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Results: 1 - 60 of 78
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are great at preaching to others, but not so good at taking action themselves.
From the day he took office, the Prime Minister has done anything and everything to avoid talking about China. However, the threat is real. Whether it is about Huawei, the illegal detention of the two Michaels or the aggressive statement by the Chinese ambassador regarding people fleeing Hong Kong, the Prime Minister does nothing. Worse yet, he said he admired the Chinese dictatorship. It is not surprising, then, that the Prime Minister is using Canadians' money to support infrastructure projects in China instead of promoting projects here in Canada.
It is high time we took a stand. Backing down from China will only weaken Canada and our economy at this time of pandemic. Failing to deal with China sends a signal to the international community that Canada is weak and vulnerable. Canadians deserve better.
View Brad Vis Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, the third petition is from my constituents on the ongoing challenges Uighur Muslims face in China.
The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to call out the Chinese Communist Party on its human rights abuses in China.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I am also tabling three petitions today.
The first petition is with respect to the horrific human rights abuses being inflicted on Uighur Muslims in China.
The petitioners are very specific about calling for action in response to those events. They want to see the government use Magnitsky sanctions to hold those involved in these crimes responsible. This echoes the ask from a letter signed by over 100 faith leaders and human rights organizations today calling for genocide recognition and the imposition of Magnitsky sanctions, among other things.
View Eric Melillo Profile
CPC (ON)
View Eric Melillo Profile
2020-10-19 16:04
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition today that would draw the attention of the House of Commons to the campaign of Uighur birth suppression by the Chinese Communist Party.
The signatories to this petition ask that the House of Commons formally acknowledge that Uighurs in China have been subject to genocide and to use Magnitsky sanctions in order to hold those who are committing those crimes to account.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I too have the privilege of tabling a petition on behalf of Canadians calling on the House of Commons to formally recognize that Uighurs in China have been and are being subjected to genocide, and to use the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) and sanction those who are responsible for the heinous crimes being committed against the Uighur people.
View Jennifer O'Connell Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of my constituents who are very concerned with Huawei telecommunications and the impacts if it were to be allowed approvals here in Canada. The petitioners worry about the relationship with our Five Eyes allies. They also worry about our autonomy and the Chinese government's having access or using Huawei technology for intelligence gathering. The petitioners feel that Canada needs to ban Huawei's equipment and make sure that it is prevented from building in 5G networks in Canada.
View Arnold Viersen Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour and privilege of presenting two petitions today.
In the first petition, the people who have signed it are looking for the government to do something about the genocide that is being carried out against the Uighur population in China. The Chinese Communist Party is using methods such as forced sterilization and abortion to drive birth suppression in the Uighur population. The petitioners are calling for the formal recognition of that genocide and for the Canadian government to use the Magnitsky law to bring action against the Chinese.
View Arnold Viersen Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, finally, and I thank the House for its indulgence today, I have a petition calling on the government to recognize the genocide that is being perpetrated against the Uighurs in China. We have probably all seen the photographs from the BBC report of the masked prisoners being loaded into cattle cars and brought to concentration camps. We have said never again over and over in this place, yet it appears it is happening again on our watch. Therefore, the petitioners are calling on the government to recognize the genocide and use the Magnitsky act in any way possible.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition for a number of Canadians across the country who are very concerned about the Uighur situation in China. They are looking for Magnitsky sanctions, among other mechanisms, to deal with this horrific issue.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the fifth and final petition highlights the absolutely horrific situation facing Uighur Muslims in China and the persecution they are facing at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to have the courage to match action with words and apply Magnitsky sanctions against those responsible for these modern-day concentration camps.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2020-10-08 10:15 [p.719]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House on behalf of constituents from across Canada who are raising the issue with regard to the Uighur Muslim minority in China, who are currently being persecuted at the hands of their own Communist government.
The individuals who have signed this petition are calling on the Government of Canada to take action on behalf of this vulnerable group of people.
View Marty Morantz Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to rise to present my first petition in this place. It is also about the persecution of the Uighurs. The petition says in part that it is clear that the UN conventions around the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide have been breached. Canada cannot remain silent in the face of this ongoing atrocity. The petition formally requests we recognize that Uighurs in China have been, and are being, subject to genocide and to use the Magnitsky Act in this case.
As it is my first time standing, I was reminded of one of my favourite writer's quotes when I was reading this petition. Elie Wiesel, writer and Holocaust survivor, said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
View Alex Ruff Profile
CPC (ON)
View Alex Ruff Profile
2020-10-08 10:17 [p.719]
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition on behalf of Canadians who call on the House to formally recognize the genocide and atrocities against the Uighur population and Muslim minorities in China, and for us to take the appropriate action via sanctions. As someone who was deployed to countries where genocide has occurred, we need to stand up against this now.
View Karen Vecchio Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I too have a petition for action on this as well, like so many of my colleagues, to say we stand against the genocide that is happening to the Uighurs. Just as many of my colleagues have stated, this is an issue that many Canadians are standing strong on. We should be against this genocide and bring forward the Magnitsky Act.
View Jamie Schmale Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I wish to join my colleagues in presenting this petition signed by Canadians from across this great country. The petitioners call upon the Communist Party of China to stop its horrific human rights abuses against the Uighurs and also ask the Government of Canada to impose sanctions on those responsible.
