Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee

Mr. Brad Trost (Saskatoon—Humboldt, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, for months the current Syrian regime has been engaged in a brutal crackdown on its own people. Yesterday the current Syrian president went on Syrian television to address the crisis. Rather than giving the Syrian people the real reforms they were seeking, he dealt in generalities and gave no real timeline for any reforms. Today the security forces killed even more people. Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs please update the House on Canada’s position on this situation?

Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, our government and I believe all Canadians strongly support the people of Syria in their peaceful efforts to realize democracy and human rights. Syrians have endured terrible crimes at the hands of this regime. Canada has joined several of our allies in saying that the president of Syria has a choice: he can reform or he can go. The status quo is no longer acceptable. While Canada does not have a Syrian ambassador posted in our country, I want to tell my friends opposite and on the government side of the House that the government has summoned the chargé d’affaires on three occasions since the protests began, on April 29, June 3 and as recently as June 15.