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Results: 1 - 15 of 50
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Sukh Dhaliwal Profile
2021-06-03 14:02 [p.7897]
Madam Speaker, on June 4, in front of Surrey City Hall, the south Asian community will hold a candlelight vigil to remember the 215 indigenous children whose remains were found in Kamloops on the grounds of Canada’s largest former residential school. The vigil is one of hundreds happening across the country to show solidarity with all Indigenous communities in Canada.
This terrible tragedy has touched us all. Regardless of race, religion, geography or cultural background, we are all mourning these innocent souls who were subjected to appalling abuse under the residential school system. Canadians are standing united in support of a different future for indigenous peoples.
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
Mr. Speaker, I share my colleague's concerns with regard to the government's reluctance to produce the documents. It is a worrisome trend that we have seen over the past months.
I wonder if he could comment on one aspect of this that concerns me, which is the rise of anti-Asian racism. At the same time that we push as Parliament to get these documents and to get to the bottom of these questions around the dismissal of the two scientists at the lab in Winnipeg, what steps does the member believe the government should take to combat this worrisome rise of anti-Asian racism here in Canada?
View Garnett Genuis Profile
Mr. Speaker, while I very much welcome the questions from my NDP and Bloc colleagues, I was hoping that after my speech I would get a question from a member of the government. That is what usually happens, and hopefully one of them will actually be willing to stand and put their views on the record on this. They seem reluctant to do that.
To my colleague's very important question, I agree that we need to respond to the threat of rising anti-Asian racism. One of the most critical ways we do that is to establish a clear distinction between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people, as well as Chinese Canadians. The CCP does not speak for the Chinese people and it does not speak for Chinese Canadians.
In fact, many Chinese Canadians are speaking out about how the Chinese Communist Party is threatening or intimidating them. We heard compelling testimony last night about violence and threats of violence that Canadians of Asian origin are experiencing from the Chinese Communist Party when they start to speak out about important human rights issues.
We need to always be clear about the distinction between this hostile, foreign political party that does not represent Chinese culture or Chinese identity and certainly does not represent Chinese Canadians. Then there is the very separate issue of affirming and appreciating the great contributions made by Asian Canadians, many of whom are very critical of the Chinese Communist Party.
View Brian Masse Profile
View Brian Masse Profile
2021-06-01 16:54
Madam Speaker, one of the things that is a concern here is Asian hate crimes, and the discussion of this creates a sensitivity that is very important. What do the Conservatives propose to do during this to ensure we do not have that continuation? We have seen this across North America, and we have witnessed this across our ridings.
This issue is really about non-democratic governments and their involvement, as opposed to individuals in Canada. What do they suggest to actually augment these arguments against this, as a tool?
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2021-06-01 16:54
Madam Speaker, Conservatives wholeheartedly believe that, for criminal activities and hate crimes, the full force of the law and consequences for perpetrators must be meted out. On the other hand, I think it does a disservice to all people, particularly people who are Chinese citizens or from China, when, for example, government ministers allege that asking questions about this information can be equated to bigotry.
Doing so actually empowers and enables an autocratic, hostile state regime, which makes its own citizens and people around the world vulnerable.
View Michael Barrett Profile
Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to follow my able colleague from Lakeland in this important debate on the House of Commons issuing an order for the production of unredacted versions of documents that have been ordered by the Canada-China committee.
We have a situation where the Liberal government is refusing to provide information that has been lawfully ordered by a parliamentary committee. We see it as a bit of a theme with the government, a bit of an air that the rules do not apply to them. We have seen that before. We saw it when this House issued an order for individuals to appear as witnesses at committee and for the production of documents to committee. The House issued the order, and the government ignored it. It went so far as to have ministers of the Crown order individuals not to appear, contrary to the order of this House.
We have parliamentary committees attempting to do their work to serve as the check against the executive, and the government is hindering that work at every turn. We saw this over the course of the last year when Parliament was prorogued after tough questions were asked of the government last summer regarding the government's fiduciary responsibilities to Canadians and a $912-million contract. It was an ethical quagmire for the Prime Minister and the then finance minister. Then we saw filibustering at committees and now, during a public health crisis, we have had government members even filibustering at the health committee.
