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Publications - April 1, 2004
 

37th PARLIAMENT, 3rd SESSION

Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade


EVIDENCE

CONTENTS

Thursday, April 1, 2004




¿ 0915
V         The Chair (Mr. Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds—Dollard, Lib.))
V         Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC)

¿ 0920
V         Mr. Paul Harold Macklin (Northumberland, Lib.)

¿ 0925
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Bryon Wilfert (Oak Ridges, Lib.)
V         The Chair
V         Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ)

¿ 0930
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ)

¿ 0935
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Diane Marleau (Sudbury, Lib.)
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         Hon. Diane Marleau

¿ 0940
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Dan McTeague (Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge, Lib.)
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         Hon. Diane Marleau
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         Hon. Diane Marleau
V         The Chair
V         Mrs. Karen Redman (Kitchener Centre, Lib.)
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair

¿ 0945
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Scott Brison
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         Ms. Francine Lalonde
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         The Clerk of the Committee
V         The Chair
V         The Clerk
V         The Chair
V         The Clerk
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         The Clerk
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         Ms. Francine Lalonde
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         Ms. Francine Lalonde

¿ 0950
V         Mr. James Lee (Committee Researcher)
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         Ms. Francine Lalonde
V         The Chair
V         Ms. Francine Lalonde
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Diane Marleau
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Diane Marleau
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         The Chair

¿ 0955
V         The Chair

À 1000
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Carlo Dade (Senior Advisor, Canadian Foundation for the Americas)

À 1005

À 1015
V         The Chair
V         Mr. John Graham (President, Board of Directors, Canadian Foundation for the Americas)

À 1020

À 1025
V         The Chair
V         Mr. John Graham
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Stockwell Day
V         Mr. Carlo Dade

À 1030
V         The Chair
V         Mr. John Graham
V         The Chair
V         Ms. Francine Lalonde
V         Mr. Carlo Dade

À 1035
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Paul Harold Macklin
V         Mr. John Graham

À 1040
V         Mr. Carlo Dade
V         The Chair
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC)
V         Mr. John Graham
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark
V         Mr. Carlo Dade

À 1045
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Carlo Dade
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Raymond Simard (Saint Boniface, Lib.)
V         Mr. Carlo Dade
V         Mr. Raymond Simard
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Bryon Wilfert

À 1050
V         Mr. John Graham
V         Mr. Carlo Dade
V         The Chair










CANADA

Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade


NUMBER 010 
l
3rd SESSION 
l
37th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Thursday, April 1, 2004

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

¿  +(0915)  

[English]

+

    The Chair (Mr. Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds—Dollard, Lib.)): Good morning everyone. Bonjour.

    Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), orders of the day, we're going to do committee business this morning. We're back on the debate of the motion as amended of Stockwell Day.

    Mr. Day, please, the first motion on your order of the day.

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC): Thanks, Mr. Chairman.

    We've gone around and around the debate on this. To have on the record a summary of how this has progressed, this began with all-party support, or members from each party holding a news conference and showing there was some all-party, non-partisan support for this motion.

    That was sent to all members of the committee. Lots of notice was given in terms of debate here. I have already accepted an amendment to the motion. Some committee members wanted a legal overview, which was provided.

    We all agree, as individuals, in principle that nobody supports suicide bombing. There's no question, and I don't question that from anybody around this table, that it's vile and inhumane.

    The legal overview would suggest, at least from the one witness, that the hands of governments, both nationally and internationally, would be somewhat strengthened in terms of preventing and apprehending those who inspire, encourage, train, and recruit.

    As a committee, we could sit here, split all kinds of legal hairs, and talk about the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and this and that. I don't think we have to do that to say we agree with this and send it on. It eventually finds its way to the justice experts, who can come back with parsed phrases and legal language.

    The fact is, as I mentioned the other day, when you crystallize this, it comes down to a few people or a number of people—maybe a majority, who knows—being quite sensitive about how this could be applied to the Middle East situation when in fact suicide bombing takes place all over the world.

    Some of you may get some of the same daily reports of terrorist violence from around the world that I do, and it is not limited to the Middle East. However, there is another one today, after the very tragic case last week of the young boy of questionable intelligence who had been recruited to be a suicide bomber. Mercifully, that did not happen.

    There is another one today. Islamic Jihad recruited Tamer Khawireh, 15 years old, to be a suicide bomber. He was one of four Nablus boys recruited by terrorist groups and then arrested. Khawireh's stunned father, Massoud, said that on Tuesday he called Islamic Jihad demanding an explanation. They apologized, arguing that they mistook the tenth grader for an 18-year-old.

    I think we need to ask ourselves the question: what is the message if we vote this down?

    If we cling to some legal parsing, which isn't ours to do, we can address all kinds of issues, quite rightly. We have in the past. We have addressed nuclear issues. We direct our attention to health issues. We don't have to be experts on the intimate details, but to support, in principle, something like this is of profound importance. We'd be a leader. We always talk about Canada being a leader.

    Since our news conference I've had—and maybe you have had too—the media calling and asking: How's it going? Is it moving along? I'd tell them that it's in discussion and there are some issues being raised.

    I would ask us to think about the message, because I do want this to come to a vote today. I am convinced that we're going to be moving to an election. When we come back, obviously, we intend to institute this, as the government, but that might not be until the fall. We need to send a message now.

    It will be interesting to watch the response of each of us as reporters call us, as I'm sure they will because there is a lot of interest in this, asking if you voted against that or you voted for that. We have to think of the message of supporting this, but also what the message is if we don't support it. What are we saying to the world? What are we saying to kids who need to be protected?

    We're quick, quite rightly, to protect kids from those who try and lure them into a life of drugs or into a life of predatory exploitation through pedophiles on the Internet. We're considering legislation to protect kids from certain types of pop, drinks, and juice at school, yet we would be considering voting no on this.

    Obviously, those are my feelings. I feel strongly about it. It's important to consider the ramifications of saying yes—which is what this is all about—but let's also consider the ramifications of the message in saying no.

    Thanks, Mr. Chairman.

¿  +-(0920)  

    Thank you, Mr. Day.

    Mr. Macklin.

+-

    Mr. Paul Harold Macklin (Northumberland, Lib.): Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

    Let me preface my remarks by saying clearly that I don't believe anyone in this room would in fact endorse suicide bombing as any form of acceptable behaviour, no matter what situation presented itself.

    However, we also work within a framework of international law, and I think we have to look at where we find ourselves in that framework. If we as a committee of Parliament are going to make a meaningful contribution to the debate and discussion as to where we could go and where we could show leadership, I think it still has to be found within the framework of international law.

    Making a political statement is one thing, but I think if we really want to make a meaningful change in the way in which we deal with those who would prosecute this type of crime, we have to find a way in which to go about it.

    Today we received a document from parliamentary research. The last sentence of the conclusion says:

The nature of the attack and the fact that itinvolves the suicide of the perpetrator does not, however, create an offence in international lawthat can be considered distinct from systematic and widespread attacks upon civilians thatemploy other methods.

    As I mentioned the other day, as I understand it, the history of how this has developed is that we created a statute called the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. It was to reflect and implement the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. In subsection 4(3) of the statute we have in place, the definition of “crime against humanity” includes murder, which clearly encompasses and includes a suicide bomber. It says:

committed against any civilian population or any identifiable group and that, at the time and in the place of its commission, constitutes a crime against humanity according to

And here's where I think the issue starts to arise.

customary international law or conventional international law or by virtue of its being criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations, whether or not it constitutes a contravention of the law in force at the time and in the place of its commission.

