be amended as follows:

By deleting sub-section (1)(b) thereof and substituting the following:

"(b) Standing Committees shall be empowered to create sub-committees of which the membership may be drawn from among both the list of members and the list of associate members provided for in Standing Order 104, who shall be deemed to be members of that committee for the purposes of this Standing Order".

By deleting in section (2) thereof the words "(3)(b)" and by substituting therefor the words "(3)(c)" and by deleting the words "(3)(e)".

In section (3)(a) thereof:

(a) by deleting the words "House Management" and by substituting therefor the words "Procedure and House Affairs"; and

(b) by adding in paragraph (ii) immediately after the words "two Houses", the words "except with regard to the Library of Parliament;".

By deleting sections (3)(b), (3)(c) and (3)(d) thereof and by substituting the following therefor:

"(b) Canadian Heritage shall include, among other matters, the monitoring of the implementation of the principles of the federal multiculturalism policy throughout the Government of Canada in order

-to encourage the departments and agencies of the federal government to reflect the multicultural diversity of the nation; and

-to examine existing and new programs and policies of federal departments and agencies to encourage sensitivity to multicultural concerns and to preserve and enhance the multicultural reality of Canada;

(c) Human Rights and the Status of Disabled Persons shall include, among other matters:

-the review of and report on reports of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which shall be deemed permanently referred to the Committee immediately after they are laid upon the Table; and

-the proposing, promoting, monitoring and assessing of initiatives aimed at the integration and equality of disabled persons in all sectors of Canadian society;".

By renumbering section (3)(e) thereof as section (3)(d).

By deleting section (4) thereof and substituting the following therefor:

"(4) So far as this House is concerned, the mandates of the Standing Joint Committee on

(a) the Library of Parliament shall include the review of the effectiveness, management and operation of the Library of Parliament;

(b) Official Languages shall include, among other matters, the review of and report on official languages policies and programs including Reports of the Commissioner of Official Languages, which shall be deemed permanently referred to the Committee immediately after they are laid upon the Table;

(c) Scrutiny of Regulations shall include, among other matters, the review and scrutiny of statutory instruments which are permanently referred to the Committee pursuant to section 19 of the Statutory Instruments Act;

Provided that both Houses may, from time to time, refer any other matter to any of the aforementioned Standing Joint Committees".

III. That Standing Order 112 be amended:

(a) by deleting the words "for each envelope except the management envelope"; and

(b) by deleting the word "six" and by substituting therefor the word "twelve".

(c) by deleting the words "Each group of" and substituting therefor the word, "The".

(d) by deleting the words, "belonging to each respective envelope".

IV. That Standing Order 113(2) be amended by deleting the word "appropriate".

V. That Standing Order 114 be amended:

In subsection (2)(a) thereof, by deleting the word "seven" and by substituting therefor the word "fourteen" and by deleting the words "in the envelope to which that committee has been assigned" and by deleting all of the words after the words "permanent members of the committee".

In subsection (2)(c) thereof, after the words "listed as", by deleting the words "members at large in the envelope" and substituting therefor "associate members of the committee".

In section (4) thereof, by deleting the words "which involve the appointment to a committee of a member not already a member of a committee in the same envelope".

VI. That Standing Order 115 be amended in section (2) thereof, by deleting all of the words after the words "meetings of" and substituting the words "committees considering legislation or Estimates over meetings of committees considering other matters".

VII. That Standing Orders 91, 92(1), 106(1), 107(2), 113(1), 114(1), 114(2)(a), 114(2)(d), 114(4), 115(4), 119(1)(2), 132, 133(2), 133(3), 133(4), 135(1), 140, 141(4) be amended by deleting the words "House Management" and substituting therefor "Procedure and House Affairs".

VIII. That Standing Order 73 be amended:

By deleting sections (2) and (3) and substituting therefor the following:

"(2) Unless otherwise ordered, in giving a bill second reading, the same shall be referred to a standing, special or legislative committee".

By renumbering sections (4) and (5) thereof respectively as sections (3) and (4).

IX. That the Clerk of the House be authorized, whenever appropriate, to redirect, after consultation, any references to any committees that have already been made at the time of the adoption of this Order.

X. That a Message be sent to the Senate to invite them to join with this House in the creation of the aforementioned Standing Joint Committees.

