Mario SILVA

SILVA, Mario, B.A. (Hon.), M.A.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Davenport (Ontario)
Birth Date
June 11, 1966
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Silva
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=c9e94bb2-ee91-4587-a0a4-ae4ec2056ec7&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
educator

Parliamentary Career

June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Davenport (Ontario)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
LIB
  Davenport (Ontario)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
LIB
  Davenport (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 131)


March 24, 2011

Mr. Mario Silva (Davenport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the priorities of Canadians and the residents of Davenport are to invest in a real family care plan and strong public pensions based on the Canada pension plan, brought in by a Liberal government, and support for learning and training, health care, housing, the arts and a universal child care program. Their priorities are not to pour $30 billion into buying fighter jets and borrowing $6 billion for corporate tax cuts.

I would like the hon. member to comment on that statement, because I think it speaks to the priorities of Canadians.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   The Budget
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March 21, 2011

Mr. Mario Silva

Mr. Chair, my hon. colleague raises some very important legitimate questions. These are questions that we need the government to provide information on in a transparent manner.

As members, we take the issue very seriously when we make the commitment to deploy our men and women into harm's way. It is not an easy decision, but is the right decision and I fully agree with it. However, at the same time, we must ensure there is full transparency. The information my colleague is asking for regarding humanitarian challenges, long-term involvement and costs of the mission, all these things need to be brought before the House. At the end of the day, the House is responsible for acting upon the information that is provided in an accurate way by the government.

I fully agree with the questions raised by my colleague.

The humanitarian challenge is this. What we know from witnesses on the ground, from NGOs and other government officials who are still there, the situation in Libya is appalling. The Gadhafi regime is barbaric and willing to go to all costs to ensure its hold on power, including destroying its people.

The world community has acted in the right way yet in a difficult way. It is not easy to get the UN to agree on anything. I was pleased to see that even the permanent members, who have veto powers, acted in a responsible manner. It is a good step for humanity when the world community acts in unison. It is a good step for us all when the UN makes a decision under a chapter 7 mandate, which is very rare. It really makes up part of international law. The jurisprudence of the UN is so important for all of those who believe in international institutions, international law and the rule of law that is needed to safeguard the people who live in countries such as Libya.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   United Nations Security Council Resolution Concerning Libya
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March 21, 2011

Mr. Mario Silva

Mr. Chair, the world community has learned that it cannot ignore failed states, collapsing states or states that have no respect for the rule of law. Eventually they do create a mass refugee crisis throughout the region and do have consequences, especially if left in a vacuum, without a government, for terrorist organizations. There are not only domestic consequences but international consequences as well.

Canada's commitment has to be many pronged. My hon. colleague is right. It is not just an issue of military force. We also have to figure out the second step not just in Libya but in surrounding countries in terms of what type of humanitarian assistance Canada is prepared to step up and lead. If we are to be true leaders, we have to lead on many fronts. We have to act on behalf of the humanitarian crisis that is taking place in Libya and many places around the region. However, the immediate crisis right now is in Libya, which is the focus of this debate in the House. It requires specific attention and warrants this important debate.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   United Nations Security Council Resolution Concerning Libya
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March 21, 2011

Mr. Mario Silva

Mr. Chair, the responsibility to protect doctrine came out just a very short time before September 11, 2001. There is no question that it is an important document, which has become part of our international discourse and an important part of international law. That doctrine specifies the responsibility states have to their people and that if they fail to do so, there will be consequences.

This came out of the brutal situations that took place such as the genocide in Rwanda, Kosovo and so forth. It is a signal for the international community that action needs to be taken when there are violations of human rights and crimes against humanity being committed and that they are no longer tolerable. There cannot be complete sovereignty for leaders to do whatever they want with their own people.

This is an important doctrine that has been recognized and used internationally by all governments. I have to say one thing. I try not to be partisan, but I am saddened by the fact that the government has refused to use the words “responsibility to protect” and the importance of that doctrine. The doctrine is something of which all Canadians can be very proud.

It is not a Liberal thing. It is an international document in which Canada played a very important role, but we should not be afraid to use the language “responsibility to protect” and state the fact that this is very important international jurisprudence at the moment, in which Canada played a very important role.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   United Nations Security Council Resolution Concerning Libya
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March 21, 2011

Mr. Mario Silva (Davenport, Lib.)