    Going back to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the witness we had before us indicated that the troubling words in article 7, section 1, were that in defining a crime against humanity, it means “any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population”.

    I think if there is a meaningful purpose for us in pursuing a way to benefit society, it may well be that what we need to do is consider whether we should deal with the definition of a crime against humanity in the sense that widespread or systematic attack may be far too broad for a proper prosecution of those who carry out these acts today. In many cases it may be very difficult for anyone to prosecute, having to establish that this is a widespread or systematic attack when in fact it could be simply a single attack being brought against the civilian population.

    So the issue that I think is before us today is if we're interested in bringing forward a meaningful resolution that would change the way in which the international community deals with such crimes, I think we have to look at bringing forward some meaningful statement or resolution that would lead to a change in the definition under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and also deal with the change in our own legislation.

¿  +-(0925)  

    I think this has to be done by a community of nations approach, and that would be the proper way to go forward.

+-

    The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Macklin.

    Mr. Wilfert.

+-

    Mr. Bryon Wilfert (Oak Ridges, Lib.): In listening to the discussion, I certainly understand that international law, at least since about 1848, has evolved in response to various changes in the international community, in terms of various types of warfare that have developed by both states and non-actor states over the years.

    Mr. Day is bringing a new element to the table in suggesting that we should specifically identify suicide bombing as a crime against humanity. I understand that and appreciate the fact that this is certainly worth looking at. In his resolution before the committee, he wants Parliament to declare it a crime against humanity. In his comments earlier, I had the impression he simply wanted us to have it on the record for discussion purposes. Without knowing what the actual wording is going to be, I think that's very difficult for us.

    One of the questions I had the other day was why no other state, or particularly the United Nations, which has been very active on the issue of international terrorism, has not specifically debated an approach to the issue of suicide bombing. Why have they not looked at specific wording on this issue? I have no difficulty dealing with the substance of his proposal, but I don't think we have enough evidence on the table, either from legal experts or from other states, on what we are actually asking the international community to support.

    The fact is, Mr. Macklin has said that no one supports suicide bombing. The question is, what is really the objective we're looking for here, and what meaningful outcomes are we going to have if we adopt something? If we want to say that in principle we support suicide bombing as a crime against humanity, I don't have difficulty with that. But I would not expect us to be able to go before Parliament and say we want it to ratify something when we don't know what the end result will be. I would like to have more expert witnesses come forth.

    There's nothing wrong with us being ground breakers, but let's make sure we know exactly where we're going with this.

+-

    The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Wilfert.

    Madame Lalonde, s'il vous plaît.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ): Thank you.

    First of all, I have to admit that I'm astounded by the comments of Stockwell Day, with whom I've taken part in missions and whom I've come to know. On the one hand, I'm grateful to him for getting me to read up on this subject, but at the same time, I want him to know that I believe as deeply as he does in the need for the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and for my own party as well, to adopt stands that promote conflict resolution. Obviously, I'm referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As we noted from the study conducted, this conflict is the flash point in the Muslim world -- and indeed elsewhere, that is in the non Arab-Muslim world.

    What have I learned from researching this subject? I've learned that this motion is fraught with implications. First of all, there are the legal ramifications that Mr. Macklin spoke of to consider. Mr. Adler made it very clear that he has no faith in international criteria when it comes to determining that which constitutes a crime against humanity.

    On reading reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, we see that not just any crime is deemed to be a crime against humanity. As I understand it, international human rights legislation has endeavoured to stigmatize actions the perpetrators of which could be brought to justice before international tribunals or the courts in other countries. To my mind, international law makes certain causes universal. He spoke very frankly to us about the legal implications. However, for stakeholders, there are also the strategic implications to consider. As for the moral implications, the Bloc Québécois has been condemning the suicide bombings for some time now. I did so when I addressed a group of Palestinians and some have yet to forgive me for speaking out.

    However, what implications does this motion have, in my estimation? When the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs does take a stand on this issue, it's important that it not appear to take a partisan stand. I have seen no evidence that crimes against humanity are in fact considered to be premeditated crimes, committed with a specific type of weapon -- suicide bombers blow themselves up. However, the nature and scope must be taken into consideration. It may make sense to restrict this somewhat, but the fact is that we're taking a stand on something bigger. Again, personally, from a moral standpoint, I have no problem whatsoever with that, as I've said from the outset. However, we mustn't give the impression that we're targeting the Palestinians, when Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have conducted similar studies and found that the actions of the Israeli Army and its leaders constitute war crimes.

    From a political standpoint, Israel denies any war crimes, while the Palestinians deny any crimes against humanity. What's left then? The Occupied Territories and the right of Palestinians to resist, as recognized by the UN, and the need for concerned persons everywhere to work toward the resolution of this terrible conflict.

    In my opinion, if there is any time remaining, we should be working toward this objective. Stockwell can't say that I disagree with the substance of the motion, because that isn't true. However, I don't want to give the impression, by endorsing this motion, that I am taking sides and not being fair, or that I am preventing the committee from continuing to adopt a position in support of conflict resolution, because it's important to speak to both parties.

    I'll leave it at that. I have gone on long enough, but I needed to speak my mind.

¿  +-(0930)  

+-

    The Chair: No, that's quite all right. Thank you, Ms. Lalonde.

    Go ahead, Mr. Bergeron.

+-

    Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Chairman, I'd like to thank Mr. Macklin for his highly eloquent presentation which reflects his vast knowledge. I'm well aware of the legal ramifications of this matter. Having said that, I don't think the law should be static or immutable. The law is something that evolves, obviously along with a society's mores. Consequently, laws, including international law, may have to evolve as well.

    As I see it, as a individual and as a politician, what distinguishes murder from an assassination attempt, whether it be a suicide bombing or some other kind of attack -- and you'll recall that our criminal code has made similar distinctions in recent years -- is when the murder of one, twelve or 250 persons is motivated by hate and political beliefs.

    Personally, like Francine, I have no problem whatsoever strongly condemning suicide bombings that target civilian populations. However, I would feel very differently about suicide bombings targeting military or strategic positions. However, when the specific targets are innocent civilians, I have no reservations about condemning such action.

    The basic problem I have with this motion is that its focus is extremely narrow. From the outset, it excludes an absolutely horrific event that we all witnessed very recently, namely the bombings in Madrid. These were not suicide bombings as such, but in my mind, these attacks deserve to be condemned as strongly as suicide bombings that claim one, two, ten or 250 victims in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or elsewhere.

    So then, I have a fundamental problem with Mr. Day's motion and I would like us to come up with a formula that allows for a much broader definition. On that score, I concur with Mr. Wilfert's view. The motion doesn't necessarily have to reflect the position of the Foreign Affairs Committee or the formal and legal position of either the Government of Canada or the House of Commons. I think we must express a political opinion that, as argued by my colleague, is balanced but does not have an legal implications at this stage of the game.

¿  +-(0935)  

+-

    The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Bergeron.

    Ms. Marleau.

