Muslims in the House: November 6 - 10 | Musulmans à la Chambre: 6 - 10 Novembre

Religious Freedom
MP Nicholson (Niagara Falls) made a statement in the House to acknowledge that the Justice Committee voted to keep Section 176 in the Criminal Code, which makes it illegal to use threats or force to obstruct religious service, or wilfully disrupt religious assemblies. He stated that Canadians and religious officials will be able to practice their right to worship knowing that they will continue to be protected in the Criminal Code. MP Nicholson also stated that the Conservative Party has always supported religious freedom as a fundamental right that greatly affects all Canadians, regardless of whether they attend religious services.

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Muslims in the House: October 30 - November 3 | Musulmans à la Chambre: 30 Octobre - 3 Novembre

Quebec’s Bill 62
MP Chandra Arya (Nepean, ON) raised concerns regarding Quebec’s Bill 62, which effectively bans face coverings. MP Arya shared his worry that this new provincial bill infringes on the religious freedom of Canadians and will divide Canadians by creating an “us” and “them” dichotomy.

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Muslims in the House: October 23 - 27 | Musulmans à la Chambre: 23 - 27 Octobre

Islamic Heritage Month
MP Arif Virani (Parkdale—High Park, ON) spoke about the month of October being Islamic Heritage Month and how it was an opportunity for everyone, both Muslims and non-Muslims alike to learn from each other and celebrate their differences. He also mentioned that it was a time to recognize the contributions Muslims have made to Canadian society.
MP Salma Zahid (Scarborough Centre, ON) also spoke of Islamic Heritage Month and encouraged Canadians to visit mosques and learn more about their Canadian Muslim neighbours.

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Muslims in the House: October 16 - 20 | Les Musulmans à la Chambre: 16 - 20 Octobre

Quebec’s Bill 62, on Religious Neutrality
MP Xavier Barsalou-Duval (Pierre-Boucher–Les Patriotes–Vercheres) spoke on the provincial National Assembly of Quebec’s passing of Bill-62 on religious neutrality, which prohibits any citizen with a face covering from receiving public services. MP Barsalou-Duval asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to commit to not challenging “the National Assembly’s absolute right” to institute this law.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all Canadians, and as the Prime Minister, he is tasked with defending the Charter.

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Muslims in the House: October 2 - 6

Attack in Edmonton
The Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Scheer (Regina—Qu’Appelle), asked what is currently being done in wake of the attack in Edmonton. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale (Regina—Wasacana), stated that the collaborative investigation between the RCMP and Edmonton Police is ongoing. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau) urged Canadians not to let this horrific incident divide us. Meanwhile, MP Kerry Diote (Edmonton Griesbach) praised the City of Edmonton and their first responders for their resilience and effort. MP Diote went on to assert that Canada’s strength is that everyone has the right to live and worship as they please and we cannot lose sight of that in light of the cowardly act of terror.

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Muslims in the House: September 25 - 29

Emergency debate on the Rohingya in Myanmar
MP Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan) requested an emergency debate to discuss the ethnic cleansing of Muslim Rohingya in Burma. The request was granted by the Speaker. Many members of Parliament including Andrew Scheer (Regina—Qu'Appelle), Stephanie Kusie (Calgary Midnapore), and Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni) went on to harshly criticize the government’s response to this humanitarian crisis, stating that Canada did not act earlier, and that the Prime Minister did not raise this issue during his speech to the United Nations. They inquired as to Canada’s plan for increasing humanitarian funding, and whether Canada has taken steps to begin the process of accepting Rohingya refugees.

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Muslims in the House: September 18-22

Rohingya in Myanmar
MP Randeep Sarai (Surrey Centre) raised the issue of the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar, asking the government for an update on what actions they are taking in response. MP Omar Alghabra (Mississauga Centre) stated that the government is actively engaged on the matter. He mentioned that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs have raised the issue at the highest levels, including with Aung San Suu Kyi and Kofi Annan, and they will continue to raise it at the UN General Assembly. MP Alghabra added that the government will continue to provide humanitarian aid to the Rohingya. Later in the week, MP Matt Jeneroux (Edmonton Riverbend) made a statement condemning the killing of Rohingya, called out the inaction of the Myanmar government, and stated that it is the international community’s responsibility to maintain pressure until the Myanmar government steps in.

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Muslims in the House: June 19 - 23

UN Peacekeeping Missions
MP James Bezan (Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman) criticized the Liberal government on Canada’s lack of participation in the United Nations Peacekeeping missions. He questioned why the Liberal government has turned down five UN leadership roles and has not committed to a single UN mission, despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promised commitment of 600 troops. In response, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, MP Matt DeCourcey (Fredericton), stated that the government is taking its time to decide what mission Canada will lead.

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Muslims in the House: June 12 - 16

International Development
MP Peter Kent (Thornhill) raised concern as to why the Liberals were funding the UN Relief and Works Agency when it funds two schools in Gaza that were found to have a Hamas-run tunnel in between them. MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Whitby), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, stated that this was investigated and it was shown that there was no access to the property.

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Muslims in the House: May 29 - June 9

Two-Year Conditional Permanent Residence for Sponsored Spouses
MP Salma Zahid (Scarborough Centre) spoke about the Standing Committee’s findings on Citizenship and Immigration, specifically in regards to the two-year conditional permanent residence for sponsored spouses. MP Zahid stated that the Committee found that the condition can leave some spouses, particularly women, with no option but to stay in abusive relationships for fear of jeopardising their immigration status. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, MP Ahmed Hussen (York South-Weston) stated that the measure, introduced in 2012, has been eliminated completely. He reiterated that the government is committed to gender equality and to combating gender-based violence.

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