The Canadian Muslim Vote Is Recognized!
Liberal MP Shaun Chen made a statement in the House recognizing the efforts of the Canadian Muslim Vote, from increasing voter turn out during the last federal election to our goal of raising Canadian flags at 150 mosques across Canada in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. MP Chen acknowledged the importance of mosques not only within Muslim communities, but within the greater Canadian community as “an integral part of the multicultural fabric of our society.”.
Bill C-306 – The Crimean Tartar Deportation (“Sürgünlik”) Memorial Day Act
This is a private member’s bill introduced by Conservative MP Kerry Diotte which would enact May 18 as a memorial day in recognition of the 1994 genocide perpetrated by the USSR, in which millions of Tartars were deported from Crimea.
The Crimean Tartars are ethnic groups that are predominantly Muslim. Upon the liberation of the Crimean state in 1944 by the Soviet Union, the government ordered that all Tartars be removed from the region and moved to labour camps in Uzbekistan. The Bill, in addition to designating a memorial day, would have Canada recognize the Soviet governments actions against the Tartars as genocide.
Motion against Islamophobia passes
MP Thomas Mulcair (NDP) presented the motion for the House to condemn all forms of Islamophobia, which received unanimous approval. MP Mulcair made a statement in the House denouncing hate crimes targeting Muslim-Canadians, acknowledging that these incidents have increased in recent years and stating that we must actively fight hate perpetrated against the Muslim community.
Vandalism at Calgary Mosques condemned
MP Darshan Singh Kang (Liberal) made a statement denouncing the acts of vandalism against Calgary mosques in Ranchlands and the Southeast Islamic Centre in Queensland, along with negative posters directed toward Muslims that have appeared in Calgary and Edmonton. He called for the people who are responsible for these acts to be brought to justice and for the education of Canadians about the positive influence of the Muslim community in Canada.
Status of Women
MP Rhéal Fortin (Bloc Québécois) stated to the House that France's Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, was right when he said, “The full veil is essentially a means to undermine women, [and that] goes against...democratic values.” MP Fortin remarked that if our so-called feminist and democratic Prime Minister truly supports gender parity, what is the Prime Minister waiting for to ensure that all women take the citizenship oath with their faces uncovered? Separately, MP Luc Thériault (Bloc Québécois) stated that the Muslim Canadian Congress considers so-called religious symbols such as the full veil to be more of a political statement. MP Thériault added that the Bloc Québécois believes that religion and politics should be kept separate.
The Minister for Status of Women, Patty Hajdu, responded to both comments by saying that the values that define Canada include respect and openness toward Canada’s full diversity. She remarked that Canada’s diversity is a source of strength, and politicians need to focus on bringing people together instead of promoting division. Minister Hajdu added that we should respect the diversity of Canadian communities and the government will visit people in ways that are appropriate for their communities, whether they are military communities, religious communities, or indigenous communities.
Motion Condemning Islamophobia Fails
A motion condemning all forms of Islamophobia failed to receive unanimous consent in the House. The motion, brought forward by Thomas Mulcair (NDP), was introduced after Frank Baylis’ (Liberal) sponsored e-petition received signatures from 70,000 Canadians. Several Conservative MPs had opposed the motion, which led to its defeat. Though the motion failed, the original petition is now being certified and then sent for government response to be tabled in 45 days.
Yazidi women and girls
MP Rachel Blaney (Conservative) said that Yazidi women and girls are being sold into sexual slavery, and the best the Liberals can do is simply to send advisors. She asked when the Prime Minister plans on taking action on behalf of those who are being faced with this genocide in Iraq and Syria. The Minister of Immigration, MP John McCallum, said that the Liberal government recognizes the exceptionally serious nature of this issue and the difficulties involved, so the government will be sending an expedition to investigate the situation in Iraq.