+-

    Hon. Diane Marleau (Sudbury, Lib.): I move that we postpone any decision on this motion until after the two week recess, so that we can further consider the ramifications of this motion and adopt a more balanced position.

[English]

    I don't know if you would be willing to do this, Mr. Day, but I propose we amend this motion and ask that the decision be deferred until we can look at the whole question of terrorism, so we can come up with a resolution that's better balanced.

+-

    The Chair: Are there any comments regarding that for Ms. Marleau?

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day: Are you suggesting some wording?

+-

    Hon. Diane Marleau: What I'm suggesting is that, first, we haven't really looked at this question well enough. We need to really look at what exactly will come and why, and what exactly can we do to ensure--because none of us support suicide bombing--that we have a balanced approach to the question of bombing, be it suicide bombing, be it any kind of act against civilian populations. I'm just asking that we defer the decision or the vote on this until such time as we can have a complete look at this.

    I think it's important that in light of the fact that wherever we travelled in our study of our relationship with the Muslim world, there wasn't one country we visited--and I wasn't in every one of them, but I would imagine the ones you were in made the same statement--where the Israeli-Palestinian question wasn't at the heart of many of the challenges that are being faced internationally.

    So I think we owe it to ourselves and to the international community to do a very in-depth study of the rules that govern this. By all means, let's be in the forefront, but let's do it properly.

¿  +-(0940)  

+-

    The Chair: Mr. McTeague.

+-

    Hon. Dan McTeague (Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge, Lib.): Mr. Chair, I would support that. I support it, though, in the context of understanding...and I applaud Mr. Day for his efforts here. I certainly wouldn't want to see this being placed in the context of a rushed agenda because we have an election. If this is to be an election issue, so be it, but I believe that in the short time I've been on this committee I've come to appreciate and learn and to be able to discern the very considered comments that have, in this case, come around this table both from members opposite--Madame Lalonde and Monsieur Bergeron--as well as my two colleagues here.

    I was concerned about my line of questioning with Mr. Adler, because I don't think he was able to effectively respond to my concern about terrorism and its moral equivalency. I believe we need a few more witnesses, and I'd be prepared, subject to the committee's own views, to resume this issue upon our return in two weeks.

    So I think Madame Marleau's proposal is one that would give us greater comfort in understanding, as we say in French,

[Translation]

    the scope of the situation. We also have to consider the fact that we are currently the only country grappling with this kind of decision. I don't think we should rush things just because an election could be in the offing.

[English]

+-

    The Chair: Merci.

    Are there any other comments concerning Madame Marleau's...?

    Mr. Day.

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day: I'm going to ask for the question to be called, and if people vote against it, then we'll bring it back again after the election.

    I appreciate that there has been some concern raised--

+-

    Hon. Diane Marleau: Don't we have to vote on the amendment first?

+-

    The Chair: Yes. I'm just going to let him speak, and after that we'll come back to it.

    Mr. Day.

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day: Subject to the chair's view, I believe there was consensus on the amendment when Madame McDonough proposed it last. I believe we all agreed to that amendment.

+-

    The Chair: Okay. Now, if I understand Madame Marleau, you're just asking that the consideration of this motion--

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day: Oh, you're referring to a possible amendment from yourself?

+-

    Hon. Diane Marleau: No, deferring--

+-

    The Chair: Yes, to be deferred, and we will study this.

    You see, if the House comes back after the Easter break, we could do it the Tuesday following, get some witnesses, ask the clerk....

    I don't know if you have some witnesses like Mr. Adler, who came before the committee--that was your suggestion, Mr. Day. Are there any other suggestions, maybe Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, or any other one that any member would like to have, just to be sure that when we make the decision it will be the proper decision?

    Mrs. Redman, please.

+-

    Mrs. Karen Redman (Kitchener Centre, Lib.): Thank you, Mr. Chair.

    I want to make the point that I really do believe Mr. Day is doing this with the best motives in mind, and I think by inviting the kinds of groups that you're outlining, we won't just be banking personal opinion, but we'll be able to have a more informed opinion.

    It may bring a greater profile to this whole issue, because one of the questions I asked for clarification when Mr. Day originally tabled this with the committee was, does this obligate the House, and where does this go? If we're able to shine a brighter light on this whole issue and have a more fulsome discussion, it may indeed get us closer to the intent of Mr. Day's motive for bringing this forward.

+-

    The Chair: We're on the question of deferring, as proposed by Mrs. Marleau. Are we agreed on this?

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day: Is she moving to table, or is she moving to defer or...?

+-

    The Chair: Once it's moved, it's not debatable.

¿  +-(0945)  

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day: That's all I'm asking: what's the process?

+-

    The Chair: The process is we're going to ask if we agree on what Mrs. Marleau just suggested, that we defer and get some witnesses for the Tuesday we come back. I don't know what that date is. Is it the 25th?

    We're back on the 19th. It's Tuesday the 20th.

    An hon. member: That's if we are coming back.

    An hon. member: We're coming back. We have it from the gods.

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day: Well, I know who's going to be campaigning for you in your riding while you're gone.

    Just for clarification, is this a non-debatable motion?

+-

    The Chair: Yes.

+-

    Hon. Scott Brison: I just don't know why the Prime Minister has told Stockwell.

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day: He told me on his ad last night. That was one of about a hundred hints.

    Did we take the vote? I'm opposed.

    (Motion agreed to on division [See Minutes of Proceedings]

+-

    The Chair: It's opposed by Mr. Day, but it is agreed to on division.

    I just want to ask Madame Lalonde something.

[Translation]

    Ms. Lalonde, if we look at the second paragraph which calls for the committee to resume debate on your motion respecting the Ambassador to Denmark, you said you would come up with a different proposal, but you have yet to do that. Could we remove this from the list for the time being? Otherwise, it will keep coming up. If you would prefer to have us leave it there, but not debate it, that's fine.

+-

    Ms. Francine Lalonde: Leave it in, because the committee will have to consider this matter again at some point. For now, my focus is on other matters.

+-

    The Chair: Fine then.

    We now resume debate with Ms. McDonough. However, I see that she isn't here. Resuming debate.

[English]

    We're resuming debate on notice of motion of Mr. Day:

That whenever the Main Estimates or Supplementary Estimates are referred to the Committee, the Committee invite the Minister and any relevant senior officials of a department to appear at a meeting of the Committee and, if possible, that it be televised.

    Do you want that motion to go forward, Mr. Day?

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day: I think it's a fairly straightforward motion. If there's going to be a lot of debate on it, I don't know what purpose it would serve. Yes, I would move that.

+-

    The Chair: Do you have any comments, Mr. Clerk?

+-

    The Clerk of the Committee: I have a question, Mr. Chairman. I believe this constitutes an order of the committee for me to get in touch with the various ministers and have them come to the committee.

+-

    The Chair: No, just when there are special estimates.

+-

    The Clerk: I think it says all estimates.

+-

    The Chair: It's main estimates or supplementary estimates.

+-

    The Clerk: The main estimates have been referred to this committee, Mr. Chairman.

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day: So it would be at the call of the committee. The clerk would have to....

+-

    The Chair: You could say “at the call of the committee”. We could say at the beginning “that at the call of the committee, whenever the main estimates....” Is that okay?

+-

    The Clerk: Then what is the purpose of the amendment? An amendment has to be something that is executable, Mr. Chairman.

+-

    The Chair: “At the call of the committee”.