View Len Webber Profile
CPC (AB)
View Len Webber Profile
2020-10-08 10:19 [p.719]
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition regarding the issue in China. It brings attention to the Uighur Muslims and the ongoing campaign of Uighur birth suppression by the Chinese Communist Party, which includes methods such as forced sterilization and abortion. It is estimated that up to three million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities have been detained in what have been described as concentration camps. We would like to use the Magnitsky Act to impose sanctions on those who are responsible for these heinous crimes.
View Jamie Schmale Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, today I rise as chair of the Canada-Azerbaijan parliamentary friendship group to express my deep concern regarding the ongoing military conflicts in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The violence must end, as there can be no long-term solution through military action. I urge both Armenia and Azerbaijan to step back from the precipice, adhere to the historical ceasefire and protect all civilians, regardless of their nationalities.
Nations with ulterior motives, other than the preservation of human life, need to step back and let the peace process take hold. The territorial integrity of both Armenia and Azerbaijan must be respected and the right to self-determination supported by the international community. I call on the Government of Canada to work quickly with the global community to secure peace and to back the resumption of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe negotiations within the framework of the Minsk group process.
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2020-10-08 14:20 [p.755]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister said that he would follow what our allies were doing when it comes to Huawei. As part of the Five Eyes, we share intelligence with the United Kingdom. This morning, their House of Commons found that Huawei is strongly linked to the Chinese state and the Chinese Communist Party, despite claims to the contrary.
Why is the Prime Minister ignoring all the warnings about Huawei in Canada's 5G network?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-10-08 14:20 [p.755]
Mr. Speaker, again, that is simply not true. We have worked very closely with our allies and Five Eyes partners around the world to ensure the safety and security of Canadians, and of our infrastructure.
We will continue to make decisions based on expert advice from our intelligence and security professionals as we move forward to do what we need to do to keep Canadians safe in an increasingly interconnected world.
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2020-10-08 14:20 [p.755]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's security experts are reading the reports out of the U.K. that found Huawei had been financed by the Chinese state to the tune of $75 billion in the last three years. It also found that Huawei had engaged in a variety of intelligence, security and intellectual property violations around the world. In Canada, the National Post has reported that Huawei theft may have led to the downfall of Nortel.
Four of the Five Eyes have spoken when it comes to Huawei. Why is the Prime Minister the only one with his eyes closed?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-10-08 14:21 [p.755]
Mr. Speaker, we continue to be very focused on keeping Canadians safe. We are certainly aware of all these reports and are looking very carefully at them, but we trust our experts in our security realm and in our intelligence realm to make fact-based recommendations to us. They are gathering information from our partners. They are looking at this situation. We will move forward in a responsible way that keeps Canadians safe, as we have every step of the way.
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2020-10-07 14:45 [p.676]
Mr. Speaker, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan have already said that Huawei cannot be part of their 5G system. The United Kingdom announced that it had found a security flaw in Huawei's 5G system. Our Prime Minister is afraid to stand up to China. He prefers the status quo, which puts our security at risk.
When will the Prime Minister make a final decision about Huawei?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-10-07 14:46 [p.677]
Mr. Speaker, informed security decisions are made by our intelligence services and security experts, and not for political reasons. With respect to our policies, we have always stood up against China on bringing home our two Michaels, condemning the treatment of the Uighurs, offering assistance to Hong Kong, being firm on respect for international rights and everything we must work on together as a multinational world that recognizes the values and rights we all have.
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2020-10-07 14:46 [p.677]
Mr. Speaker, our allies have realized that Huawei cannot be part of their 5G future. The government promised a decision before the last election. This week, Great Britain announced that it found critical weaknesses in Huawei's 5G infrastructure. Last week, it was Germany tightening restrictions on Huawei. Once again, under the Prime Minister, Canada is not back; it is hanging back and letting all our allies get the job done.
Will the Prime Minister finally rise today, get tough and ban Huawei from Canadian 5G networks?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-10-07 14:47 [p.677]
Mr. Speaker, Canada will always put the security of its citizens and of its infrastructure first and foremost. We have done that every step of the way.
We deeply respect the work of our experts and intelligence services and are working with them to make the right decision. We will listen to their recommendations and move forward. We watch carefully what our allies are doing, and at the same time, we have consistently stood up for Canadian interests and values on the world stage, including against China.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, on Monday, I asked the government about ties between senior Liberals like Joe Peschisolido and Raymond Chan and individuals charged in a gangland shooting with the Chinese Community Party. Now, we have learned that the architect of a heavily armed, illegal casino operation in Markham has twice had face time with this Prime Minister and, surprise, he also has ties to the CCP.
Canadians deserve to know. Is the Prime Minister's proximity to the Chinese Communist Party elites in Canada affecting his ability to protect Canadian interests?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-10-07 14:55 [p.678]
Mr. Speaker, we have always followed all the rules around fundraising and we will continue. We actually went above and beyond that in making sure that all of our fundraisers are done in public spaces, that we invite the media to them and publish a list of people who attended. We encourage the Conservative Party of Canada to do exactly the same.
When will the Conservatives stop raising money in secret and instead be open with their fundraisers, invite the media to attend their fundraisers and actually demonstrate that they can have confidence in Canadians as they ask Canadians to have confidence in them?
