Hon. Bob Rae
Mr. Speaker, I hesitate to borrow a phrase, and the member may be somewhat dumbfounded when I say this, but I actually knew Dean Acheson and he was a friend of mine. The hon. member is no Dean Acheson, I can say that right now.
I do not mind being called whatever by the hon. member, but to his question I would simply put another question. How is it possible that 20 other NATO countries have managed to sign the convention, have signed the treaty and have not adopted the kind of escape clause to which Canada is now committing itself?
What the Government of Canada is now saying is that Canada has no independent foreign policy, we have no independent defence policy and we have no capacity to make our own moral judgments with respect to what weapons we will use and what weapons we will not use. It is the old Conservative position: when the imperial power says “Aye”, they say “Ready, aye, ready”.
From our perspective, we want Canada to be able to say “We believe in a treaty, we take a treaty seriously and we will observe the letter and the spirit of that treaty when we pass our legislation right here in Canada”.
Topic: Government Orders
Subtopic: Prohibiting Cluster Munitions Act