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day: Actually, Mr. Chair, I would say it reads well as it is, because it says that “the Committee invite”, so we're just asking that this be passed, but we haven't made a specific invitation. When a specific invitation is made, then obviously the clerk would have to inform the relevant minister or ministers.

    We're not saying to call them all now and bring them in.

+-

    The Chair: Can you say “may invite”? This way it's not compulsory.

    We already have this prerogative to invite. This doesn't change anything.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Francine Lalonde: Perhaps it means that we're invoking our prerogative. It sends a message to the clerk and to the researchers. That's how I understand it. The motion calls on the clerk and the researchers to monitor developments, to attend to our business and to call ministers to testify.

[English]

+-

    The Chair: What do you think, Mr. Day?

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day: It's not compelling the clerk, I don't think. You don't have to send out the invitations.

[Translation]

+-

    The Chair: Ms. Lalonde.

+-

    Ms. Francine Lalonde: I was kidding a little, but we don't keep up with everything. We should leave it up to the researchers and to the clerk to monitor the things that concern us and to bring these to our attention when we have a meeting and to ask us if we wish to call certain ministers or officials to testify.

¿  +-(0950)  

+-

    Mr. James Lee (Committee Researcher): As a rule, the steering committee should have met and...

[English]

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    Mr. Stockwell Day: I'm not asking for proactivity on the part of the clerks, although at times they are proactive, and we appreciate that. It's not intended here.

[Translation]

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    Ms. Francine Lalonde: Then, it's simply to remind the committee.

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    The Chair: I don't know. Listen, it's always been the committee's prerogative.

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    Ms. Francine Lalonde: Then, what does it mean, Stockwell?

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    The Chair: It's a reminder to the committee to do its work. It's part of our job to invite officials, whether they be from the Auditor General's Office or from the minister's office, when the Main Estimates or Supplementary Estimates are being considered. I think we can do that.

    The thing is, if we instruct the clerk to do that each time, it could disrupt the order in which we proceed on agenda items.

[English]

    Are there any other comments?

    Madame Marleau.

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    Hon. Diane Marleau: I don't have any problems with what you're saying, Mr. Chair, because this is really what we should be doing.

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    The Chair: Yes, this is what we should be doing, exactly.

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    Hon. Diane Marleau: And this is generally what we do.

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    The Chair: But you don't give an order to the clerk. I just want to be sure that it's not an order to the clerk.

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    Mr. Stockwell Day: No, no.

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    The Chair: Because they have work to do in preparing a lot of witnesses, and things like that. We work hard enough. They don't want to see it as an order.

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    Mr. Stockwell Day: No, we're not asking for that.

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    The Chair: It's not an order. This is why we might need to change this.

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    Mr. Stockwell Day: Mr. Chairman, I definitely wouldn't want to see the day that I couldn't even entertain the thought, with the people around this table, that a committee would be resistant to and protective of a minister and therefore not call them. I could never even dream of that, whatever happened here. But after an election, who knows what group of sultry bandits may be replacing us.

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    The Chair: I think, Mr. Day, as Mr. Schmitz just told me, we already have that power for the main and supplementary estimates, and the standing committee meets. I think we could leave this one on the side, because it's a repetition. But the next one, concerning the Auditor General, is a new one. But on this one, I agree. If it's the Auditor General and it's something concerning our department or our committee, I think we should invite the Auditor General or any other person relevant to that.

    Mr. Day.

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    Mr. Stockwell Day: Just on the part of your process, the first is on the table. I'd like to call the question.

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    The Chair: To call the question on the first one?

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    Mr. Stockwell Day: Yes.

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    The Chair: Okay, we'll call the question.

    As far as it not being an order for the clerk, we agree.

    On the question, I think there's no problem, because it's a prerogative. It says “may invite”.

    (Motion agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])

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    Mr. Stockwell Day: And the second motion also, Mr. Chairman?

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    The Chair: Yes, I'm going to read the motion,

That whenever a Chapter of a Report of the Auditor General refers to a subject under the mandate of the Committee, the Committee study the matter and invite officials of the Office of the Auditor General of Canada and any relevant Senior Officials of a Department to appear at a meeting of the Committee and, if possible, that it be televised.

    (Motion agreed to)

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    The Chair: Fine, thank you.

    Now, we've finished the orders of the day. We're going to adjourn until 10 o'clock, when we'll hear from the witnesses from the Canadian Foundation for the Americas.

¿  +-(0955)  

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    The Chair: If they come at 10, we'll start at 10. We're going to suspend for five minutes.

¿  +-  


À  +-  

À  +-(1000)  

[Translation]

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    The Chair: Resuming debate, we now welcome our next witnesses representing the Canadian Foundation for the Americas,

[English]

    Mr. John W. Graham, president, board of directors, and Mr. Carlo Dade, senior adviser. You're both welcome here at our committee.

    First we'll ask Mr. Dade to give his presentation, and we'll get some remarks after that from Mr. Graham.

    Mr. Dade, please.

[Translation]

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    Mr. Carlo Dade (Senior Advisor, Canadian Foundation for the Americas): Good day, Mr. Chairman. First of all, I want to thank you for the opportunity to address the committee this evening.

[English]

    In the interest of time, and with your indulgence, I will pass over the introductions. I believe you have a prepared statement that has information on my background. I also believe that the committee is well aware of FOCAL, its mission, and its work here in Ottawa. I'd like to briefly summarize my testimony and then open the floor to more questions.

    The current situation in Haiti is quite difficult. We're all saddened by the fall of the Aristide government and the continued failure of development and attempts to promote democracy and economic growth in the country. However, the current situation also poses a great opportunity and challenge for Haiti. I would like this morning to focus on the opportunities that are present in Haiti and the importance of Haiti and these opportunities for Canada and Canadian foreign policy.

    Let me first briefly summarize the importance of Haiti and the opportunities for Canada. Then I will move on to talk about some of what's needed to move ahead and take advantage of these opportunities in Haiti.

    On the importance of Haiti for Canada, there are three crucial areas. There is the importance to Canadian national interests--hard national interests as well as soft national interests. There is the comparative advantage that Canada has to work in Haiti, as opposed to engagement elsewhere in the world. There is the importance of engagement in Haiti vis-à-vis our role with the United States.

    To begin with the Canadian national interest, as much as Canada has hard interests outside of the United States, where 80% of our trade lies, I think a very strong case can be made for having strong national interest in Haiti. There are 150,000 to 200,000 Canadians of Haitian descent, concentrated primarily in Quebec. Given the globalization of migration, the hyper-migration we experience nowadays, the interconnectedness between communities is greater than ever before.

    Problems, issues, and resources move between communities at the speed of modern business. Social problems, social ills, and social disturbances move quickly back and forth between international communities at the same speed at which capital, ideas, and business move. So the presence of this large population of Haitian descent means that events in Haiti are very important for Canada.

    In addition, there is a real danger of the instability in Haiti spreading throughout the Caribbean. This is important for wider Canadian interests throughout the Caribbean. I think if Scotiabank were here today they would mention their recent purchase of the third largest bank in the Dominican Republic. But we also have to think about the potential impact on Jamaica or the Bahamas, where 40% of the population is of Haitian descent.

