Status of Women
MP Rhéal Fortin (Bloc Québécois) stated to the House that France's Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, was right when he said, “The full veil is essentially a means to undermine women, [and that] goes against...democratic values.” MP Fortin remarked that if our so-called feminist and democratic Prime Minister truly supports gender parity, what is the Prime Minister waiting for to ensure that all women take the citizenship oath with their faces uncovered? Separately, MP Luc Thériault (Bloc Québécois) stated that the Muslim Canadian Congress considers so-called religious symbols such as the full veil to be more of a political statement. MP Thériault added that the Bloc Québécois believes that religion and politics should be kept separate.
The Minister for Status of Women, Patty Hajdu, responded to both comments by saying that the values that define Canada include respect and openness toward Canada’s full diversity. She remarked that Canada’s diversity is a source of strength, and politicians need to focus on bringing people together instead of promoting division. Minister Hajdu added that we should respect the diversity of Canadian communities and the government will visit people in ways that are appropriate for their communities, whether they are military communities, religious communities, or indigenous communities.
Immigration committee study of the Yazidi genocide
MP Peter Kent (Conservative) stated that during the government’s special immigration committee study of the Yazidi genocide, a Liberal member suggested that because of the Yazidi refugees' ancient culture, they might not integrate well into Canadian society. That suggestion was rejected by a genocide survivor, Nadia Murad of Yazidi origin. MP Kent asked the House, why is the Minister and the Liberal government ignoring Yazidi refugees? MP Michelle Rempel (Conservative) added further, that thus far the government has only brought nine Yazidis to Canada out of a total of 25,000 refugees admitted so far and that is unacceptable.
Minister of Immigration, John McCallum, responded by saying that far from ignoring the Yazidi refugees, the government is acutely aware of the tragic situation facing the Yazidis. Minister McCallum said the government will work to bring Yazidis and others who have been oppressed by Daesh to Canada.
MP Nathan Cullen (NDP) stated that Canadians are tired of self-serving politicians making promises just to get elected. MP Cullen asked the House if the Prime Minister will honour his commitment for democratic reform or if he will use his popularity to trump promises he does not want to keep. The Minister for Democratic Reform, Maryam Monsef, responded by saying that the Prime Minister has, and is, honouring his commitment. The government formed a special all-party committee on electoral reform that will provide the government with a report outlining recommendations for democratic reform on December 1, 2016.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Leader
MP Judy Sgro stated to the house that the global spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community arrived in Ottawa this week for a formal visit to meet with cabinet ministers, senators, members of Parliament, and the Prime Minister.