Cathay Wagantall, MP underlines urgency of Canada-China relations review

Thank you, Speaker, and I do want to take
a moment to just thank the people of Yorkton–Melville for putting me in this
position again. I deeply appreciate it and will serve them to the best of my
ability. I think it’s important today that we look at the fact that the
problem here, at least what I hear in my riding and throughout the country, is
that Canadians do not have confidence in this government to proceed as it has
been proceeding: the amount of time that has passed by; the gaffes that have taken
place within Foreign Affairs; the multiple issues we now have with trade,
especially in my province where our farmers have faced significant problems.
So, we have a situation here that is so multifaceted. Would the member across the
way – in the fact that she did focus mostly on our Canadian citizens being
held inappropriately – I totally appreciate that – but we have a
circumstance here that is so multifaceted. Does she not see that the
best answer to this circumstance – to get the best responses – would be to support
the motion that we put forward on the floor today? I’d like to thank my honourable
colleague for the question. I don’t accept the entire premise of the
question, and I think that we heard earlier from the member for Prince Albert that conversation and dialogue are vitally important, and
that is precisely what we’ve done right up to the level of the prime minister.
With regard to the motion before the floor today, I sat on the Foreign Affairs
Committee. The Foreign Affairs Committee in fact, in 2018, travelled to China. We
released earlier this year a report on our engagement in East Asia. I believe
that the the Foreign Affairs Committee has the the history, the institutional
knowledge, the expertise to be able to take on this particular subject area. I
also believe that there are other committees. I was the chair of a special
committee – of the Pay Equity Special Committee – that did incredible work, but
I’m not convinced that that it couldn’t have done better if it had been
done through the Status of Women Committee, which is a Standing Committee
of our Parliament, which has that history and institutional memory. So, I’m not
convinced that another special committee is the way to go, but I do appreciate,
significantly, that this is a subject that we as parliamentarians have to be
seized with. Thank you.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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