    It's also important vis-à-vis our relationship with the United States--I'll talk more about that later--and in terms of national interest, the promotion of democracy. Haiti is emerging as a crucial test for the inter-American democratic charter. It's also emerging as a crucial test for where we stand on the promotion of democracy and the rule of law in the region.

    In terms of comparative advantage, I would highlight three areas of crucial importance. First is language. There is a large Creole-speaking population in Canada. There is also a large francophone population in Canada. These are huge advantages to working in Haiti and being able to engage effectively there. While there is a large difference between Creole and French, it is much easier and possible to function going from French to Creole. It's next to impossible to function going from English to Creole.

    So despite the differences between French and Creole, having a large French population is of crucial importance to work in Haiti. It will affect the U.S. mission there, and it will affect missions from the region. The Chileans will have a slightly easier time because a large percentage of the population speaks Spanish, but English is extremely difficult.

    Let me make a brief aside here.

À  +-(1005)  

    In terms of our engagement in Operation ATHENA in Afghanistan, there was a report in The Globe and Mail, I think a month or a month and a half ago, about the search for Pashto to French translators. As we prepare to send over...I think it's the 22nd, there is a desperate search to try to find French to Pashto translators. We've turned over every rock and knocked on every door, and we can't find anyone.

    It's interesting because I think it poses a real difficulty; perhaps some would say it increases the mission risk of work in Afghanistan. The question is as we seek to place Canada's role in the world, as we seek to find our role in the world, where do we have comparative advantage? This gets to the remarks by Paul Martin that I put in my prepared statement about our need to put ourselves on the world stage, but to do it in places where we know we can make a difference. And part of that is comparative advantage.

    I would argue that in Haiti, language creates a strong comparative advantage--also history. Canada and the Caribbean nations are the only nations in the Americas that really enjoy a positive history vis-à-vis Haiti. We have not taken part in the 200 years of isolation, embargo, racism, and attacks against Haiti. This is very important to be able to operate in Haiti. It's one reason that CARICOM has been so effective. They're seen as neutral, at least historically, by the Haitians. When they look upon the French, they think about the 150 million gold francs in retribution. When they look at the United States, the list is so long one hardly knows where to begin. When they look at the multilateral organizations, they view them the same way they view the French and the Americans. When they look at the Latin American neighbours, they view them in the history of isolation, continual snubs, and lack of recognition.

    Canada and the Caribbean really stand out in terms of the historical relation vis-à-vis Haiti, and this creates a huge opportunity, a huge amount of political capital that we have to spend in Haiti, which we have to be careful not to lose with current engagements. Canada also enjoys a perception in the region as a counterweight to what is viewed as heavy U.S. involvement in the region, a voice of moderation, a positive influence in terms of a donor nation, and that creates an opportunity to engage too.

    In terms of the relationship with the U.S., I think this is something to which not a lot of attention has been devoted, and I would like to spend a couple of minutes talking about this. I think in terms of hard interest, what's important for Canada and Haiti, you have to think about our relationship vis-à-vis the United States.

    In Haiti, as opposed to the mission in Afghanistan and engagements elsewhere, we have a chance to really engage with the United States one on one, as equals--in a multilateral context, of course. But the primary actors in this will be the United States, and Canada can emerge as a secondary actor. This is important in terms of offsetting places where we have differences in the Caribbean and also to build and restrengthen or rebuild and strengthen--however one would phrase it--the relationship with the United States.

    The U.S. would welcome Canadian involvement and Canada's taking the lead in Haiti. The administration in Washington has its hands more than full with Afghanistan, Iraq, and the potential in Korea and the Mideast. There simply is not the ability to concentrate. The U.S. has the resources to spend, the money to invest, but to really succeed in Haiti you need long-term attention at the highest levels, and the administration is incapable of applying that to Haiti. This is a chance for Canada to step up and provide that sort of focused attention and leadership, and the administration would welcome this.

    We've recently had the visit to Ottawa of Roger Noriega, who is the head of WHA, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Adolfo Franco, who is the administrator in charge of Latin America. Both have indicated that this is something of interest. We've had preliminary discussions and there is tentative agreement to host a conference in Montreal on Canadian-U.S. cooperation in Haiti. It's tentative; we're just beginning to work on that. But it's a sign of the interest and the openness in the United States to have Canada take a lead on this.

    I would also mention very briefly the role of Brazil, which is something that hasn't been mentioned. The Brazilians have committed to sending troops under the UN peacekeeping operation. They're talking about 1,000, maybe 2,000 troops, and potentially 3,000. They could be the largest force in Haiti.

    The Brazilians also enjoy a very favourable relationship vis-à-vis Haiti. Haitians love all things Brazilian. I think if most Haitians had a choice between the United States and Brazil in terms of migration, they might even choose Brazil. If you went to Haiti during the World Cup, you'd think you were in Recife or some place like that. The place is just absolutely 100% Brazilian.

    Brazil sees itself as a second power in the Americas, and they see Haiti as a first step in really establishing this. It's a chance for them to step out of South America and step onto the hemispheric and the global stage. It's also important, as it was for France in working on their relationship with the United States, because it's a chance to work one on one with the United States to offset areas where they have differences and to engage in a closer relationship on a more one-on-one basis. So I would also mention the recent events with Brazil.

    In terms of what's needed to move ahead in Haiti, we have seen success in the past in Haiti in terms of both political and economic development. The Hydro-Québec project in Jacmel is held up, not just in Haiti and not just in Latin America but in the developing world, as a successful example.

    In terms of the comparative advantage, work with the diaspora. The diaspora now contributes between $600 million and $900 million U.S. a year to Haiti. They are the largest source of aid in Haiti. Canada has the longest-standing experience of working with the diaspora group to fund development projects in the country of origin. That project is in Haiti. It's been going on for over ten years. It's something we were looking to duplicate and copy in the United States. It's a case where Canada, again, has shown leadership in Haiti. It's another area for potentially working together both with the community here and with the United States.

    In terms of engagement, it's taken across the board that engagement will have to be long term this time. Everyone from Kofi Annan to George Bush to the Europeans to the multilaterals have the knowledge that enough is enough for Haiti. We've never really engaged before the way we should have. Now is the time to get serious, to learn from the past, and to do what it takes to make a break from the past.

    There is no reason, it's not written anywhere, that Haiti has to suffer poverty and misrule, nor is it written anywhere that efforts to intervene and help are doomed to failure. We can make a difference in Haiti; we can make a break from the past. There's a real, key opportunity for Canada to seize now in realizing all the potential Haiti presents. It is to take this realization that is breaking across the world that enough is enough for Haiti and that we can make a break from the past. The international community is looking to change its view of Haiti, to change thinking about development, and to change what we've done in the past. Haiti could be an opportunity for success, and Canada really could take the leadership in that.

    I think I've put enough on the table. I'll leave it there.

À  +-(1015)  

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    The Chair: Thank you very much.

    In discussions, Mr. Graham might have a few remarks to make as well.

    Mr. Graham, please.

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    Mr. John Graham (President, Board of Directors, Canadian Foundation for the Americas): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I do not have a prepared text, and I won't cover the ground that my colleague Carlo has covered, I think very well. I'd like to move to the next stage. Carlo has made it very clear what the role of Canada can be, what our credentials are to play such a role, and the kind of collaboration we can have with other countries.