I apologize for having to read such a lengthy motion, but I think there is unanimous consent for its adoption today.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Standing Orders
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The Speaker

Perhaps in future if the hon. member has motions such as these and if there is unanimous consent on all sides, we could agree to dispense. I am only saying that for some future consideration.

I was thinking while the hon. member was going through it, what would have happened if he had had to repeat the whole thing again. That would have been something else.

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Standing Orders
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NDP

Svend Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Svend J. Robinson (Burnaby-Kingsway)

Mr. Speaker, certainly I support the thrust of the motion.

There is one amendment I would like to suggest that I hope would meet with the consent of the House. It relates to the proposed committee in paragraph (2)(k), the committee on human rights and the status of the disabled.

The previous committee that existed that looked at this subject matter was a committee known as the committee on human rights and the status of disabled persons.

Certainly as a member of that former committee I recall that people with disabilities felt very strongly that they did not wish to be labelled as "the disabled".

I note that, in French, the committee's name refers to disabled persons.

I would also note that under subparagraph 4(c) in the mandate of the committee it refers to: "the proposing, promoting, monitoring and assessing of initiatives aimed at the integration and equality of disabled persons in all sectors of Canadian society".

We are talking about people fundamentally. I would hope that it would meet with the agreement of the House that we maintain the previous name of this committee which was human rights and the status of disabled persons.

I would so move if that meets with the consent of the House.

(Amendment agreed to.)

(Motion, as amended, agreed to.)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Standing Orders
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LIB

Ovid Jackson

Liberal

Mr. Ovid L. Jackson (Bruce-Grey)

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition on behalf of Delores and Edward Howey of Owen Sound with regard to the Young Offenders Act.

Their daughter Karen Howey Black was brutally murdered in British Columbia on February 15, 1993. They are asking that the act be amended to include young offenders who commit these heinous crimes.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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REF

Jim Gouk

Reform

Mr. Jim Gouk (Kootenay West-Revelstoke)

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House to present a petition from the undersigned residents of Kootenay West-Revelstoke in British Columbia who would like their grievance known to this House.

This grievance has to do with a new game to be introduced in Canada called the serial killer board game. They humbly request that the House ban the sale of the serial killer board game and prevent other such material being made available in Canada in order to protect children.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

Mr. Peter Milliken (Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons)

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions On The Order Paper
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The Speaker

Shall all questions stand?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions On The Order Paper
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Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions On The Order Paper
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister)

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to set today's debate in context.

Today is the first of many debates to come. In recent years, governments have regarded Parliament as an afterthought in policy development or have neglected it completely.

I made a promise to the Canadian people during the last federal election that I would restore respect and relevance to the House of Commons. That is why today we are debating the role of Canadian peacekeeping and tomorrow, cruise missile testing.

Also, I would like to announce today that next week for the first time in Canadian history this Chamber will be used as a forum for pre-budget consultations with members of Parliament. This will be the first time members of Parliament will be able to discuss important budgetary issues before the budget is prepared.

Mr. Speaker, today's debate concerns the Bosnian issue. Tomorrow, we will be looking into cruise missile testing, into whether we should authorize Americans to test their missiles over Canadian soil. Next week, we will be discussing the budget.

As I was saying in this House, yesterday, we are trying out an entirely new political process. In the past, members were always asked to comment after the fact which meant, for someone in the opposition, to oppose a decision, once it was already too late to have a real influence on the government's decision. This procedure is without precedent. I hope members will try their very best to make it efficient in order to allow the expression of views, after which the government will decide. It has been said, by some, that no vote will be taking place in this kind of debate. Since its purpose is to make views known to government before a decision is taken, it is quite naturally so.

If opposition members or even members of my own party disagree with the decision taken, they can always, in the traditional way, make a motion of non-confidence against the government. I hope members will have, through this new

procedure, better opportunity to express their views and that debates will be more dispassionate and less partisan.

I take advantage of this opportunity to congratulate all members of the House. The press will have noted, and Canadians as well, I hope, that the atmosphere is much better than it used to be. All this evidently depends both on the opposition and, very much so, on the government. I have asked my ministers to restrain themselves since it is so easy, when one is the last to speak, to make that one last satisfying stab which is so upsetting to the members opposite.

