The House is adjourned for the summer until September 19.
Muslims in the House June 13 - 17
Genocide in the Middle East
Following the release of an independent report by the UN commission that concluded that genocide was committed by ISIL against the Yazidis, on June 16 the Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion stated for the first time that the government believes that genocide against the Yazidis is currently ongoing by ISIL.As a result, MP Pierre Poilievre (Conservative) called on the government to reinstate the air bombing campaign to stop the ongoing genocide. Minister Dion disagreed and responded by stating that the government has tripled efforts for training and are improving their programs for development to rescue the affected populations. The Minister also stated that the Canadian government wants the UN to carry out more investigations to ensure that these crimes are addressed.
On June 14, MP Kamal Khera (Liberal) addressed the house to wish Ramadan Mubarak to Muslims in Brampton West, Canada and around the world and to recognize the Brampton Islamic Centre in Brampton West. This week the leader of the opposition, MP Rona Ambrose (Conservative) held an iftaar at Stornoway (house of the leader of the opposition). Additionally, various Muslim MP’s held an iftaar in Ottawa.
MP Michelle Rempel (Conservative) stated that soon Syrian refugees will see their one year of government-funded support terminate and most of these refugees still don’t have access to training to learn French or English. The Minister of Immigration, John McCallum responded by saying that the government is working hard through settlement agencies to provide funding to support language training for refugees. The Minister of Immigration added that in seven months the government has admitted 46,000 refugees and ninety-nine per cent of all the refugees are now in permanent housing.
MP Jenny Kwan (NDP) said certain Syrian refugees in Saskatoon are receiving their monthly assistance payments nearly three weeks late. MP Arif Virani (Liberal) responded that he will endeavour to work with MP Jenny Kwan going forward to find out about average wait times to deliver income supports to refugees.
National Defense – Iraq, ISIL
The Leader of the opposition, MP Rona Ambrose stated that Canadian special forces recently came under fire in a battle near Mosul in Iraq. She asked how the Prime Minister can claim that Canada’s role in the campaign against ISIL is just a training mission when our troops are under fire. Prime Minister Trudeau reiterated that Canada has an important role to play as part of the coalition against ISIL by providing training on the ground and, advising and assisting local troops. Prime Minister Trudeau added that this is not a combat mission but, of course, Canadian troops will always be allowed to defend themselves while they support local troops taking the fight to ISIL.
The Leader of the NDP, MP Tom Mulcair asked why the Prime Minister has done nothing to get rid of Bill C-51. The Prime Minister stated that his government has engaged in significant consultations with stakeholders, and also made commitments to bring an oversight committee of parliamentarians in which all parties will be able to participate to ensure that the law and the Charter are being respected.
Parliament was on recess for the week of May 21 – May 29
On May 23, 1914, a ship sailed to Burrard Inlet in Vancouver. On board were 376 passengers of Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu origin. The passengers onboard, like other immigrants to Canada, came seeking better lives for their families, new opportunities, and a chance to contribute to Canadian society. When they arrived in Canada, the ship was denied docking and after a two-month stalemate, the ship was forced to sail back to India. On May 18th, 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau offered an apology on behalf of the Government of Canada for its role in the Komagata Maru incident.
MP Bob Saroya (Conservative) stated that the Liberals have failed to support Syrian refugees once they arrive in Canada and that many Syrian Refugees are using food banks. MP Bob Saroya asked how the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum, could have been so arrogant as to suggest it is a Syrian cultural value to depend on food banks. The Minister responded that his comments on the issue were insensitive and noted that his actions thus far demonstrate to Canadians quite the opposite, that he has been unequivocally welcoming to all Syrian refugees.