    What I would like to say a few words about is inside what model. The international community, and particularly the United States, Canada, to some degree France and others, have been involved in the last quarter century in catastrophes in Haiti in attempting to rehabilitate a failed state. This happened after the collapse of the Baby Doc government, the government of Jean-Claude Duvalier, in the mid-1980s. There was the coup against Aristide in 1991. It was followed by three years of absolutely appalling military government. The little bit of infrastructure that was in Haiti was almost demolished during that period.

    The international community tried to rebuild that infrastructure, tried to rebuild a system that worked when it returned in 1994. That obviously did not succeed. It did not succeed in terms of a political infrastructure that would sustain the democratic experiment that was the election of Aristide, nor did it succeed in terms of an economic infrastructure. The country continued to deteriorate.

    In the intervening period between about February 20 or February 21 when an agreement had been reached between Aristide and CARICOM and the United States to come back into Haiti and to start some form of rescue operation, that opportunity was lost, and again the fragile remnants of an infrastructure that still existed in Haiti, in many parts of Haiti, to maintain law and order and to permit some kind of economic functioning came apart.

    I think really the international community and ourselves in particular need to look very carefully at what sort of model we can assemble that will assure better results than the attempts of the last quarter century to give Haiti a chance. It seems to me we should be looking at places like Bosnia and East Timor, recent examples of international intervention. They have not been in every respect wholly successful. In Bosnia certainly the economic situation remains perilous. East Timor I'm not that familiar with. But in both cases, the great success was in re-establishing order.

    In Bosnia there has not been a deliberate political assassination since the war came to an end in 1995, which is an enormous achievement. That came about in the case of Bosnia as a result of the Dayton Agreement. The Dayton Peace Agreement assigned to a number of international organizations--the Office of the High Representative, which was created for that purpose and which is largely European; the OSCE, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe; and NATO, originally called IFOR and now SFOR--together with some agencies of the United Nations, shared responsibility with Bosnians for governance in Bosnia.

À  +-(1020)  

    A similar formula was applied in the case of East Timor, and I imagine there are other examples we can find.

    But we do need a long-term framework, a framework of about 10 years. I think it has to be a framework that is international, not just based on unilateral goodwill by several countries without a binding timeframe.

    In the case of Haiti, there is a need for international organizations to occupy some of the space that has been abandoned by the Haitian government. There is not a legitimate Haitian government at the present time.

    We have to be extremely careful--and when I say “we”, I mean Canada or the international community as a whole--in addressing this kind of problem lest we have the stones of anti-colonialism hurled at us. We don't want to call it a trusteeship, but we didn't call Bosnia a trusteeship. We didn't call East Timor a trusteeship. But some control has to be vested in the international community to give Haiti a beginning.

    As that develops, as soon as is possible, control must be turned over to Haitian organizations. Indeed, at the very beginning of such an operation, it would be essential, not only in practical terms but in optical terms, to make sure--

À  +-(1025)  

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    The Chair: Mr. Graham, I'll ask you to conclude, because we have half an hour and the members want to ask you questions. Thank you.

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    Mr. John Graham: I'm sorry, I got carried away.

    It would be essential to make sure that there be collaboration from the outset with Haitians, taking advantage of the Haitian diaspora.

    Thank you.

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    The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr. Graham.

    Now we'll go to questions and answers, but first I want to welcome the Right Honourable Mr. Clark. He's officially not an associate member of the committee.

    We welcome you, and we're pleased and honoured that you requested to be part of our committee. It's an honour to have you here.

    We'll start. We want to get around to everyone. It's five minutes for the question and answer.

    Mr. Day.

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    Mr. Stockwell Day: Well, hope springs eternal, Mr. Chair, and certainly we would hope good things for Haiti. A 200-year record of ongoing failure cannot continue to be blamed simply on outside forces, though they are a factor.

    I think there are some possibilities, that Canada offers some, and certainly with our population in Quebec there are some real opportunities for linkages there.

    Can I ask this question? I don't know if either of you gentlemen have the answer, or maybe the chairman would know. Of all types of funding to Haiti from Canada, CIDA or otherwise, through the Aristide years, how much of that--just in a ballpark percentage--was government to government, as opposed to our government to NGOs? Do you have any idea?

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    The Chair: My understanding is that there was no more money. I might not have seen the first mandate of Mr. Aristide, so I cannot give you an answer, but the last mandate of Mr. Aristide, there was no money government to government. It was all bilateral to NGOs.

    I have been in Haiti, and it was just for projects, very specific projects in some areas, maybe not in Port-au-Prince itself, but there was no money government to government at all.

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    Mr. Stockwell Day: You well know the reason behind asking that question. There's a huge incentive, obviously, in impoverished areas for any group that can demonstrate power, and that might will make right and for somebody to assume leadership and be the recipient of untold wealth.

    Is there a way that Canada could take a leadership role and work with other countries to make sure their funding does not go to the government but rather to projects and infrastructure, those types of things? Can we coordinate things so that we can find out in what direction the funds of other countries are going and we can take away this incentive for the latest band of tough guys to take over so that for a while they can get some money and salt it away in an account somewhere?

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    Mr. Carlo Dade: That's a very good question. It's a pressing issue, not just in Haiti but in terms of international development. Haiti, of course, is an egregious example, but not the most egregious example. There are other places in which we and the international community are involved that could objectively/subjectively be described as more egregious.

    However, particularly in Haiti, there are steps that Canada can take. The first is taking leadership in the international effort. If you are in the driver's seat and you are convening, bringing people in, leading the meetings, and pushing the agenda, then that is part of the agenda, and you have a great deal more influence than if you come in at the end and join the “me too” voice.

    In terms of specific actions, the world of the diaspora is, I think, very important. One could look at the model, say, from Afghanistan, the international organization's migration project to recruit members of the Afghan diaspora to go back and work in line ministries and civil society organizations. You're bringing in people from outside who have worked in, say, Quebec, Ottawa, New York, and Miami and who have different expectations of transparency. We've seen this with the current Haitian president.

    But there is a chance to expand on that. One good option would be to work on reconstituting the central bank in Haiti. This was the most transparent organization in Haiti. It was extremely efficient. It worked. This would be a good mechanism through which to funnel aid. There are several competent members of the Haitian diaspora in senior positions with the multilaterals in Washington, such as the International Finance Corporation and the Inter-American Development Bank. By reconstituting the central bank with a strong diaspora presence, you would go a long way toward avoiding just this issue.

    You would have people down on seconded assignments, as the IOM did in Afghanistan. You could have people who have supported and worked closely with the international community. We've started to do some of this. If you look at the composition of the government, you'll see that there is the presence of people who have worked for the UN and elsewhere. So we've already taken steps to ensure this. Again, there's a huge opportunity in Haiti to try new forms of development and to learn from the past. This is one area where we can have great success.

À  +-(1030)  

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    The Chair: You have 30 seconds, Mr. Graham.

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    Mr. John Graham: There are mechanisms through the OECD for this kind of donor coordination. In this case it would also be exercised by the Inter-American Development Bank.

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    The Chair: Thank you.

    Madam Lalonde, s'il vous plaît.

