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.
Following weeks of debate, the Minister of Democratic Reform, Maryam Monsef, announced that the government has agreed to support an NDP proposal that gives no one party a majority of seats on the committee that will study electoral reform. The committee will have proportional representation according to the popular vote in last year's federal election.
Sale of Arms to Saudi Arabia
MP Monique Pauzé (Bloc Quebecois) stated that the UN just added Saudi Arabia to the blacklist of states that violate children's rights during conflict. MP Monique Pauzé asked when will the Minister stop the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pam Goldsmith-Jones, responded that Canadian LAVs have been sold to Saudi Arabia for over 20 years, and all checks to date indicate that they have not been used inappropriately. The Minister of Foreign Affairs retains the power to revoke at any time the export permit, should the assessment change.
Office of Religious Freedom
MP Garnett Genuis (Conservative) asked why the government did not renew the mandate for the Office of Religious Freedom, which expired in March 2016, and is replacing the office of religious freedom with a new mandate under the Office of Human Rights, Freedoms, and Inclusion. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pam Goldsmith-Jones, responded that the mandate for the Office of Human Rights, Freedoms, and Inclusion will be to expand on the work undertaken by the former Office of Religious Freedom by bringing these efforts together in an approach that includes all human rights.
Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (‘BDS’) Movement
MP David Sweet (Conservative) asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stephane Dion, why, following the passing of the motion in the house condemning the BDS movement, the Minister stated the motion was divisive. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pam Goldsmith-Jones, responded that without reservation, the Government of Canada opposes the BDS movement.
Recently Active Bills
- C-6 - Amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another
- C-210 - Amend the National Anthem Act (gender)
- C-224 - Good Samaritan Drug Overdose
- C-14 - Amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying)
- C-15 - Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1.
- C-240 - Amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit — first aid)
- C-7 - Amend the Public Service Labour Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board Act and other Acts and to provide for certain other measures
- S-204 - Amend the Financial Administration Act (borrowing of money)
- C-10 - Amend the Air Canada Public Participation Act and to provide for certain other measures
- S-203 - Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins
- S-221 - Constitution Act, 2016 (Property qualifications of Senators)
- S-222 - Linguistic Plurality