Muslims in the House: May 2-6


The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains stated that his first official action was to reinstate the mandatory long-form census. Minister Bains noted that census letters and packages are being sent to all Canadians from coast to coast. Canadians will have access to high-quality data that truly reflects the needs of our communities and businesses.


On May 4, 2015, Rona Ambrose (Official Leader of the Opposition, Conservative) asked why the Liberal party is warming up to relations with a country like Iran. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded that it is important that Canada re-engage, alongside its allies, with Iran. While Canada recognizes Iran’s history of human rights violations, the P5+1 deal showed significant progress in removing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Prime Minister Trudeau went on further to add that it is by engaging constructively with Iran that Iran and its people can do better in the world.

On May 3, 2015, MP Tony Clement (Conservative) stated that the Conservatives will host Iran Accountability Week on the Hill. MP Tony Clement added that the Iranian regime has been correctly listed by Canada as a state sponsor of terrorism, and asked if the Liberals would commit to keeping Iran designated as a state sponsor of terror. Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephane Dion responded by stating that the Liberals have no current plans to remove Iran from the list of state supporters of terrorism under the State Immunity Act. The inclusion or exclusion in the future will be based on the actions of the Iranian government. Clement noted that Minister Dion told the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development that Canada was taking the necessary steps to engage with Iran and to eventually open an embassy in Tehran. MP Tony Clement asked Minister Dion if he would engage with Iranian Canadians before making a final decision on this matter. Minister Dion stated that it was a mistake for Canada to sever ties with Iran, and that the human rights situation in Iran is no better for it. Minister Dion added that Canada is not in a position to help its allies or to help Canadian interests in Iran because of the previous government's withdrawal policy.

Bill C-14 – Act to amend the Criminal Code

A vote was held on May 4th, 2016 to push Bill C-14 (Doctor assisted dying) for a second reading and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on Bill C-14. The Supreme Court of Canada granted an extension until June 6 for Parliament to enact legislation. The objective of this legislation is to ensure that there is a balance between personal autonomy and providing protection to the vulnerable. Bill C-14 makes Canada the ninth jurisdiction in the world to legalize medical assistance in dying, not including Quebec.

Parliamentary Forum on Religious Freedom

On May 2, 2016, Parliament Hill hosted scholars, faith leaders, diplomats, and members of the public for the fifth annual Parliamentary Forum on Religious Freedom. This year the forum was titled, “Religious Freedom or Secularism? A World Safe for Diversity: Living with our Deepest Differences”. The forum sought to answer whether an increasingly secular world can, or will, continue to support the notion that all people should be free to decide what they believe, able to practice their belief daily, and be able to change their belief if they choose.