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister should hope that Canadians do not judge him by the company that he keeps. He is just the latest Liberal with worrisome ties to the Chinese Communist Party: Chan, Peschisolido, Barton, McCallum.
These latest bad actors operating their illegal casino in Markham, just like the ones arrested this weekend in B.C., are helping arrest protesters in Hong Kong, but do not worry, they have donated millions of dollars to the Trudeau Foundation.
Why should Canadians trust this defective Liberal government complete with its made-in-China sticker?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2020-10-07 14:55 [p.679]
Mr. Speaker, I have addressed that question, but, again, it points out that the Conservatives are focused on trying to score political points at a time when Canadians expect people to come together and work for them in this COVID crisis.
We will continue to focus on supporting Canadians in this second wave. We will be there for families, workers and small businesses. We will be there to support industries across this country as they are dealing with this unprecedented pandemic.
We made a commitment to Canadians that we would have their backs, and that is exactly what we are doing. Regardless of what the Conservatives want to focus on, we will stay focused on Canadians in this pandemic.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the third petition deals with the human rights situation of Uighur Muslims in China who face horrific abuses in modern-day concentration camps. Petitioners call on the government to recognize that Uighurs in China have been and are being subject to genocide.
Recognizing the responsibility to protect that flows from the recognition of genocide, the petition also calls on the government to use the Magnitsky Act to sanction and hold accountable those who have been responsible and are responsible in an ongoing way for these horrific crimes being perpetuated against the Uighur people.
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Speaker, I want to present petition e-2814 on behalf of more than 1,800 Canadians who signed this petition.
As colleagues know, Falun Gong practitioners have been outlawed in China. They have been targeted by China’s Communist Party for organ harvesting and are being persecuted because of their religious beliefs. We know that the Falun Gong discipline is very peaceful, disciplined and is centred on the principles of truth, compassion and tolerance.
As well, I sponsored the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) that provides the government with the tools to sanction individuals. There are 14 specific Chinese officials who are named in this petition that the petitioners would like to see targeted with Magnitsky sanctions by the Government of Canada for the detention, persecution, execution and organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners for the past 21 years.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Governor General and recognize the hard work of her staff, who are no doubt under even more pressure than usual.
I also want to take this opportunity to give my best wishes to retiring members of Parliament, Bill Morneau and Michael Levitt. The WE organization promised its international trips were life-changing. In the case of the former finance minister, that turned out to be true.
My friend Michael Levitt departs politics under more honourable circumstances. I hope his own very principled approach to many foreign policy issues, such as his call to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity, had a positive impact on his Liberal colleagues. Unfortunately, some of his work remains undone, as the IRGC remains unlisted, but I know his advocacy for important issues of justice and human rights will continue.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis that also brought on an economic crisis. No government should have been caught off guard by COVID-19. While most Canadians could not have imagined that a coronavirus pandemic was possible, it is incumbent on governments to be prepared to respond to crises.
Less than 20 years ago, the world experienced another coronavirus pandemic, which led the government of the day to create a national public health agency whose primary responsibility was to prepare a plan for responding to a potential future pandemic. However, this government did not ensure that the agency had the necessary plan or equipment in place.
Given the compassionate tone we sometimes hear, it is easy to forget that this government originally spread anti-mask messaging because of its own failure to ensure an adequate supply of masks.
In response to COVID-19, our Minister of Health insisted that the risk was low and that the border should remain open, until it was too late. She wanted to promote her medical aid in dying agenda and eliminate life-saving benefits, rather than working to make much-needed improvements to assisted living. She had her priorities backwards.
Even after the government announced controls at airports, many journalists and Canadians saw that the measures were not put in place early enough, at the time when they would have had the greatest impact. If we had had border controls and mandatory masks sooner, if we had started using rapid testing like South Korea did over six months ago, if we had had contact tracing technology ready to go, we could have avoided the economic shutdown. It was all so preventable.
In Alberta and elsewhere, oil and gas workers and their families face the painful intersection of multiple threats to their livelihood. Those of the radical left are talking about a just transition for oil and gas workers. They tell them to give up their jobs today and they will be given a job of the future at some indefinite point around the corner.
If I told my employees that I was going to arrange a just transition for them, those salty words would not hide the fact that they were getting fired. Nobody is fooled by the language of a “just transition”. It is in reality a code for the intended destruction of highly productive parts of our economy, which have, up until now, been producing commodities that the world will continue to desperately need.
The truth is that making petroleum products is both a job of the present and of the future. If these products are not produced here, they will be produced somewhere else, because the world is going to need petroleum products for a very long time.
Can members imagine the absurdity of it? Can they imagine trying to get through a pandemic, or even run a hospital during normal times, without any petroleum-based products? The anti-energy zealots in this place should not only stop taking flights or car rides, but should also swear off the use of any plastic products. I defy them to organize a protest without the use of petroleum products.
I would like to now build on the throne speech's references to international development and Canada's role in the world as it relates to my own portfolio as shadow minister for international development and human rights. When it comes to thinking broadly about how to achieve international development, it is critical for us to learn the lessons of history.
Too many of the interactions between the west and the global south during the late 20th century were characterized by a post-colonial echo, in which the worst ideas from the west were promoted and then inflicted on countries in the global south by local elites with the encouragement of some western or European voices, and with the direct support of some international organizations.
