Conflict in Mali

Elizabeth May: Mr. Chair, I have been in this take note debate since it began many hours ago, trying to discern if we actually have very much difference between all of us here in the House of Commons. We are debating a situation in Mali, in which Canada is currently playing a minimal role with an aircraft support plane to deliver goods. We are talking about a more humanitarian mission going forward in the future. I think members on all sides of the House might be prepared to consider a United Nations peacekeeping mission, if there were one.

We have been at great pains to try to find fault with each other and partisan difference. However, I think this is one of those rare discussions where we are debating something where the situation is fluid. We want to make sure that Canada does not get engaged in Mali in a way that deters from our fundamental values.

I would like to ask my friend, because I thought his comments about the nature of Islamists was fascinating, if he thinks on this one occasion in the House we might have more in common than in difference?

Hon. John McKay: Mr. Chair, I would dearly love to say yes to my hon. colleague. My problem is that the government has yet to state its goal, tell us what the plan is and recognize that whatever the plan is it has to involve AFISMA. Also, real money has to be put behind AFISMA. If we do not do that, we are almost setting it up as a failure.

As I said to my colleague, I would love to be agreeable and have some direct conversation with my colleagues as to why the government to this point has not supported AFISMA, but it has not and that is the critical question here.