The new discipline demonstrated by this House is therefore welcome, and I wish to congratulate all members on their attitude. I would invite them to express their views in all candor during the three coming debates concerning Canada's peacekeeping role, the cruise missile testing and, next week, the preliminary debate on the budget which is to be tabled in this House before the end of February.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Points Of Order
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REF

Preston Manning

Reform

Mr. Preston Manning (Calgary Southwest)

Mr. Speaker, I rise on the Prime Minister's point of order. I would like to thank the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for making possible this debate and making it possible before the government arrives at a policy decision.

I would like to make one further suggestion in the spirit of what the Prime Minister said and that is to suggest that in future we depart from the custom of having party leaders necessarily lead off debates. It seems to me we could make a better contribution by simply sitting and listening to what other members are saying. If we participate, we could perhaps participate toward the end of the debate and attempt to define the common ground that has been defined by members and provide a basis for the government's policy. Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Points Of Order
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NDP

Audrey McLaughlin

New Democratic Party

Hon. Audrey McLaughlin (Yukon)

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to add my congratulations to the Prime Minister for undertaking these debates in the House of Commons. I think they are very important. The Prime Minister has said these are a test and something that is being tried. I would suggest the real test is when the government listens to a variety of points of view. I appreciate that the Prime Minister has undertaken this.

As we are debating Bosnia today, I would like to say very briefly that I am sure that everyone in Canada shares the view of our party, that we appreciate the great work that the RCMP and the peacekeepers are doing in Bosnia.

Again I want to thank the Prime Minister for this opportunity and I hope the government will listen to what I think will be a real range of constructive debate in the interests of the country. We will all have our partisan points of view but I think that all of us have the interest of the country at heart both in our international and national roles. I look forward to these debates.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Points Of Order
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PC

Jean Charest

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Jean J. Charest (Sherbrooke)

Mr. Speaker, I wish to join my colleague from Yukon, the Leader of the Reform Party and the Prime Minister in saying what an excellent idea it is to allow such debates in Parliament, so much the better if they contribute to more constructive exchanges in this House. For that matter, this purpose coincides well with the sentiments expressed by the government in the Throne Speech.

This being said, while we are on the subject of the way this Parliament operates, I would like to add a comment.

[English]

Since we are reflecting on how this Parliament works I do want to say that we welcome this opportunity to participate in debate and will participate actively and open up the House of Commons.

I do, though, want to take this opportunity on the issue of the workings of this Parliament to restate our concern that even though the independent members in this place are considered independent by the Chair and number only 12, we represent 25 per cent of the vote that was cast in the general election.

There is still an outstanding concern that I raised with you on a question of privilege that really deals with two issues. One is what place will be left to these members of Parliament to speak in this House.

It is a very fundamental issue because the Prime Minister and I think a lot of members who have joined with him have said that in this place we want to offer all members an opportunity to participate in a different type of debate.

For that to happen it requires that members be able to first participate. If that is the spirit of this new House I welcome it. But I must voice some concern.

I will leave you with one last note. On the element of the matter just dealt with by the House with unanimous consent, there was no consultation. I did not object because I do not want to be in this chair objecting constantly to what is coming forth but for me that is an example of things that do come forth that in more normal circumstances would require, if this is a new House and a new way to operate, some consultation.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Points Of Order
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NDP

Nelson Riis

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nelson Riis (Kamloops)

Mr. Speaker, I simply want to thank the Prime Minister for this initiative. It is a new initiative that I believe the previous government did not use at all in terms of providing an opportunity for parliamentarians to have a role in policy making.

The Prime Minister has indicated in the House on a number of occasions that this will provide an opportunity for all members who are interested in the issue to state their views on behalf of their constituents.

I assume that on debate today if necessary we will not see the clock in order that all members who wish to participate will have an opportunity if more time is required.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Points Of Order
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LIB

André Ouellet

Liberal

Hon. André Ouellet (Minister of Foreign Affairs)

moved:

That this House take note of the political, humanitarian and military dimensionsof Canada's peacekeeping role, including in the former Yugoslavia, and of possible future direction in Canadian peacekeeping policy and operations.

During his visit to Europe, the Prime Minister was asked whether the government would be maintaining Canadian troops in the former Yugoslavia in the spring. The Prime Minister replied that no decision would be made until the matter could be debated in this House. You will remember that when the previous government decided to send troops to the former Yugoslavia, there was no debate, Parliament was not consulted and at the time our party strongly opposed the fact that a decision as important as this could be made without consulting Parliament.