Ideas such as communism, state-imposed atheism and coercive family planning all had their genesis in western Europe, and yet they were never fully implemented there, outside of a few fateful months in 1993 and 1994. Generally speaking, while avoided at home, these bad ideas have been imposed in various ways for much longer periods of time on much of the world's poor in Central and Eastern Europe, and in various parts of Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. This echo of colonialism, the use of the developing world to experiment with violent and coercive revolutionary policies, which were never really attempted at home, has led to untold suffering and loss of life.
Revolutionary ideas from the west attacked free enterprise, faith and family. The destruction of pre-existing markets, traditions and family autonomy, with an eye to so-called modernization, obviously did not lead to actual improvements in happiness or quality of life. These experiments were a grand and tragic failure. China's destructive Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution and one-child policy are examples of the horrific impacts of this post-colonial echo.
The so-called Great Leap Forward led to between 30 million and 45 million deaths. The Cultural Revolution intentionally turned families against each other in a horrific never-ending show trial of revolutionary purity. These events in China earned Mao the dubious distinction of being the most violent person of the 20th century, but the communism he imposed had its genesis in the west and not in China.
The one-child policy led to forced abortion on a massive scale, as well as large-scale infanticide of baby girls, murdered at the hands of desperate parents who preferred a male child. An estimated 100 million missing women were killed or aborted across Asia as a result of the gendered impacts of coercive family planning.
China's oppressive policies also hampered its development at a time when its neighbours were roaring ahead. Its effects will be enduring, as China deals with skewed sex ratios and a coming demographic winter. Some who work in international development want to talk about a demographic dividend associated with smaller families. However, we are now on the verge of the devastating social impacts that will follow an abrupt aging of the population, which is the result of the steep drop-off in population brought about through coercive family planning.
The one-child policy was not a crime that the government of China committed alone. The United Nations population fund, while claiming to eschew coercive family planning, gave China's government an award for this policy and funded the data collection system that facilitated it. The UN population fund has yet to recognize and apologize for its complicity in this crime.
Conservatives will champion a development policy that holds the UN and other multilateral institutions to account, leverages Canadian expertise and involvement, and promotes partnership with the global south. Rather than seeking to upend existing structures of private enterprise, faith and family, we believe in promoting partnerships that seek to help free enterprise, faith and family to flourish according to their proper nature and purpose. That is the true path to humane development.
We will restore a principled foreign policy that sides with free nations and freedom-seeking peoples against oppressive governments and coercive international institutions. We will oppose all neo-colonial coercive policies, which limit freedom and choice, and we will make the case for the power of free trade and free markets to fight poverty. This will be animated by the idea of solidarity as an individual and community virtue, and not as an excuse for coercive power.
We will support economic growth by seeking to deliver training and financing to the world's poorest entrepreneurs, giving them the capacity to build opportunity for themselves and their families. We will partner with willing nations to strengthen justice systems, fight human trafficking, protect collective security and promote the advancement of propluralism education.
Propluralism education is neither narrowly sectarian nor relativistic; rather, it celebrates the traditions and faith of one's own community as well as the rights and contributions of those with different beliefs. Supporting propluralism education is key to supporting the development of harmonious societies around the world. We will fight to restore Canada's historic role defending religious freedom and communal harmony.
Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada invested more in international development than it does currently. We also gave more to our military, and we even got more votes at the UN. The current government's platitudes tell one story about Canada and the world, but the numbers tell a very different story. The Liberal Party says it will spend more every year on international development, although they have not specified whether that means more in nominal terms, in real terms or as a percentage of gross national income, and currently its contributions are lower than they were under Stephen Harper.
The current government is spending larger and larger portions of our aid through multilateral organizations, instead of working with Canadian charities that engage Canadians directly in the delivery of vital assistance, which are often more efficient. This betrays a lack of confidence on the part of the government in Canada and in Canadian organizations.
Conservatives are building a different vision of how a strong international assistance policy can contribute to the advancement of our values. Conservatives believe that our approach to international development must be characterized by respect for and partnership with the global south, not by the imposition of failed revolutionary doctrines of collectivism.
I hope that 50 years from now Canada's international development budget will be zero, because the goal of international development is to put itself out of business and establish the conditions whereby nations no longer require the generosity of others in order to survive and thrive. Under the Liberals' economic policies, it is more likely that we will be a recipient of development assistance in 50 years, but I hope for a different path. I hope for a day when development assistance will no longer be necessary because reforms have taken place, education and financing have been made available, vestiges of authoritarian oppression have been dismantled, and free people have been able to prosper through their own ingenuity and with the support and help of strong families and communities.
Our strategic and thoughtful support for the right kind of international development today, tied to rigorous accountability and a focus on results, will help us move toward that desired future.
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, the government has had some foreign policy accomplishments. It has continued Operation Reassurance in eastern Europe and Operation Unifier in Ukraine, both military missions that we support. In trade, the new USMCA was concluded, a mostly defensive outcome that will see drop of 0.4% in real GDP relative to NAFTA, as outlined by the C.D. Howe Institute. A trade agreement with the European Union was also concluded, but, it must be said, it was largely negotiated under the previous government. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, also largely negotiated under the previous government, was concluded, but it was almost upended by the Prime Minister, who failed to show up at a meeting for 10 heads of government at the apex summit in Vietnam in November 2017.
