Muslims in the House: May 22 - 25

Human Rights – Saudi Arabia arresting women rights activists
In connection with Saudi Arabia’s arrest of seven women’s rights activists, MP Cheryl Hardcastle (Windsor – Tecumseh, ON) asked the government how it can claim to defend human rights in Saudi Arabia while continuing to ship arms to Saudi Arabia and celebrate its Canada – Saudi Arabia relationship?

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, MP Chrystia Freeland (University – Rosedale, ON) responded that the Canadian government is extremely disappointed by the arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia and that she raised her human rights concerns directly with the Saudi foreign minister earlier this month.

Foreign Affairs – Israel-Gaza Border Violence
The Leader of the Opposition, MP Andrew Scheer (Regina – Qu’Appelle, SK) asked the Prime Minister to apologize for his criticism of Israel in connection with the recent violence at the Israel-Gaza border and to join him in condemning Hamas for its role in the violence.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, QC) responded that a Canadian doctor was shot by an Israeli sniper and this is something that the government will push back on and inquire exactly how that happened.

Immigration – Illegal Border Crossings from US
MP Bob Soroya(Markham-Unionville, ON) noted that the City of Toronto recently announced that it would be opening two emergency service centers to deal with the illegal immigrants that the government has redirected to Toronto from Quebec. He asked the Minister of Immigration when he will finally close the loophole in the safe third country agreement with the US to stop the illegal border crossings from US to Canada.
The Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen (York South-Weston, ON) did not answer the question but retorted that the current government is proud of their record on immigration and treatment of refugees when compared to the prior government.

Youth – Student Loans
MP Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Salaberry-Suroit, QC) pointed out that while the government is writing large cheques to multinational corporations such as Kinder Morgan, it also made $662 million from charging interest to students for student loans. She asked whether the government will eliminate interest for all students.
The Minister of Employment, MP Patty Hajdu (Thunder Bay – Superior North, ON), in response stated that the government is investing in Canadians by increasing the amount of support for Canada student grants by 50%; by ensuring that no student has to repay their Canada student loans until they make a minimum of $25,000 a year and making Canada student grants and loans more accessible to older students and part-time students.