Today, the motion being tabled before the House and inviting all members to express their views on the issue is, as the Prime Minister pointed out, in line with our party's commitment to consult with members of Parliament before making any serious and momentous decisions.

Our decision, whatever it may be, will have a heavy impact on our future role in peacekeeping, our foreign policy and our defence policy.

We must also bear in mind that the position we take will affect our relations with countries that are friends or allies, or with countries that are very deeply involved in or affected by the conflict raging in the former Yugoslavia.

The government's position on the broad question of the place of peacekeeping in Canada's foreign and defence policies is well known. We are on record as stating that was intend to strengthen Canada's leadership role in international peacekeeping.

In the upcoming foreign and defence policy reviews, we will be examining a variety of ways in which this can be done, many of which we elaborated in the red book. I know that all of you have had an opportunity to read it, you are all familiar with it, but all the same I would like, if you permit, Mr. Speaker, to cite a few examples for the record.

We feel it is important, first of all, to re-examine the notion of stand-by forces for peacekeeping. Second, we think it is important to look at the training of peacekeepers; and third, we think it is important to review our procurement policies.

In any debate on peacekeeping, I feel we have to start by placing the issue in the context of Canada's historical contribution to peacekeeping, and go on to discuss the tremendous upheavals that affect the very nature of peacekeeping operations.

Ever since the initiative taken in 1956 by former Prime Minister and then External Affairs Minister Lester B. Pearson, Canada has been closely associated in the minds of Canadians and of other countries with leadership and expertise in peacekeeping. For years we have participated in the overwhelming majority of peacekeeping operations mandated by the Security Council.

We continue today to contribute to most of the missions, including, I would like to say, the most difficult ones. As you know, the government has clearly stated its conviction that peacekeeping is a very important component of Canada's contribution to the multilateral system and the preservation of peace in the world.

Canadians have always believed in the value of promoting multilateral mechanisms for security and crisis management. Peacekeeping is one of the most important of these mechanisms. Our approach to peacekeeping is rooted in a wider view, which seeks to promote the prevention of conflicts before they begin, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts already under way.

Over the years, Canada has developed guidelines governing its participation in peacekeeping operations. Let me summarize them.

There must be a clear, achievable mandate from a competent political authority, such as the Security Council.

Then, the parties to the conflict must undertake to respect a ceasefire and, of course, must accept the presence of Canadian troops.

In addition, the peacekeeping operation must be in support of a process aimed at achieving a political settlement.

Finally, the number of troops and the international composition of the operation must be suited to the mandate. The operation must be adequately funded, and have a satisfactory logistical structure.

These are the broad guidelines that Canada has traditionally used to make its decisions on its participation in a peace mission. If we review each of these points, we will see that in some ways the previous government did not follow these criteria in deciding whether to commit itself, as was the case with the former Yugoslavia.

In the past, it would seem that the amount of risk incurred by our soldiers was rarely a problem. This is no longer the case; the risk factor has become an essential element in our decision-making.

I would invite hon. members to take this aspect, this new dimension, into consideration in their remarks today.

While these guidelines are still valid, the international setting in which peacekeeping operations occur has changed radically since 1989, and will in my opinion continue to evolve. I would therefore welcome the views of the House in this regard.

Traditionally, let me repeat, peacekeeping operations have been launched when the parties to a conflict concluded that their purposes would no longer be served by the continuation of an armed conflict but by a settlement negotiated with the aid of a third party. Peacekeepers were thus deployed to monitor a ceasefire or the withdrawal of troops from disputed zones.

But in 1989 and 1990 far more extensive peacekeeping operations were introduced, designed to assist the parties involved to implement a negotiated settlement to a conflict. In Cambodia, for example, the United Nations had a mandate to disarm the factions, establish security throughout the country, repatriate refugees, ensure respect for human rights, supervise the key departments of the national government and organize provisional elections. Thus a very important civilian component was added to the traditional military presence.