However, whatever hope Canada had in starting trade talks with India was lost in the embarrassing antics of the Prime Minister during his eight-day trip to the world's fifth-largest economy. So, too, it was with trade talks with China, when he opened with the progressive proposal on the environment, labour and gender rights, all non-starters for China. The deal was over before it had even begun.
In general, the government's foreign policy has been a disappointment. The Speech from the Throne does nothing to change that.
The government came to office with a big commitment to resurrect Canadian peacekeeping.
It sent hundreds of peacekeepers and hundreds of millions of Canadian dollars to Mali. As in many other cases with this government, these efforts were made for only a short time, barely a year. The government then lost interest in helping this country, as well as the political will to do so.
Now, just one year after the mission has ended, there has been a coup in Mali, with the government replaced by a military junta.
The previous foreign minister mentioned the rise of populism and distrust of the global economy as one of the two big challenges in foreign policy. She pointed at her government's economic plan as a solution. After five years in power, we can judge.
The Canadian economy was in trouble before the pandemic had hit, with record-high levels of household debt. The OECD and the IMF predict that we will have a deeper recession and a slower recovery than our economic peers, an economy with the highest unemployment in the G7 and a middle class that is further behind today than it was in 2015. Under the current Prime Minister, Canada has become less prosperous, less united and less respected on the world stage.
The government came to office in 2015, telling the world that Canada is back, but the facts say otherwise. Canada lost its vote for the UN Security Council seat last June. It got 108 votes, six fewer than it got a decade ago. That is six fewer countries in the world today that see Canada as a leader on the global stage. That is a quantitative and identifiable indictment of the current government's foreign policy.
The government came to office saying it was going to make Canada a global leader in helping the poorest around the world. The opposite has happened. Under the current government, official development assistance has declined. Under the previous Conservative government, ODA averaged 0.3% of GDP for the 10 years that government was in office. During the current government, it has averaged 0.27%, a 10% decline.
Bob Rae called out the government on its failure in foreign aid in a damning indictment. About Canada's ODA target number, he said, “Canada has never come close to that number, and if our rate this year looks slightly better than last year's, it is only because the GNI number is stagnant, if not declining. Despite this record, Canadians think of their country as generous, and deeply engaged on the international front.”
On climate change, the current government has been a disappointment. It came to office promising to do better, but the facts say otherwise. In 2016, the first full year the current government was in office, emissions were 708 megatonnes. In 2018, the last year for which we have data, emissions jumped to 729 megatonnes. Canada's emissions are increasing, yet the government said in the Speech from the Throne that it will not only meet the Paris targets, it will exceed them, yet again, another yawning gap between rhetoric and reality.
The Liberal government's foreign policy has been incoherent and inconsistent. For example, China is not upholding its responsibility to the rules-based international system. It is ignoring its condition of entry into the WTO. It interferes through its state-owned enterprises. It infringes on intellectual property, and it engages in cyberwarfare. It violates human rights in international treaties, and in its treatment of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the Uighurs and the people of Hong Kong. In short, it is threatening our interests and our values.
In that context, it is really important that the government speak with a consistent, coherent voice. Unfortunately, that is not happening.
In July, the foreign affairs minister told this House that he was looking at sanctions on Chinese officials, and a day later the government told Reuters that is off the table. Just two weeks ago, the foreign affairs minister told the Globe that trade talks with China were off the table, the same day Ambassador Barton said that we should expand trade and do more in China.
These are some of many examples.
The government acknowledges its China policy is broken. That is why it is supposed to come forward this fall with a new framework, but I am not confident it is going to address the problem. Here is why. Foreign policy starts with who we are. It is about our projection abroad of what we are all about. The problem is that the Prime Minister has said that Canada has no core identity, that we are just a collection of different groups, that we are the first post-national state.
I could not disagree more. Canada is not simply a collection of different groups with no common identity or common purpose. We as Canadians are some 37 million citizens who live on the north half of this vast continent, who share together a common identity and common purpose, a shared citizenship, rooted in our two official languages, our shared history, our collective institutions and our future together. That is who we are as Canadians.
The problem with the Liberals' foreign policy is, if they do not know who they are, then their foreign policy will reflect that.
Let me finish by saying this: foreign affairs matter. I know this first-hand. At the start of the Second World War, a young Chinese boy was defended by Canadian soldiers in Hong Kong. Half of them died or were wounded. At the end of that same war, a young Dutch girl was liberated by Canadian soldiers in the Netherlands. Some 7,500 of their comrades never came back home, and died in the canals, the fields and the villages of the Netherlands. That Dutch girl and that Chinese boy were my parents.
They came to Canada in search of a better life. They believed in Canada. They believe in our nation's ability, generation after generation, to look beyond a person's colour or their creed, to harness their ambition to build a better Canada.
That is also true of the millions of Canadians who came to Canada over the past few decades or in the more distant past to make this country our home and native land, to build a better life for themselves and their children, to build a better Canada.
This is a nation whose founders, just 150 years ago, came together to build a new country. They built a Constitution and a democratic system that endured to this day, a Constitution that has enshrined timeless values and principles of democracy, freedom and the rule of law.
They made Canada a free, prosperous and united country that was able to overcome divisions based on language, religion or ethnicity.
