Muslims in the House: May 16-20

Parliament was on recess for the week of May 21 – May 29

Komagata Maru

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.

Syrian Refugees

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.

Democratic Reform

The Leader of the Opposition, MP Rona Ambrose, asked the Prime Minister if he intends to change the rules of democracy without giving Canadians a voice to express their concerns. MP Rona Ambrose suggested that the only way this process will be transparent and open is with a referendum. Prime Minister Trudeau responded by stating that his government is committed to consulting broadly with Canadians and will pay particular attention to minority groups to weigh-in on how to improve the electoral system. The Minister of Democratic Reform, Maryam Monsef noted that the government has selected a committee to study a wide range of electoral reform options, including proportional representation and alternative voting, which would include online and/or mandatory voting.


MP Majid Jowhari made a statement to the house stating that a regime (i.e. the Iranian Regime) does not define its people and that Canada is better off when engaging with Iran and the rest of the world. MP Jowhari demanded that the House heed to the calls of countless Iranian Canadians advocating for reestablishing diplomatic and commercial relationships with Iran.

Bill C-6 – Act to amend the Citizenship Act

A vote was held in the house for Bill C-6 sponsored by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, John McCallum. Bill C-6 seeks to repeal some if not all of the changes that were implemented by Bill C-24 (introduced by the Conservative party). The Bill is now in its third reading.

Recently Active Bills

  • C-14Amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying)
  • C-2Amend the Income Tax
  • S-219Non-Nuclear Sanctions Against Iran
  • S-1001Authorize La Capitale Financial Security Insurance Company to apply to be continued as a body corporate under the laws of the Province of Quebec
  • C-229Life Means Life
  • S-217Amend the Criminal Code (detention in custody)
  • C-11Amend the Copyright Act (access to copyrighted works or other subject-matter for persons with perceptual disabilities)
  • C-243National Maternity Assistance Program Strategy
  • C-16Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code
  • C-10Amend the Air Canada Public Participation Act and to provide for certain other measures
  • C-6Amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another
  • S-212Aboriginal Languages of Canada