Opposition Day Motion – Canada’s National Security

This speech was delivered October 22, 2018 in the House of Commons.

OTTAWA – Mr Speaker, a month ago I stood in this house deeply concerned for the future of our country. Today I rise again, to speak on the government’s failure to address the priorities of our time.

Canada is a nation of peace. After two devastating world wars, we committed to concrete actions to achieve global peace and security. We were a founding member of the United Nations, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

When we signed the Washington Treaty that established NATO in 1949, we reaffirmed our faith in the purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and our desire to live in peace with all peoples and all governments. Canada, and our NATO allies committed to safeguarding the freedom, common heritage and civilization of our peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. We committed to promoting stability and united our efforts for collective defence and for the preservation of peace and security.

That was almost 70 years ago. Since then we have enjoyed a long period of peace.

But not all points in history are equal, Mr. Speaker, and once again we find ourselves at a tipping point. The world has dramatically changed in the last few years and we now find ourselves in a time of unprecedented global instability.

The world is the most unstable it has been, both from an economic and defence and security perspective, since the end of World War II.

We are seeing fundamental shifts in the global economy, while trade relationships, international agreements, and defence structures are under threat.

We are experiencing a substantive increase in threats from nation states, and also from non–state actors. These threats are not only through conventional military means such as occupying forces, or missiles, but are also materializing from asymmetric threats such as economic and cyber security destabilizing measures, and even more alarming from radicalized individuals in our own backyard.

This government is not prioritizing the commitments we made in 1949 in the Washington Treaty. This government is not ensuring the security of Canadians. Canada made a commitment to our allies and international partners to contribute to global security, but the Liberal government is failing Canadians and our allies. Our allies are questioning whether or not they can count on us, they are questioning our resolve.

Mr. Speaker, actions speak louder than words, and this government may say that they are committed to our national security, but where is the evidence?

In June 2017, our Minister of Foreign Affairs announced her Foreign Policy and Defence priorities. She said that “turning aside from our responsibilities is not an option. That Canada can and must step up to play an active role in the preservation and strengthening of the global order from which we have benefitted.”

It has been over a year since that statement, but this government has not delivered. Canada has not stepped up.

This government has failed to meet our NATO commitment by not defining a plan to spend 2% of our GDP on our military… And they have failed our military by leaving a third of the defence budget unspent, and they failed by purchasing used forty year old F-18s from Australia. Now they’re failing Canadians by allowing terrorists to escape justice.

Mr. Speaker, that is why this motion today is of critical importance.

Canada has 60 terrorists walking our streets, that we know of, and there are even more around the world.

By not taking swift action to hold these terrorists accountable for their actions, Canada is not part of the solution, but instead is part of the problem.  

Mr. Speaker, this government’s failure to bring terrorists to justice, has consequences.

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