This is the Canada we must stand for, here and abroad. This is the Canada the government must stand for, here and abroad.
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
2020-10-06 17:36 [p.656]
Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate my hon. colleague on his appointment as the foreign affairs critic.
Unless I am mistaken, I am not sure I heard my colleague's views on Canada's relationship with Saudi Arabia. He mentioned some of the very serious transgressions of human rights in the world. With Saudi Arabia, we have an absolute monarchy. Not only is it not a democracy, it does not even allow its citizens to vote. It is a known misogynist country. It is interfering in neighbouring Yemen, where we have maybe the largest humanitarian catastrophe on the planet, with children starving and civilians being bombed. We know that the Saudi Arabian government was responsible for murdering a journalist in Europe.
Does my colleague have any comment about what his party's position is on what Canada's relationship should be with Saudi Arabia? Does he agree with me that we should be putting sanctions on a country like Saudi Arabia, which is violating human rights so egregiously?
View Michael Chong Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, the government needs to uphold its obligations under domestic law, under the law concerning export and import permits for military exports and imports, and it needs to uphold its international obligations under the arms treaty. The government has been inconsistent in upholding those obligations.
The member mentioned Saudi Arabia, but there is another present example this week of Turkey. A year ago, the government halted exports of military equipment to Turkey out of concern that it was failing to uphold its obligations as a NATO member. Last April/May, it reinstated the approvals for those permits, and exports have allegedly gone to Turkey. These are being used in Azerbaijan in the conflict currently unfolding in the Caucasus. Then several days ago it reversed course yet again and put another halt to the export of permits.
It seems to me that the government is not upholding its obligations under domestic and international law.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, over the weekend, a gangland shooting occurred where the targets were connected to an international money-laundering syndicate. These individuals are linked to the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to interfere in Canadian politics and disrupt this country's institutions. These same people have rubbed shoulders with well-known Liberals, including former MP Joe Peschisolido, former minister Raymond Chan and former Liberal Party insider Michael Ching. When will these Liberals temper their affection for the Chinese Communist Party and protect Canada's democracy?
View Bill Blair Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear that our government is actually quite firm in dealing with individuals who are attempting to hide their money in Canada, and on organized crime.
I would simply remind the member opposite that in the Conservatives' last four years in office they slashed the budget of law enforcement by over half a billion dollars. They closed 12 integrated proceeds-of-crime units. Tough talk about crime and organized crime and protecting Canadians was backed up by very weak action.
We are reversing the cuts and the slashes that the Conservatives made and we are restoring the capacity of our law enforcement agencies to keep us safe.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, it is clear that cozying up with the Chinese Communist Party comes with serious consequences. Joe Peschisolido, whose ethical violation these Liberals tried to cover up in this House last week, is one of the Liberals connected with the incident. Many of the individuals pictured with these senior Liberals have ties to the United Front, an organization that Beijing has been using to suppress pro-democracy rallies in Hong Kong. The Liberals have had these ties for years. When will the Prime Minister finally condemn those who are actively trying to undermine democracy here and in Hong Kong?
View François-Philippe Champagne Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, we will take no lessons from the Conservatives when it comes to dealing with China. We were the first country in the world to suspend our extradition treaty with Hong Kong. We suspended the export of sensitive equipment to Hong Kong. We are going to announce measures on immigration with respect to Hong Kong. Every step of the way we have fought for human rights. We are standing up for the people of Hong Kong and the 300,000 Canadians who live in Hong Kong.
View Michael Barrett Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, just a minute ago the foreign affairs minister said that nobody was going to be tougher on China than the Liberals were, but that is not what he told Chinese state media. He said, “and I would say China, stands out as a beacon of stability, predictability, a rule-based system, a very inclusive society.” That was the foreign affairs minister. He is saying one thing one thing to Canadians and another thing to Chinese state-owned media.
My question for the foreign affairs minister is this. When are he and the Liberal government going to temper their affection for the Chinese Communist Party and start putting the interests of this country, of Canadians, first?
View François-Philippe Champagne Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I am very happy that the member allows me to talk about the leadership we have done around the world when it comes to the Chinese issue.
The member knows very well when I was referring to that, and Canadians at home understand, that the beacon of stability, predictability and rule of law is Canada. Everyone in Canada and around the world understands. That is why we can take a stance in the world, talk for human rights, defend the people of Hong Kong, speak with the Uighurs and speak for the Tibetans.
We will continue to do that at every opportunity.
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
CPC (ON)
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
2020-10-05 15:14 [p.550]
Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.
The first petition is from a group of constituents in my riding who are concerned about the situation in Kashmir. They are concerned that there are human rights violations going on and are calling on the Canadian government to lift the curfew that has been going on for four months, withdraw the 900,000-plus armed troops, return the 13,000 Kashmiri boys abducted and demand Mr. Modi give freedom back to the Kashmiri people.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the fifth and final petition draws attention to the horrific abuses facing Uighur Muslims in China. It calls for a meaningful response from the government, or, in other words, more than just words.
The petitioners ask the government to formally recognize that Uighurs in China have been subject to genocide and ask the government to use the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, the Magnitsky act, to sanction those responsible for the heinous crimes being committed against Uighur people.