[Translation]

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    Ms. Francine Lalonde: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Thank you very much for your optimistic comments. In the words of Dany Laferrière, a Haitian poet and novelist who has lived in Montreal and in Miami, has recently returned to Montreal and who speaks very fondly of Haiti, the Haitian people have survived two centuries under the rule of dictators and incompetent governments, and yet remain optimistic. Therefore, I think we need to place our trust in the people of Haiti. Much can be accomplished in that nation with very little, unlike other world countries. According to the NGOs that I've spoken to, and the Haitians here in Canada, the expatriates -- there are many Haitians who work here - many people would be available to go to Haiti and it would be rather surprising to see what could be accomplished in fairly short order.

    However, the first very critical step, as we've already mentioned, is disarmament, along with the establishment of constitutional rule and democracy, as certain NGOs have stressed. Democracy is essential. I read a CIDA report to the effect that all of the money invested in law enforcement and the courts appeared to have been lost because President Aristide politicized these institutions when he came to power. In so doing, all of the lessons that had been learned could not be concretely expressed.

    However, as you were saying, long-term funding is needed. I'm very happy to hear you say that, because some of the blame for the abject poverty in which the people of Haiti now live must rest with the international community.

    Considering that $8 billion has been committed to Afghanistan, a country of 28 million people, to 2009 -- I realize that circumstances are entirely different in that case -- but in my opinion, the government needs to demonstrate a sustained interest over the long-term in Haiti. The conference that you spoke of seems like an interesting initiative. In order for Haitians and others to reinvest in the country, there needs to be some hope of that happening. In three months' time, there needs to be... The military cannot remain in the country for only three months and succeed in disarming the people. Disarmament cannot be accomplished solely by a show of force.The people need to have other options.

    I'll stop at that. I'm interested in what you have to say, but I would like to hear your views on the environment. You haven't said anything about that. In my opinion, efforts could be made in the environment and agricultural sectors and these could produce jobs, incomes, food and hope for many people.

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    Mr. Carlo Dade: Thank you for your question. I'd like to begin with a brief comment about democracy.

[English]

    During the Aristide years we invested heavily in Haiti in the development of democratic institutions and democracy without an equal and concomitant development in terms of economic development, job creation, and other things. I think we've seen the result.

    Another interesting example comes from Iraq. During the initial invasion of Iraq, the most recent one, the first series of protests was not about the occupation; it was about the lack of jobs. It's very important to think about economic development going hand in hand with democratic development. We cannot do one without the other, so we have to think about them in tandem.

    In response to the question about rural development, I'd say that's going to require a lot of work. Part of it rests upon structural factors. Haitian agriculture has been devastated as much by food aid.... On the one hand, USAID and to a lesser extent CIDA are keeping half the Haitian population alive with food aid. On the other hand, this is also making agricultural development very difficult in the country.

    But a longer-term commitment, a 10-year plan, comprehensive, focused planning that stays in place for at least ten years with projections for going beyond that, can ameliorate the situation and can change it.

    Haiti is the most open economy in the western hemisphere, period; that's according to the WTO. So there's great potential for generating economic growth in Haiti, and I think that's something we often lose sight of when we talk about the failures in Haiti: it's the most open economy in the western hemisphere. So there is potential.

À  +-(1035)  

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    The Chair: Mr. Macklin, please.

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    Mr. Paul Harold Macklin: Thank you very much, Chair, and thank you, witnesses, for appearing today.

    I would like to go back to the concept of looking at Bosnia as an example of how we might go forward. There is no doubt that the Dayton accords overall have proven to be a successful tool in having international interests work collectively toward a common goal. We've been there around nine years and it does seem to have had a very positive effect, although in my recent experience of being there, I've seen that the institutional change has been very slow, in particular in picking up on human rights. So clearly, the time span, even suggesting 10 years, is likely a minimal time span for our interests.

    Let's go back to the concept of a Dayton accord. First of all, I'd like to get from you a thought concerning who should be involved in such an accord. Who has the moral and popular authority, may I say, to actually be able to carry out this process? How much of that engagement should come from the internal powers and how much should come from external powers within Haiti, in other words, CARICOM and the OAS and other interests? I'd like to know how we can avoid a trusteeship, as you suggest, yet in effect carry out and achieve the goals that we may have achieved or at least are well on our way, hopefully, to achieving in Bosnia with the Dayton accords.

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    Mr. John Graham: It's a very good question, and there are no easy answers.

    The organizations you have mentioned, CARICOM and the OAS, also the United Nations, should probably be involved. CARICOM would be important. CARICOM had a better relationship of dialogue with Aristide before the collapse occurred than did the rest of us. That was, I think, in large part because they were small, they were non-threatening, and they were largely black. So CARICOM engagement in that process would be essential. The OAS has had a long involvement, and there has been a Canadian involved in the OAS operations in Haiti now for I think at least four years--a chap called Lee--who would be, if you could catch him—I think he's in Port-au-Prince now—a first-class witness for these meetings.

    I wouldn't pretend to give you a good answer on what the legal terms would be for setting this thing up. The experts should look at the experience, at what went well as well as at what didn't go so well in East Timor and in Bosnia.

    I think it would be essential to have the interim Haitian government sign on to such an agreement in the same way you had a lot of signatures by Milosovic, by the other war leaders in Bosnia. I think you would need to bring them on and you would need to have their signatures to give us a solid political foundation for such an enterprise.

    I won't go further because I cannot give you better answers to such an important question.

À  +-(1040)  

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    Mr. Carlo Dade: Very briefly, in terms of a list of countries, it would be Canada, the United States, France, Brazil, the EU, and CARICOM, with Jamaica taking the lead. Those countries would be the core of such a group.

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    The Chair: Thank you.

    Mr. Clark, please.

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    Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC): Thank you.

    Let me begin by thanking my colleagues on the committee for conferring my associate member status. I appreciate that very much. It will not be any kind of souveraineté association exercise here, I assure you

    I have a suggestion on the bank question. In addition to the experience in the diaspora, in a country like Canada there are a lot of people, now retired, with extensive experience in both private banking and international financial institutions. I'm quite sure that a concerted effort--which this committee might want to recommend--to call upon that expertise need not be very expensive. Working with the diaspora could be quite helpful.

    I want to follow the question Mr. Macklin raised, which interests me a lot. I'm extremely sensitive to the point that was made in earlier hearings by Madame Lalonde and others here respecting developments, and particularly any strengthening of institutions in Haiti and taking account of the 200 years of thriving existence, in many cases, of Haiti. It's been 200 years, but it has been a mixed record. I'm very sensitive to the issues of sovereignty. I'm aware of how badly the idea of trusteeship would be recognized anywhere.

    I wonder if FOCAL is in a position to prepare a design, perhaps working with some of its counterpart organizations in some of the countries or organizations that Mr. Dade mentioned. It needn't be a complete route map.

    There's no question it's fair to say--and I don't say it at all critically--that the testimony from CIDA and from Foreign Affairs the other day indicated that those two formal departments are skeptical about reaching beyond national responses. They are also properly worried about committing Canada to something that would cost us more than we can anticipate.

    But we need some models, and it seems to me that FOCAL might be in a position to work with others to provide us with a draft design that we could at least look at and that others could look at. Is that practical?

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    Mr. John Graham: Can I ask what timeframe you're talking about?

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    Right Hon. Joe Clark: I can only say as quickly as possible. We're under the unusual circumstances that if this committee is to do anything, it has to be conscious of an impending election. So it should be much sooner rather than later.

