Mr. Speaker, while exposing the evils of slavery, William Wilberforce said, "You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know."
We here know well the horrors inflicted by the Iranian regime, horrors most experienced by the people of Iran, but seen and felt by many Canadians after the downing of flight 752. We have seen the photos of parents and children whose lives were cut short. We have felt with them the crushing loss and pain. Some may choose to look the other way, but we may never again say that we did not know.
In the midst of feeling this pain, Canadians and Iranians saw the images of our Prime Minister, grinning, hugging, bowing and shaking blood-stained hands during an interaction with the Iranian foreign minister. Did our Prime Minister know how this portrayal of obsequiousness and ease would be used by the regime and could impact its victims? After attending memorials and meetings with victims across this country, either he did not know, or he did not care.
Canada has a choice to make. We either embrace the regime or we stand with its victims. We cannot do both.