View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2020-10-02 11:02 [p.476]
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all Canadians, including Belarusian Canadians, I thank our government for condemning the fraudulent elections in Belarus and for imposing tough sanctions. Canada stands in solidarity with the people in Belarus.
I would like to recognize Nepean residents Dr. Piotra Murzionak, president of the Ottawa Chapter of the Belarusian Canadian Alliance, and Siarhei Mazgavoi for their hard work in highlighting the devastating actions of the dictatorships in Belarus.
For many years, Belarusian Canadians from all across Canada have fought for justice and human rights in Belarus, and have organized several events on Parliament Hill.
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition signed by 409 Canadians. It is in support of the five men who walked from Toronto to Ottawa and the three who walked from Montreal to Ottawa to bring to light the issues of the families of those who have disappeared. As colleagues know, 60,000 to 100,000 Tamils disappeared during the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka, and this petition is to bring attention to their plight.
The petitioners asks the Minister of Foreign Affairs for a response.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2020-10-02 12:10 [p.489]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present petition e-2710, which has been signed by over 1,100 Canadians. It relates to the ongoing debates around Israel's plans to annex the occupied Palestinian West Bank. The Government of Canada opposes this, of course. It would be an illegal act should it happen.
The undersigned citizens and residents of Canada call on the government to put some force behind the call that Israel step back from this illegal action by banning the importation of settlement products into Canada, incorporating a settlement exclusion clause into the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, differentiating between those products made within legal Israel and those of the occupied territories and asking the Canada Revenue Agency to take steps relating to the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund of Canada, which is supporting illegal settlements.
View Charlie Angus Profile
NDP (ON)
View Charlie Angus Profile
2020-10-01 16:04 [p.439]
Madam Speaker, I am very proud to be participating in this debate from a town in northern Ontario.
COVID-19 plunged Canada into the worst economic and medical crisis in a hundred years. The pandemic disrupted our economy and jeopardized the future of millions of workers. It is essential that Parliament show leadership in this crisis. We need to work together and invest the necessary funds to help our country get through the pandemic safely.
I am very proud to be participating in this debate today and to be discussing the situation in Parliament.
It is really crucial when we are talking about the Speech from the Throne and where we need to go that we frame our role in terms of us being in the worst medical and economic catastrophe in a century. I am on the phone all day with people who are really frightened, and I know that members of every party are as well. People are frightened by the rising numbers of COVID cases. People are still dealing with the catastrophe of long-term care homes, particularly in Ontario and Quebec, and worrying about their aged loved ones.
We need to be putting people front and centre, and we can do this. We can have a very spirited and at times confrontational Parliament, but the focus is to get the services out there and what the best ways to get them out there are. It is one of the reasons the New Democratic party fought so hard to change the CERB, which the Liberal government was going to drop to $1,600 a month. We said that would leave over a million Canadians, such as gig workers and contract workers, in a very precarious situation.
This has forced a discussion about the problems of an economic system that for years was dependent on keeping people in contract positions, part-time work and precarious positions in the gig economy. When COVID hit, two million people were not able to pay their rents within two weeks of the lockdown, and we have to change that. Our focus right now has to be getting people through the long winter ahead.
The Speech from the Throne reads like an NDP platform. It reads like everything the NDP has been running on for years. The problem is the Liberals always run on the NDP platform; they just never govern from it. I was a young man with little children when the Liberals started promising child care. I am glad they are promising it again, but will we see it? I am glad the Liberals are promising pharmacare, but they have promised it in many forms and never delivered it.
However, this is a minority government. This is our opportunity to put forward negotiations to make things happen, and there is a will right now to move Canada forward to a new normal. It is going to take an enormous investment from the federal government to get this nation through.
I want to speak to two issues. One is very concerning, and one may be very positive for my region in the north. In the midst of the pandemic, we are dealing with the other great pandemic: the opioid crisis. It has been a disaster. I am talking to people in North Bay, Sudbury and Kirkland Lake about it.
Timmins has been hit very hard. Mixed in with the opioid crisis is the homelessness crisis, with upwards of sometimes over a thousand people who are homeless in the Timmins region, a community of 44,000. I congratulate our mayor George Pirie, the people who work at the DSSAB, the mental health workers, the police and those at Living Space in Timmins. They have done an amazing job trying to keep people safe and housed.
I have noticed that the Liberal government has quietly let many of the programs that could have helped die over the last year. A lot of the monies that should have been there for the opioid crisis are not there. There have been great promises for money for homelessness, but the money dried up very quickly. We are hearing positive language from the government, but when will that money be delivered? This winter is going to be a very hard winter in Canada, and I am very concerned about the opioid crisis and the homelessness crisis in our communities in northern Ontario. This is something that is non-partisan. Every single community in the country is facing this disastrous crisis.
We have to be ready to work together to get through this, but that means the Liberal government has to move on from positive words. They think if they say positive words, they get positive results, but that is not how it works. Positive words mean action. Action means we have to get the money out now to address the opioid and homelessness crisis.
I was very pleased to hear in the Speech from the Throne the commitment on electric cars. That is certainly something that will help manufacturing in southern Ontario. If we are going to talk about a green recovery through a sustainability lens, we have to be saying that, if we are going to put federal investment into these plants, the sources of the raw materials need to have a green lens too. The products that are mined have to have indigenous agreements and they need to move toward sustainability. That will give an enormous advantage to Canada, rather than taking nickel from Indonesia or going to the war zones of Congo for copper and cobalt. We need to say we are going to insist on an environmentally sustainable and indigenous positive resource policy to help manufacture electric vehicles.