A new concept, that of humanitarian intervention, was introduced in Bosnia and Somalia. Our soldiers were not sent there to enforce a ceasefire or preserve a peace that obviously did not exist and still does not exist. Their mandate was to help humanitarian convoys get through. The example of Somalia in particular shows that this type of intervention can have very positive results, for despite the problems we hear about, most of them centred on Mogadishu, the humanitarian crisis in the rest of the country has been largely surmounted.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations has acknowledged this process of evolution in the declaration he called his agenda for peace, which is based on the principle that conflict management requires a whole range of tools, one of which is peacekeeping. The international community's objectives have thus become much more ambitious: to prevent conflicts, to consolidate or restore peace by diplomatic means such as mediation or good offices, to keep the peace and even to undertake the political and social reconstruction of ruined societies.

Some operations contain a mixture of these elements. The term "peacekeeping" has taken on a character I would qualify as rather elastic, often extending beyond the concept of forces of intervention, as seen in Cyprus, for example.

It is important to note the international context that has made this process of evolution possible. The end of the confrontation between the two superpowers has opened the way-at least so far-for an unprecedented degree of consensus on the Security Council. Traditionally, the members of the Security Council used their right of veto to prevent intervention on a number of occasions.

More recently, thanks to this new consensus, the Security Council has been able in the last few years to exercise an authority that is indeed recognized by the United Nations charter but that has until now existed only on paper.

It must be recognized that this process flies in the face of our preconceived notions about the nature of peacekeeping and how the international community should respond. Without wishing to launch into a terminological discourse, let me point out that the new concepts used by the Secretary-General in the agenda for peace each have a specific meaning. The term "peacemaking" refers to essentially diplomatic activities pursued to resolve a conflict, while "peace enforcement" is a situation where the international community uses force against a member state, as in the gulf war.

As you will see, Mr. Speaker, what complicates things a great deal is that an element of force is increasingly being introduced in the Security Council resolutions mandating peacekeeping operations and, in a way, changing them into peace enforcement operations. This is obviously the case with Somalia and also with Bosnia.

The effects of these changes on the United Nations are obvious. The UN suddenly finds itself in a position where it must manage operations involving over 68,000 soldiers worldwide. This increase has had a profound impact on the cost of peacekeeping. Canada's assessed peacekeeping contributions, for example, have remained at a steady 3.11 per cent of the total UN peacekeeping budget in the past five years. In absolute terms, however, Canada's contributions have risen from $10 million to $12 million in 1991-92 to some $130 million today. That is a substantial contribution, which requires us to think and very closely review the commitments we must make in this field; we shall pay very close attention to any suggestions parliamentarians make to us in this House during this debate. Clearly, the UN does not have the human, financial or technical resources for this task.

To make up this shortfall, the UN is relying more and more on regional organizations such as the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organization of American States, and the Organization for African Unity. This co-operation between the UN and regional organizations was foreseen in the charter of the UN,

but its extent in practice is new. Here again, I would like the House to inform us of its views on the implications of this trend.

The sharp rise in the number of peace missions has brought many challenges with it. First of all, there are political challenges, as the international community is increasingly taking on responsibility for situations that, just a short time ago, were confined to the internal affairs of the states involved. Then there are military challenges, as we see a demand-which is growing constantly, and at an exponential rate-for soldiers adequately trained and equipped for missions as dangerous as they are complex. I will not hide the fact that, because our Canadian soldiers are very competent and very well trained, they are in demand worldwide. As soon as there is a request at the UN for a new peace force, people spontaneously think of Canadians and ask them to participate in these peace efforts. I am talking about challenges: political challenges and military challenges; but I am also talking about the financial challenges created by operations with personnel numbering in the tens of thousands, rather than the few thousands of yesteryear.

To meet these new challenges, the UN and its member countries will have to thoroughly review the way peacekeeping operations are managed.

At the national level, we will have to be ever more critical about the commitments we make, and especially about how we determine to make such commitments.

At the international level, it is urgent that the UN's capacity to respond quickly and professionally to crises be reinforced.

Canada responds generously to requests for experts by the United Nations and regional organizations. The Secretary-General's military advisor is a Canadian, General Baril, and many other Canadians have been made available to the United Nations and the CSCE. We pay our financial contributions in full and on time and have submitted to the Secretary-General recommendations on making the UN structure more effective.

We are determined to increase this effort and to exercise the leadership that other countries expect from us in this field.

