Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Darfur – Time Running Out


Mr. Glen Pearson (London North Centre, Lib.):


"Mr. Speaker, for the people of Darfur, time is running out.


In late August my wife and I adopted two more children from Darfur. Each night I hear their nightmares and I am challenged as a father to know how best to respond.


Right now there are millions of such nightmares taking place in Darfur, and we as a peacekeeping country are being challenged to take action. We can no longer afford our silence. So I ask, when will the Prime Minister break the silence and work with all parties here and create a course of action that every one of us in this House can be proud of?"




Hon. Maxime Bernier (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC):

"Mr. Speaker, Canada’s commitment to Sudan, to Darfur, is very important to our country. Canada is the fourth-largest contributor in international aid to the African Union. We are also working with the UN and the African Union towards a peace process. This is why, in the Speech from the Throne, we said that we were promoting the universal values of freedom, freedom of expression and democracy. This is what we must do and will always do with respect to this issue and others that are equally important."


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Hon. Keith Martin (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, Lib.):

"Mr. Speaker, we know words will not save lives in Darfur; only action will. Mass murders and rapes continue. The situation is getting worse in that part of the Sudan.


The United Nations Secretary General has pleaded for the resources for troops and for air and ground transport. Without these assets, the mission will likely fail.


I have a simple question for the government. Will the government contribute to these assets for the UN, or will it turn its back and allow Darfur’s agony to continue?"




Hon. Maxime Bernier (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC):

"Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we are contributing. We are the fourth-largest contributor to the African Union. I think that is a significant contribution.


Furthermore, as a country, we strongly support the African Union and United Nations-led political process for Darfur which is to start soon, at the end of the month."