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    Mr. Carlo Dade: Do you mean in the spring or...?

À  +-(1045)  

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    The Chair: Two weeks.

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    Mr. Carlo Dade: Sure. I don't need to sleep.

    It's possible that two weeks would be sufficient time to prepare a survey of the land and identify possible options for deeper analysis and a deeper look.

    On actually working on the mechanisms, I think the proposed joint Canada-U.S. conference to be held in Montreal would be a good place to flesh out some more options.

    We have several examples of mechanisms that work in Afghanistan and the Balkans. But let me also point out that this is increasingly the direction we're heading with failed states. To some degree, I think we've accepted the logic of the importance of failed states and how that compels action. Our commitments around the world in the Balkans, and definitely in Afghanistan, are a signal that we have accepted and taken that logic.

    If we apply that logic elsewhere and look at those forums elsewhere, there's more of a compelling case for why we should continue to accept and apply that logic in a place that's essentially our third border, which is the Caribbean.

    So I think in two weeks we could prepare a preliminary survey for deeper analysis later.

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    The Chair: Thank you.

    We'll go to Monsieur Simard.

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    Mr. Raymond Simard (Saint Boniface, Lib.): Thank you, Mr. Chair.

    You spoke of languages as being a huge advantage in any reconstruction or assistance program that could be put in place. You also speak in your briefing notes about the International Organization of the Francophonie, of which Canada, I believe, is the second biggest contributor. Our Prime Minister has also spoken of a larger role for Canada within that organization.

    I'd just like to know if you feel there is a specific role that organization can play, or did you say that France's colonial past would maybe prove to be an obstruction to that? That's my first question.

    Second, I think we all believe we need a long-term solution here. Everybody seems to be committed until the next larger crisis comes around. What structure do you put in place to make sure you keep the world's attention on this country?

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    Mr. Carlo Dade: I'll dodge the first question and take the second question, being very transparent about this process.

    Yes, you're absolutely right. With regard to your second question, this is essentially what happened in Haiti. Not only did our attention wane, but the most recent failure conditioned our next failure.

    The antecedent to the involvement in Haiti was Somalia and the breakdown there. The fear of nation building, the fear of mission creep, conditioned our failure in Haiti to a large extent. Preventing that, I think, is simply a matter of being aware of our most recent failures and looking to make sure they do not influence the next one.

    In terms of designing the structure, taking leadership, forming an organization, and money are the key. It's not necessarily the amount of money. Canada does not have to shoulder the burden of rebuilding Haiti or reinvesting in Haiti--the United States and the international community will do that--but the burden of leadership, the challenge of leadership, is what Canada can take.

    In terms of money, you need to have a structure and have money not only committed but transferred. If the money is in place, if the cheque is already cashed and in a third party's hands, for some form of international protectorship, a UN-mandated organization, if the money is transferred and if the budget is there, then the structure will survive. But if you're dependent upon disbursements every six months or every year, no, the structure will fall when attention falls. The question with Haiti is, can we afford for that to happen again?

    It's a failed state. It's on our doorstep. We've constantly gone back, reinvested, reinvested, and reinvested. The old fashioned way has cost us much more. We have to break with that. We can do that by creating a structure, convincing others to move the money into the structure, and then let the structure work.

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    Mr. Raymond Simard: Thank you.

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    The Chair: Merci, Monsieur Simard.

    Mr. Wilfert.

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    Mr. Bryon Wilfert: Mr. Chairman, although I'm sorry I was in the House and I missed the presentations, I am curious. We had high hopes in the international community when Aristide first came into office, and then of course his reinstatement and now his departure again.

    The old adage, of course, is that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We seem to have in fact not learned very much.

    You talk about failed states, and Somalia certainly is an excellent example. What conditions do you see that need to be created in Haiti in order to move forward? Clearly, you need respected individuals on the ground, Haitian leaders on the ground. I would be interested in your comments as to who you might see there.

    Obviously, I believe it must be a multilateral approach, and it must be an approach that takes into consideration that there is not an imposed solution. The fact is that sides are already being drawn.

    You mentioned CARICOM as an example of where in fact Aristide was embraced by Jamaica, and others have basically refused to accept the new regime in Haiti. How do you get beyond that, given the fact that on the one hand we say we don't want to impose a solution, but on the other hand it is essentially a failed state? We have not been able at this point to come up with solutions, even in the short term, that have been very effective.

À  -(1050)  

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    Mr. John Graham: Briefly, establishing the conditions so that something can be made to work is the secret formula that nobody has yet. I think, as you say, it obviously involves a multilateral approach.

    As I said earlier on that multilateral approach, if you have something like a Dayton-like agreement that involves bringing the acting temporary leadership of Haiti on board, they have to agree.

    You do have levers. The money that will be provided by the international community is one of the levers that has to be used to make sure you do get that kind of agreement. The humanitarian part of those funds should not be withheld while these negotiations are going on, but the nation-building part of that money can be used as a lever to try to make sure you get a workable agreement.

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    Mr. Carlo Dade: It's important to look at the changing context in Haiti. The Aristide regime was doomed with the 2000 elections in the United States. The United States government had an active policy of supporting the opposition in undermining Aristide. There was a deep personal animosity within the administration towards Aristide, but there was deep personal support for Aristide amongst the congressional black caucus and liberal elements of the House. What effectively doomed the government was having two voices running policy on Haiti, neither of which went through the embassy. That's the situation we saw in Haiti.

    That situation has changed. Whatever government comes into place now will not have the antipathy of the administration facing it, and it's more than likely that it will not have as active an antipathy from the congressional black caucus, ie., they want Aristide back, but they don't want him back so much that they will hate whoever comes in his place, if it appears to be democratically done. That creates a situation where you can start to rebuild institutions. You will not have the outside influence in Haiti this time.

    It's important that we seize this opportunity. There are still good people in Haiti, such as the Centre pour la Libre Entreprise et la Démocratie, which is Hernando de Soto's Center for Free Enterprise and Democracy. Lionel Delatour, who served in Washington, is still there. In the private sector I would point to the head of Sogebank and Carl Braun, the head of Unibank, the largest bank in Haiti. In terms of Washington, there is Gerard Johnson, I believe his name is, at the IDB. There is also a senior person at the IFC. There are people inside and outside of Haiti who are good candidates to start rebuilding institutions.

    Again, start with the central bank. It's the one institution that worked in Haiti, the one institution that was trusted and viewed as transparent and that actually was effective. From there, you can start building other institutions as money comes in and as you work with the diaspora...a staged process. Start with one central focus for which you can put money and work up from there.

    In terms of support, it's crucial to provide jobs. You have to get the populace of Haiti to buy into what's happening. If they have jobs, if you're creating public works campaigns, people will buy into it. People have been desperate for 10 years for any sign of economic improvement, for any sign of job creation, for any change. If you can show something positive, if you can show that this change is actually affecting people's lives in a concrete way, with simple things—just public works or jobs—it will have a huge impact.

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    The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr. Dade and Mr. Graham, for appearing in front of our committee.

[Translation]

    Thank you to my colleagues. If Parliament reconvenes after Easter, we will hear from witnesses on the subject of suicide bombings on Tuesday.

    If we're still sitting on the 22nd, we'll welcome the dalaï lama to our committee.

    The meeting is adjourned.

ParlVU