Cutting off Iran does not help anyone, and it does not help the people of Iran

On Friday, June 15th, 2018 in Debate, Parliament

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, as this is my first moment to take the floor this morning, I want to make it clear that I would have no trouble with this opposition motion if it was restricted to points (a), (b), (c)(ii), c(iii), and (d). As is often the case with opposition motions in this place, something that appears to be something we would all agree with generally has a poison pill in it somewhere so that the party putting it forward can divide the House. I wish we could have motions that unite us.

We do stand with the people of Iran. We do not condone the actions of the government of Iran. We condemn the human rights violations of the government of Iran. However, I think the parliamentary secretary had it right. We need to extend and rebuild the conversation, because cutting off Iran does not help anyone, and it does not help the people of Iran. The worst thing is what President Trump has just done by pulling out of an agreement that made the world safer.

I think back to Ambassador Ken Taylor. What would Canada have done if we had not had an embassy in Tehran? We could never have smuggled six Americans out of Iran if we had not been there.

Omar Alghabra – Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, my friend from Saanich—Gulf Islands has raised an important question. I want to agree with her on this. I feel that Canadians can see through these types of motions.

The Conservative Party’s sole desire is not really to advance substantive, thoughtful policies. It is interested in playing partisan games on issues that are important and serious. While there are important issues to be debated and on which members will disagree, which is legitimate, the objective of this type of motion is only to inflame rhetoric and to exaggerate the fears Canadians have. We in the government and those in other parties have to look at the motion in its entirety and make our decision.

Let me be very clear. This motion has not been moved to focus on helping consular cases. It is meant to be used just for partisan purposes.

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