We find ourselves on the floor of the House of Commons looking to do the work that a committee has attempted to do in ordering the production of documents on a very important matter. Twice the Canada-China committee has ordered the documents relating to the potential breach at the Winnipeg lab and twice the Liberal government has not followed through on the order of the committee. It provided blacked out documents that do not satisfy the order of a committee, which is again a bit of a theme for the government.
We saw that last summer. The government likes to cite the number of pages that they released to the finance committee during the WE scandal, but it does not talk about how much of it was blacked out or how pertinent the information was and how repetitive the information was, instead of the pertinent information that the committee was seeking and that parliamentarians had rightly requested.
The government is responsible for guarding national security. It is a task that it should hold to the highest level and apply the most serious lens to. Not surprisingly, Canadians are concerned about that. We are seeing that through reporting. That is how this issue has largely come to light, with reporting in publications such as the Globe and Mail. When parliamentarians seek answers for Canadians, the government demonstrates that it has something to hide, perhaps afraid that it has failed in its responsibility to protect the security of Canadians.
We had two scientists who were fired and escorted out of the lab that handles the most dangerous pathogens, the ones that could wipe out a population, a lab with the highest security clearance required to work there. CSIS had raised concerns about two of the individuals who were working there, individuals who were identified as collaborating with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and China's military, and there were questions about pathogens that were sent from the Winnipeg lab to the Wuhan lab.
These are questions that Canadians are concerned about. Of course, we are in the middle of a global pandemic, so Canadians have questions about this. Parliamentarians have questions about this. There have been unanimous decisions across party lines at the Canada-China committee to get answers to these questions, yet the government has refused to exercise its franchise to make sure that parliamentarians are able to do their job. When we are dealing with some of the most deadly viruses, such as Ebola, parliamentarians are going to be concerned and Canadians are going to be concerned.
When the Conservatives addressed these questions to the government, and when I addressed my questions to the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister replied that these types of questions fomented racism. I categorically reject the inference that he made not only about me but about my colleagues. When the Prime Minister conflates criticism of China's government with anti-Asian racism, he is playing right out of the propaganda playbook used by China's communist leadership. Beijing's goal is to conflate legitimate criticism of China's government with intolerance toward anyone of Chinese heritage. It is unacceptable.
My colleagues have said it best, and I will quote them. The member for Steveston—Richmond East said:
Pointing that out is not racism. Suggesting otherwise plays into the propaganda effort of our opponent. That is something of great concern in my home of Richmond. To see our national leadership downplay these concerns is simply shameful. Many critics of the CPP are of Asian descent themselves, either born as equal partners in Canada or having joined the equal partnership as immigrants.
On the same topic, the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam said:
All members should call out racism wherever it exists, but no member, especially the Prime Minister, should ever use this kind of hatred as a tool to distract from his own incompetence. As an Asian-Canadian MP who has combatted racism my whole life, I am appalled by the Prime Minister's audacity to belittle the seriousness and sensitivity of anti-Asian racism.
When the opposition dials in on an area of major concern, a serious issue, the Prime Minister deflects and launches ad hominem attacks.
Long gone are the days of sunny ways and open and transparent government by default. Transparency was a commitment by the government, and we have heard a lot of talk about previous governments. Well, I do not think that members of the government ran, first in 2015 and then again in 2019, saying that they were going to do the same or be just as good. They said, “Better is always possible.” The most transparent government in Canadian history is what they promised. Canadians are seeing anything but that. It is corruption, cover-ups and more of the same from the government.
Canadians deserve a government that is not a defender of the communist Chinese regime, but a government that will stand up for Canadian sovereignty, for national security and for the safety of all Canadians. The Liberals have been willfully blind to threats to our national security from China and are trying to cover them up, and that raises the question of why.
We have in the government the only partner of the Five Eyes that refuses to ban Huawei. Testimony at parliamentary committees yesterday highlighted the risks that are being posed by agents acting on behalf of the Government of China through partnerships with educational institutions and through technology companies. Why will the government not take the step to ban Huawei and demonstrate that it is prepared to stand up to China for Canadians' interests?
