Motion against Islamophobia passes
MP Thomas Mulcair (NDP) presented the motion for the House to condemn all forms of Islamophobia, which received unanimous approval. MP Mulcair made a statement in the House denouncing hate crimes targeting Muslim-Canadians, acknowledging that these incidents have increased in recent years and stating that we must actively fight hate perpetrated against the Muslim community.
Vandalism at Calgary Mosques condemned
MP Darshan Singh Kang (Liberal) made a statement denouncing the acts of vandalism against Calgary mosques in Ranchlands and the Southeast Islamic Centre in Queensland, along with negative posters directed toward Muslims that have appeared in Calgary and Edmonton. He called for the people who are responsible for these acts to be brought to justice and for the education of Canadians about the positive influence of the Muslim community in Canada.
Canadian Forces in Mosul, Iraq
MP Rona Ambrose (Conservative), MP James Bezan (Conservative) and MP Pierre Paul-Hus (Conservative) asked the Prime Minister to be more transparent about Canada’s role in the battle to re-take Mosul from the Islamic State, stating that social media had revealed Canadian troops engaging on the front lines. MP Ambrose called on the Prime Minister to be more transparent and provide technical briefings to media. The Prime Minister responded by stating the government remains open and transparent about the mission but cannot compromise the safety of troops. MP John McKay (Liberal) stated that Canadian soldiers are staying within their mandate to train, assist, and advise.
The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship recommended Liberals to vote in favour of the Conservative motion to welcome additional Yazidi refugees. MP Michelle Rempel (Conservative) inquired as to how many Yazidis the government will bring to Canada and how quickly. Minister McCallum responded by stating they would be brought within 120 days. MP Rempel called for the prioritization of Yazidi women. MP Peter Kent (Conservative) pressed the government to act quickly on bringing Yazidi refugees to Canada, stating that they are enduring discrimination and segregation in Muslim-run UN camps.
Communities waiting for arrival of sponsored refugee families
MP Joël Godin (Conservative) stated that various communities have been awaiting the arrival of refugee families since January 2016 and have spent money and resources in anticipation. MP Godin asked whether the government will expedite the process to bring more refugees in. MP Arif Virani (Liberal) responded by stating that there has been non-stop processing of files of government-sponsored and privately sponsored Syrian refugees and that the refugees began arriving in early March and others are due to arrive in the coming weeks and months. MP Virani stated that every effort is being made to finalize the processing of privately sponsored Syrian refugee applications filed on or before March 31, by the end of 2016 or early 2017.
Uighur Muslim community in China
MP Garnett Genuis (Conservative) spoke about human rights abuses in China, including the persecution facing the Uighur Muslim community in eastern China, stating that many there are not allowed to fast during Ramadan. MP Genuis called on the government to engage with China in ways that uphold Canadian values in human rights. MP Omar Alghabra (Liberal) responded by stating that the government is committed to renewing Canada’s relationship with China not on an ideological basis but on a principled basis and that the Prime Minister spoke about upholding international obligations to human rights during a recent visit to China.
International Religious Freedom Day
MP Candice Bergen (Conservative) received unanimous consent of the House for a motion for the House to condemn all forms of persecution against all religious groups, specifically mentioning Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Muslims.