Mr. Chair, over the course of the last few weeks, the people of Libya and many other states in Africa and the Middle East have taken to the streets in protest. People are demanding respect for their fundamental human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was the first international pronouncement of human rights norms and freedoms, justice and peace, including the inherent dignity, and equal and inalienable rights of all humans.

The subsequent International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights further enhanced the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedoms.

These charters, covenants and other international treaties establish the foundation for a state's responsibilities to its citizens.

I thank the House for agreeing to such an important debate on Libya and for the world community hearing the cries of its people. Colonel Gadhafi and his regime have brought the full might of armed forces to bear on his people and have used paid mercenaries to crush his own people.

In February, the UN Security Council agreed to resolution 1970. This condemned Gadhafi's actions. It imposed a travel ban and assets freeze on those at the top of his regime. It demanded an end to the violence, access for international human rights monitors, and the lifting of restrictions on the media. It referred the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court, so that its leaders should face the justice they deserve.

Gadhafi ignored the demands of UN Security Council resolution 1970, that it stop the violence against the Libyan people. His forces have attacked peaceful protestors and are now preparing for a violent assault on the city of Benghazi. Gadhafi has publicly promised that every home would be searched and there would be no mercy and no pity shown.

Human Rights Watch has catalogued the appalling human rights abuses that are being committed in Tripoli.

The transitional national council was the first to call for protection from air attacks, through a no-fly zone. This was followed by the Arab League.

On March 17, the UN Security Council, acting under paragraphs 7 and 8, adopted resolution 1973 by a vote of ten in favour to none against and five abstentions. The resolution demands the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all acts against abuse of civilians. It establishes a ban on all flights in the airspace of Libya in order to help protect civilians and it authorizes member states to take “all necessary measures to enforce compliance with the ban”.

Crucially, it says in paragraph 4:

Authorizes Member States...acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures...to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack...including Benghazi.

The council authorized member states acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libya.

Resolution 1973 provides legal authority for the international community to use force to protect civilians.

It further demands that Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law, take all measures to protect civilians, meet their basic needs, and ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance.

The foreign minister of France, Alain Juppé, said, “The situation on the ground is more alarming than ever, marked by the violent re-conquest of cities that have been released”. The Security Council could not stand by and “let the warmongers flout international legality”. The world was experiencing “a wave of great revolutions that would change the course of history”, but the will of the Libyan people had been “trampled under the feet of the Gadhafi regime”.

The resolution both authorizes and sets the limits of the international community action, and that of Canada. It specifically excludes an occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.

Now that the UN Security Council has reached its decision, there is a responsibility for Canada to act with other nations.

The Security Council resolution 1973 is measured to restore international peace and security under paragraph 7 of the United Nations Charter.

As the member for Davenport, I am pleased that the overall will of this House is to support the UN Security Council resolutions.

States have a responsibility to deliver political goods, security, health and education, good governance and rule of law, to their people. Today the Libyan government has been outlawed by the international community as a failed state for no longer being willing to carry out these functions, as well as for massacring its own people. Libya has refused to meet a specific set of conditions, to respect human rights and adhere to the UN Security Council resolution.

The UN Security Council, in resolution 1973, has again confirmed the doctrine that sovereignty is a right that comes with responsibility. One cannot have sovereignty in the absence of responsibility and the doctrine of responsibility to protect. The Westphalia definition of state sovereignty no longer applies.

Afghanistan and Somalia have demonstrated the danger of ignoring failing or failed states. State failure not only presents considerable challenges for those states in decline or collapse, but also for the international system as a whole. Humanitarian challenges arise from the fact that states fail. We all remember too well the lessons learned from the acts of genocide in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo.

Libya leader Gadhafi is unwilling to safeguard minimal civil conditions of peace, order and security for his people. He has brought war, anarchy and destruction upon his people and has lost the legitimacy of governance both domestically and internationally.

Under international law, Libya has an obligation to protect its citizens and ensure that human rights are protected. If it fails under the new doctrine of responsibility to protect, in which the leader of my party played an important role in the drafting of that document, the UN will act in demanding an immediate ceasefire in Libya, including an end to the current attacks against civilians, which it said might constitute crimes against humanity. The Security Council has demonstrated these actions are no longer tolerable and I applaud the Security Council for this action.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   United Nations Security Council Resolution Concerning Libya
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