Once these documents are ordered, parliamentarians are entitled to them. The rules do apply to the Liberals. They must not only defend Canada's security interests, but also defend the confidence that Canadians have in their democratic institutions. The Conservatives will secure our future by protecting our national security and will continue to hold this corrupt government to account.
View Shaun Chen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Shaun Chen Profile
2021-05-28 11:06 [p.7551]
Madam Speaker, today I am honoured to recognize Asian Heritage Month. With a rich and vibrant history, Canadians of Asian descent have made significant contributions to building this great country.
My riding of Scarborough North is home to a diverse Asian population that has grown businesses and enhanced the cultural landscape of our community. This week, I was pleased to announce a federal investment of $2.8 million for the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto on behalf of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. The funds will help increase accessibility and build a new Asian garden, an important cultural legacy for generations to come.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCC has provided meals to seniors, distributed PPE and donated to food banks, while addressing the rise of anti-Asian racism.
This month, let us be reminded of what connects us as Canadians, respect, freedom and inclusion, and continue building an even better Canada.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
Mr. Speaker, this is the global week of prayer for China, initiated by Cardinal Bo and marked by Catholics and other Christians throughout the world who wish to see the advance of justice, human rights and, in particular, religious freedom in China. This week falls within Asian Heritage Month when, here in Canada, we celebrate the immense contributions of Canadians of Asian ancestry.
During this week and this month, we must stand with Chinese Canadians, and people of Chinese origin all over the world, in opposing all forms of racism and all actions by governments that deny fundamental human rights. We must recognize in this context the racist policies of the Xi Jinping regime, attacking ethnic minorities at home and threatening Chinese diaspora communities abroad.
People of Chinese ancestry, like all people, are individuals with their own beliefs, preferences and hopes. They are not extensions of a state, as the Chinese government claims. Essentializing any group of people in this way, ascribing attributes, connections, opinions or obligations that deny their individuality, is a form of racism. Therefore, to be truly anti-racist one must, by necessity, be highly critical of the Chinese government while also always standing with its victims.
View Kenny Chiu Profile
View Kenny Chiu Profile
2021-05-27 14:13 [p.7494]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister suggested that asking questions about the threat from China's government is anti-Asian racism. I am an Asian-Canadian and I am deeply offended by this. How dare the wearer of blackface and brownface use the painful experience of racism to shield this government's callous dereliction to protect Canada from hostile foreign regimes?
Pointing that out is not racism. Suggesting otherwise plays into the propaganda effort of our opponent. That is something of great concern in my home of Richmond. To see our national leadership downplay these concerns is simply shameful. Many critics of the CPP are of Asian descent themselves, either born as equal partners in Canada or having joined the equal partnership as immigrants.
Expressing dissent is not hatred. Iranians disapprove of the Ayatollah, Russians of the state kleptocracy and Hong Kongers of the SAR government. Even today, I am expressing disapproval of my government. This is not out of hate for, but rather my deep love of, Canada.
View Nelly Shin Profile
View Nelly Shin Profile
2021-05-27 14:16 [p.7495]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday Conservatives asked the Prime Minister about the infiltration of scientists from the Chinese Communist regime's military into high-security Canadian labs. This breach of security is serious and deserves a serious response.
To my shock, the Prime Minister conflated our legitimate concerns about national security with racism against Asian-Canadians. He spun an inflammatory narrative that implies Conservatives are stoking intolerance. By using this false narrative, he has cheapened and undermined the ongoing efforts to combat the rise of anti-Asian racism.
All members should call out racism wherever it exists, but no member, especially the Prime Minister, should ever use this kind of hatred as a tool to distract from his own incompetence. As an Asian-Canadian MP who has combatted racism my whole life, I am appalled by the Prime Minister's audacity to belittle the seriousness and sensitivity of anti-Asian racism.
I call on the Prime Minister to make a public apology and retract these unacceptable statements.
View Nelly Shin Profile
View Nelly Shin Profile
2021-05-27 15:11 [p.7505]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order regarding remarks made by the Prime Minister yesterday in this House over unparliamentarily and inappropriately exploiting an issue impacting the Asian community in Canada and the members representing it.
