2nd Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 149, Issue 12
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker
Kenya—Terrorist Attack at Westgate Mall in Nairobi
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. As you know, I sent you this question in advance.
I would like to begin by thanking the government once again for ensuring that Fardowsa Abdi, a Canadian citizen injured in the terrorist attack at Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, was repatriated to Toronto, where she continues to receive medical treatment.
In our increasingly globalized world, terrorism has become all too frequent. When terrorists strike in one part of the world, the repercussions are felt across the globe. One of the reasons that particular shopping mall was targeted is that it was frequented by westerners and diplomats.
During the attack in Kenya, two Canadian citizens were killed, including a diplomat, and another Canadian was seriously injured. These deaths remind us as never before that it is our duty to take these attacks seriously and ensure that similar attacks never happen again.
This attack was described as the worst act of terrorism in Kenya since the attack on the American embassy in 1998. At least 72 people were killed and 200 people injured in that attack. This does not include the countless people who were psychologically traumatized or the extensive property damage.
The Canadian government indicated that it would provide support to the Kenyan government. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Nairobi, what resources and humanitarian support or other assistance did the government provide to Kenya to help deal with the impact of this tragedy?
Hon. Claude Carignan (Leader of the Government): I thank the honourable senator for her question and for sending it to us in advance.
As you know, our government has already stated, and I wish to reiterate on its behalf, that we strongly condemn this senseless act of violence. We support the Kenyan government’s efforts to punish those responsible for this terrorist attack.
Our government made a significant contribution to help promote greater stability in the region. We announced a $5 million contribution to the United Nations Trust Fund for the African Union Mission in Somalia in order to enhance peace and security in that region. Since 2011, we have also contributed over $1.5 million toward strengthening law enforcement in the Horn of Africa and East Africa to help prevent and respond to terrorist activity.
Senator Jaffer: Honourable senators, that is why I submitted this question in advance. I would like to know what aid the Government of Canada has given to the Kenyan government specifically with regard to this attack.
Senator Carignan: Honourable senators, I am not sure I understand the question.
Senator Jaffer: How much money did the Canadian government give following this attack?
Senator Carignan: If I understood the question correctly, we strongly condemned this attack. We provided substantial assistance to promote stability in the region. We announced a contribution of $5 million to the United Nations Trust Fund for the African Union Mission in Somalia in order to enhance peace and security in that region, which includes Kenya.
We extend our condolences to the victims, particularly the two Canadian victims who were serving Canadians on a mission abroad at that time.
Senator Jaffer: Could I please ask another supplementary question?
Leader, I appreciate what you have said, and I appreciate that you have spoken about giving aid to Somalia, but I very clearly remember when this attack happened. It is the country where my mother was born, so I had great interest when this happened. I remember that the leadership and our government said that they were specifically going to help the Kenyan government deal with this attack.
I appreciate you may not have the answer today, but may I respectfully ask you to find out exactly what aid our government has given, following this attack, to the government and the people of Kenya, not of Somalia?
Senator Carignan: Honourable senators, I will take the question as notice so that I can provide a more specific answer. I believe the honourable senator is talking about a more specific period in time. I will therefore take the question as notice so that I can give her an answer that I hope she will find satisfactory.
Senator Jaffer: I would also like the Leader of the Government to respond to this supplementary question. In the past, our government gave its support to the Kenyan police and justice system in order to help resolve some of the serious problems in that country. Will our government continue to provide support to the police and justice system? Can we find out whether assistance is still being provided to the Kenyan police and justice system?
Senator Carignan: I will request more specific information on all the aid provided to the various sectors and ministries, which I imagine include the police and security sectors.
If other aspects are included, we will try to get you an answer that is as accurate as possible. If the response is not accurate enough, or if you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to let us know.