The House of Commons will hold an emergency debate on the crisis in Egypt Wednesday night, as fears mount that violent clashes could send the nation deeper into chaos.
Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae called for MPs to address the issue, arguing the Commons needs an airing of Canada's response to the crisis and efforts to evacuate citizens there, as well as the broader political issues at play.
It will be a "take-note" debate - one that doesn't lead to a vote that forces the government to take a specific step.
At an event in Gatineau, Que., Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said he spoke his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, on Wednesday morning and received assurances that Canadians seeking to leave Egypt will be able to do so.
Mr. Cannon said the government is "extremely preoccupied" by the violence in the streets of Cairo. But he stressed that Canada's chief goal is Mideast stability, and said it's not up to Ottawa to urge President Hosni Mubarak to leave office more quickly.
"I think it's ultimately up to the Egyptians themselves that need to be made. But here again, what's important is ... stability in the region and obviously an end to the violence that we're seeing."