As members know, the official opposition has been questioning the Prime Minister on the topic of security at Canada's top microbiology lab and the partnership of scientists with ties to the Chinese military. Instead of addressing this important issue, the Prime Minister made accusations of racism against those members asking these vital questions of national interest.
Page 619 of Bosc and Gagnon states:
Remarks which question a Member’s integrity, honesty or character are not in order. A Member will be requested to withdraw offensive remarks, allegations, or accusations of impropriety directed towards another Member.
Page 623 describes some general principles:
The proceedings of the House are based on a long-standing tradition of respect for the integrity of all Members. Thus, the use of offensive, provocative or threatening language in the House is strictly forbidden. Personal attacks, insults and obscenities are not in order....
In dealing with unparliamentary language, the Speaker takes into account the tone, manner and intention of the Member speaking, the person to whom the words at issue were directed, the degree of provocation, and most important, whether or not the remarks created disorder in the Chamber.
In addition to the Prime Minister casting aspersions upon members of this House who are only trying to do their job, I find it offensive that the Prime Minister is diminishing the significance of the anti-Asian crisis in Canada by using it to deflect attention away from an unrelated political issue of national security. Canadians of Asian descent do not appreciate being used in this way, since they, too, are concerned about the national security of their country and want answers. They are not political shields. They are Canadians who expect their Prime Minister to address their questions separately, respectfully and with sincerity.
The Prime Minister's remarks are provocative, divisive and destructive to the House, and I ask that the Prime Minister apologize.
View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
I want to thank the hon. member. I will take it under advisement and return to the House should I see necessary.
I want to take this opportunity to remind all members in the House and members who are joining us virtually in the House, when using words, to please be very conscious and judicious of the words they use as they affect people differently. Members should try to put themselves in the shoes of the person receiving the words and how they would feel. Please, take that into consideration so that we can make this House a House that all Canadians can be proud of.
View Majid Jowhari Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Majid Jowhari Profile
2021-05-25 14:07 [p.7314]
Mr. Speaker, I rise virtually in the House today to share that my beautiful riding of Richmond Hill is home to vibrant members of the Asian community. As we all know, May is Asian Heritage Month.
The York Region Liberal MPs are hosting a local appreciation event to celebrate the lives of Asian descent in our community. Diversity is our greatest strength. We all need to recognize the contributions and accomplishments made by Asian Canadians and highlight their rich and vivid culture.
This is also a challenging time for our Asian community as misinformation and anti-Asian hate have been at an all-time high since the pandemic started. Hate, prejudice and discrimination have no place in Canada and is unacceptable. We must continue to stand together and stand up for our Asian community.
Happy Asian Heritage Month everyone.
View Paul Manly Profile
View Paul Manly Profile
2021-05-14 15:22 [p.7274]
Madam Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege to rise today on behalf of the Green Party of Canada to speak to Bill S-223 from the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and to serve the communities of Nanaimo—Ladysmith in the unceded territories of the Snaw'naw'as, Snuneymuxw, Stz'uminus and Lyackson first nations.
This bill was inspired by the work of Rabbi Reuven Bulka, who has been advocating to designate the third week of February as kindness week since 2007. Rabbi Bulka is the founder of Kind Canada, an organization that aims to inspire Canadians to cultivate kindness in their day-to-day lives, support charitable causes and enhance the well-being of others.
My colleague, the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, is a good friend of Rabbi Bulka. Rabbi Bulka has been an important part of her life for longer than she has been in the Green Party. They met around the year 2000, when the Rabbi invited her to take part in a program on community cable in Ottawa as a guest. The two of them did many shows together and discussed many topics, including the environmental movement and the idea that human dominance over other creatures is a misinterpretation of scripture. The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands has asked me to pass on her best wishes to the rabbi and to thank him for pushing to have this legislation for kindness week passed in this House as soon as possible.
I really appreciate the preamble to this bill. These are things that all of us can strive for. Kindness encourages values such as empathy, respect, gratitude and compassion. Kind acts lead to the improved health and well-being of Canadians. It is important to encourage acts of kindness, volunteerism and charitable giving to the benefit of all Canadians. We need to encourage a culture of kindness in Canada throughout the year, but we must not limit our acts of kindness to Canadians and encourage a culture of kindness only in Canada. We must extend kindness to all people and all living things on the planet.