I would say that the Canadian men and women serving under the United Nations banner are saving lives and relieving misery. None of us will forget the poignant images of the soldiers who aided the helpless victims in a hospital in Bosnia. It is also clear their living conditions are increasingly dangerous. Here another picture comes to mind, that of the 11 Canadian soldiers threatened by Serbian troops near Sarajevo last month.

Events in Bosnia are thus very much in the public eye. The powerful images of the suffering of the Bosnian people and the challenge facing our troops have became an integral part of the evening news. However we must look beyond these images to the larger questions which Bosnia poses.

These questions, I submit, fall into two categories: the future of our commitment to the UN effort in Bosnia itself and the implications of this episode for our peacekeeping policy generally. These are the questions with which the government is now wrestling. The views of the House and of the public generally are of critical importance to our deliberations.

In discussing events in Bosnia we must bear in mind certain factors that have guided our actions to date. To begin with, we must recognize that there are two relatively distinct operations taking place in the former Yugoslavia. Though both are taking place under the banner of one UN operation, the United Nations protection force, they are quite different in terms of the activities under way and the dangers they face.

First, in Croatia our peacekeepers are engaged in a relatively traditional UN operation. There are two distinct sides and they have agreed to respect a stable ceasefire line while they are negotiating over a permanent settlement to their differences. While these negotiations are in progress the two sides have asked the UN to provide an international force to monitor the ceasefire and patrol the line. The situation is relatively stable though that stability is highly dependent upon events in Bosnia. I could say-and I am sure the Minister of Defence will expand on this-our troops there are not at high risk. This is peacekeeping as we understand it and have practised it for several decades.

Second, in Bosnia however the situation is radically different. There is no ceasefire and there are certainly no lines. Even the desire to negotiate seems to be lacking. In these circumstances the UN Security Council has mandated our forces to engage in assisting in the provision of humanitarian relief to the civilians caught in the middle of the conflict and in providing protection through a small military presence in Srebrenica, a UN designated safe area.

Our actions in Srebrenica are a perfect example of the evolution of peacekeeping to which I referred earlier. It remains an environment in which the peacekeepers require the permission of the parties to the conflict to go about their duties.

The task in Bosnia is an infinitely more difficult and dangerous one than that which our peacekeepers have traditionally faced. In addition to the dangers of simply operating in a war zone, we must face the fact that some of the factions do not always want the humanitarian aid to get through.

For all of these dangers it has been argued however that the UN force is making a critical contribution. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Red Cross have confirmed that aid is getting through. People who would otherwise be dead

are alive today. Canadian troops have played a vital role in this effort and continue to do so.

Beyond this humanitarian effort it is often pointed out that Canada's presence in Bosnia has served to demonstrate our continuing commitment to act with our NATO allies in the promotion of European security. It also demonstrates to the world that Canada is a nation which is prepared to carry out its international obligations under difficult circumstances, while others are merely willing to offer advice from the sidelines.

At the same time serious questions must be asked as we debate our continuing participation in these UN forces. Is there a reasonable prospect of any progress in the peace process in the foreseeable future? Will sufficient humanitarian aid continue to get through? At what point will the dangers to our troops outweigh the benefits of our presence there?

Concerning the first question, I am in constant communication with my colleagues who also have many troops in the region. I have spoken today with the French minister of foreign affairs about the situation and I intend in the coming days to speak with Secretary Hurd who has just returned from Bosnia and who will give us a personal evaluation of the situation on the ground. France, Great Britain and Canada are the three countries that have contributed the most troops in the region. It is clear that we will want to co-ordinate our efforts.

We think that the only solution is a negotiated solution. We think it is essential that we pressure the factions to come to a negotiated solution. We will increase our diplomatic efforts in order to put pressure on those who are the natural friends of the factions so that those who are in a better position than others can speak to the Serbs, the Croats, the Muslims, can convince them that the only solution is a negotiated peace, not prolonging the war.

And I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that beyond the military operations involved in peacekeeping or in escorting humanitarian convoys, we will strive unceasingly through diplomatic channels to find a solution to this conflict.

I would like to refer briefly to the recent NATO summit where the question of the dangers faced by our troops was the subject of much debate. In particular the topic of air strikes as a means of relieving the pressures on our troops was prominent in major reports of the summit.