On the topic of kindness, researcher and author Brené Brown said, “First and foremost, we need to be the adults we want our children to be. We should watch our own gossiping and anger. We should model the kindness we want to see.”
We live in a time when it has never been so easy to be unkind to others. How many Canadians have received a negative comment on social media in a way they would never receive in person? This is especially true for elected officials and public figures, but it happens all the time to people who are not in the public eye as well. Why has social media become so toxic? Why do so many people act in unkind ways online?
This is not by chance. It is a by-product of the way social media platforms are designed. Social media algorithms are designed to make us spend as much time as possible on their platforms, in order to sell our attention to advertisers. What the algorithms have discovered is that a great way to keep us engaged is by angering us, so the algorithms feed us posts that fuel our anger, which increases polarization and destroys kindness.
Campaigners have learned this too. Everywhere we look in the public political discourse these days, we see the weaponization of anger for short-term political gain. Feeding the dark and unkind sides of human nature will come at a great cost and will be hard to undo. Some thinkers have dubbed what is going on right now “a war on sense-making”. Once upon a time, opposite political sides could engage in a rational and respectful debate about policy disagreements. We now have political forces that are fanning the flames of total delegitimization of their opponents, not just their opponents’ policies and ideas, but their opponents themselves. Some of the language being used in emails sent to MP offices these days is alarming.
Those who fan the flames of fear, mistrust and anger are at the same time strangling kindness, empathy and mutual respect. We will all pay dearly for this irresponsibility.
The Dalai Lama tells us, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
The kindness of discomfort can be one of the most difficult forms of kindness to embody in our lives. Confronting injustice requires difficult conversations about privilege. It requires us to acknowledge how we benefit from systemic oppression. It requires us to examine how we consciously or unconsciously perpetuate it. The kindness of discomfort means not being afraid to take responsibility for our own uncomfortable feelings. It means continuing to show up and do the work of creating a more just society.
The kindness of discomfort is an especially important idea to talk about right now. In my riding, there have been recent high-profile incidents of anti-indigenous racism toward the Snuneymuxw First Nation, when there was an outbreak of COVID-19 in its community, and when a memorial for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls was desecrated in the territory of the Stz'uminus First Nation.
Canada is also experiencing a surge of anti-Asian racism. Racism is part of our history and our present. We do not like to see ourselves this way, but it is essential to take the blinders off and sit in the discomfort of that reality. When it comes to breaking down the structural and systemic barriers of racism, bias and discrimination, the kindness of discomfort is the greatest form of kindness we can practise on a personal level. The kindness of discomfort is a conscious choice to become a better ally in the work of building a more equitable and inclusive society. American aviation pioneer and author Amelia Earhart wrote, “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.”
I support the kindness week act and I deeply appreciate the work of Rabbi Bulka, who inspired it. Opening up opportunities for Canadians to cultivate kindness through education, action and service also increases our opportunities for connection. Our disconnection from each other is a foundational problem in our society, and we are all living the outcomes of that problem in the mental health crisis, the opioid overdose crisis, the homelessness crisis, the struggle against poverty, the struggle for peace, the crash in biodiversity and the climate crisis. Every act of kindness is an act of defiance toward a social order that goes against our natural impulses toward compassion and empathy.
View Han Dong Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Han Dong Profile
2021-05-12 14:20 [p.7104]
Mr. Speaker, May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, a time for all Canadians to come together to recognize the contributions of Asian Canadians in building our great country.
From the early pioneer generation who helped connect Canada from coast to coast by rail, to those on the front lines fighting COVID-19 today, the Asian Canadian community has contributed enormously to the development and prosperity of Canada. In my riding of Don Valley North, I am grateful for the amazing work being done by Asian Canadian organizations dedicated to serve all Canadians, such as Hong Fook, Yee Hong, SEAS Centre, Formosa Evergreen Senior Citizens Centre, Love Toronto Korean-Canadian Community Services and of course our frontline heroes putting their lives on the line every day to keep our loved ones safe.
This Asian Heritage Month, I call on Canadians to come together to combat anti-Asian racism and discrimination in all forms because, like the Prime Minister put it many times in the past, a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.
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