Because some confusion seems to exist in the public mind I would like to take advantage of this timely opportunity to clarify the government position on the subject of air strikes and our understanding of the procedures in place for their authorization. I hope these clarifications will be helpful not only to members of Parliament and the public at large but will also be beneficial to the press that have made some comments in this regard which I felt were sometimes out of context.

Essentially there are two distinct scenarios for air strikes. The first envisages the case where UN troops are directly under attack. In this specific case NATO agreed in June that the commander of the UNPROFOR could call on the UN Secretary- General to authorize an air strike to assist UN troops where they are under attack.

The fact that the UN Secretary-General would be the ultimate authority for an air strike under these conditions was insisted upon by Canada in view of the highly charged political considerations which would surround such decisions. There would be no debate within NATO before the strike was carried out as time would be of the essence.

We agree with this procedure. We think it is appropriate that if our troops are under attack we should be able to respond. An air strike under these circumstances might be necessary and we are fully in agreement with this.

The second type of air strike would be intended to remove an obstacle to UNPROFOR's performance of its duties in circumstances where there was no direct threat to UNPROFOR troops. The proposed air strike would thus be less time urgent. Under these circumstances the commander of UNPROFOR would submit a request for such an air strike to the Secretary-General of the United Nations who must give his authorization as in the first case. The request would also be discussed in the North Atlantic Council of NATO. The North Atlantic Council must agree to support the request.

The North Atlantic Council operates by means of consensus. Therefore no decision to launch an air strike under these circumstances could be made unless all allies agreed to it. Canada's position on this question is well known and would guide our representative to the North Atlantic Council in such debate.

We have said and we repeat that in the second case we do not believe that an air strike would be conducive to solving current situations. In fact we have said on numerous occasions that air strikes should be the last resort. We believe the use of an air strike could jeopardize the humanitarian aid process and put our soldiers in great danger.

We want it abundantly clear that obviously this is a decision that would have to be discussed and agreed to within NATO by unanimous consent, including obviously the acceptance by Canada.

We have said that the only reason we would agree to such use of air strikes would be if our military people were telling us that it was okay to go ahead with it. It would be done only with the acceptance and recommendation of our military officers.

With respect to the second broad issue before us, the implications of Bosnia for our peacekeeping policy generally, it would seem that events in Bosnia provide a clear example of what I have been saying about the way in which peacekeeping is developing.

We must recognize the decisions we make regarding the continuation of our commitment to UN operations in Bosnia must be taken in the context of our considerations of Canada's willingness to remain involved in the broadening range of peacekeeping activities.

My remarks have been intended to raise several questions, questions about the future of peacekeeping generally and questions about the related subject of our future in Bosnia. In the immediate terms, the government must make a decision about the future of our commitment in Bosnia. We want to hear the views of this House on that subject.

As for the longer term issue of Canada's peacekeeping policy generally, we intend to consult with individual Canadians as part of the ongoing review of our foreign and defence policies. The parliamentary committee on foreign affairs will be asked to make suggestions and recommendations on our foreign policies.

I understand that the minister of defence will ask the parliamentary committee on defence and security to do a similar study. I suspect that these two parliamentary committees will hear witnesses, will travel throughout the country and will seek advice and opinions from Canadians on the evolution and revisions of our foreign policy and our defence policy. Therefore I am sure that the parliamentary committees in the general context of peacekeeping operations will certainly want to pursue debate and discussion and give advice to the government.

On the more immediate question of whether or not in March we should stay in Bosnia or leave is one on which we would ask parliamentarians to express their views today because this is a decision the government will have to make in the coming weeks. We will want to make this decision having assessed all the aspects as I indicated in my earlier remarks. We will obviously make a decision after having consulted with our allies. It is important to realize that Canada is playing a very important role through the UN and a very important role through NATO and such a decision cannot be taken in isolation.

I am pleased to move this motion today, seconded by my colleague, the Minister of National Defence, calling for a debate on peacekeeping. In particular, the government seeks the view of this House in two general areas: Canada's future in peacekeeping and our future commitment to Bosnia.

Although we are very much interested in knowing the views of members about Canada's future in peacekeeping, there will be other occasions to talk about it at a later date, but it might be the last occasion to express their views on our future commitment to Bosnia before a decision is made by the government. Therefore I invite members to express openly, candidly and in a very constructive way their advice and suggestions in this regard. We are open to advice. It is a difficult decision and we welcome their input in this debate.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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January 25, 1994