We may have a massive new nickel mine in the Timmins region, and they have already come out front saying they want a whole environmental plan to get to zero emissions. We have the Borden mine in northern Ontario, which is working with zero emissions. They have removed the diesel machines from underground and are going completely electric.
In my community of Cobalt, we have the first cobalt refinery being set up. Cobalt is essential. There is no clean energy future without cobalt, but right now the majority of the world's sources are coming from Congo, which has a horrific record of human rights abuses, child labour and environmental degradation. This also puts us into a geopolitical war with China for who is going to control the cobalt resources and the future of the digital economy. We have an opportunity in Canada to turn that around and say we can do it in an environmentally sustainable way.
One of the things that has to come out of the pandemic is a real discussion about when and how are we actually going to start meeting our targets and meeting an environmentally sustainable future so that we are making investments and creating the jobs that are important here. This is something we need to be doing now, because the government is making the investments to get us through the pandemic, but this has to be for a long-term vision.
At the end of the day, our focus right now is about working people who have been completely up-ended by the crisis, including people I know who were in the gig economy and people who worked in the service sector.
I am very, very concerned about the rising numbers of COVID and going into new lockdowns. We see Quebec just moved into the red zone. If restaurants start to close, many of them will not reopen. That is the reality. We need to be addressing the potential economic catastrophe if we do not get the numbers in check.
For this, the federal government can play a huge role. This is why the NDP pushed for sick leave benefits, something that allows less protected workers to actually be able to take time off, so we can lessen the COVID numbers.
We did something historic this week in putting workers first and making those fundamental changes. I know we stayed up until three in the morning, but I want to say how proud I was that the Bloc Québécois and the Conservatives supported the New Democratic Party's efforts and we voted unanimously.
We in the New Democratic Party will continue the tough negotiations to keep the focus on getting people through the pandemic, so people can look to the federal government and say that Canada is doing their part and not giving into to the kind of horrific political chaos we are seeing south of the border. We are also seeing this in other countries that are being plunged into much worse conditions. We need to stay focused at this time.
I thank the Liberals for stealing so many great new ideas from the New Democrats in the Speech from the Throne. I am going to make their lives a living hell, at times, to make sure they live up to those ideas. That is my job as a member in the honourable opposition, but I think we can come out of this Parliament with something better for Canadians and a reason to believe.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, many members have been moved by the horrific events happening toward the Uighur community in China. The petitioners would like to specifically emphasize the actions that Canada's Parliament can take in response to this issue. In particular, we can use the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, the Magnitsky act, to sanction and hold accountable those who are involved in these horrific crimes. I note the government is listing officials from Belarus, but there is still a lack any list of those involved in human right abuses in Xinjiang or in any other part of the PRC.
I commend this petition to the consideration of the House.
View Kenny Chiu Profile
CPC (BC)
View Kenny Chiu Profile
2020-09-30 15:56 [p.352]
Mr. Speaker, I find it very appropriate today, on Orange Shirt Day, that I have the privilege of presenting a petition on behalf of Canadians to draw the government's attention to the Uighur situation.
Canadians would like to bring the atrocities happening in China against Uighurs and Muslims to the attention of the government. They are fulfilling the definition of genocide in the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Canadians would also like the government to act beyond just mere concerns and use the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act to sanction those responsible.
View Scott Duvall Profile
NDP (ON)
View Scott Duvall Profile
2020-09-30 15:57 [p.352]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present this electronic petition, e-2607, with 1,845 signatures on behalf of my constituents in Hamilton Mountain and many other Canadian residents. It is regarding the situation in Kashmir.
View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2020-09-30 16:07 [p.353]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be back in the House with my colleagues and to tell Canadians about my plan to support their jobs and their families.
Speaking of families, I want to start by saying how proud I am of mine. I know my wife, Rebecca, my kids Mollie and Jack, and my parents are probably watching this speech that I give on my first day as Conservative Party leader in the House of Commons.
What an honour it is for me to represent Durham, the area I grew up in, as a member of Parliament, to stand and represent them, and to be the leader of the party that founded this great country. What an intense honour this is for me. I will try to live up to the incredible precedent set before me.
I want to start by thanking the thousands of Canadians who reached out and said good words and sent prayers and their best thoughts for my family as Rebecca and I were overcoming COVID-19. I also want to thank the incredible health care workers we interacted with, like José, our personal health care office guide, who called and checked in almost every day. People like her are working tirelessly for Canadians in every corner of this country. I thank them for the sacrifices they are making. I have seen them in action, and at the edge of a second wave, I want, on behalf of the Conservative Party, to thank all of our front-line health care workers for everything they are doing throughout this pandemic.
Canadians can be proud of their guardian angels in health care. Doctors, nurses and PSWs have been there when we needed them. They have been on the front lines of the fight against a disease that our country did not see coming.
Canada was not ready, but our health care professionals were ready to risk their health for us. Now that the fight against the second wave has begun, we know we can count on them.
On behalf of the Conservative Party, I thank each and every one of them.
Two weeks ago, my wife Rebecca and I bundled the kids, Mollie and Jack, into a car and went and waited hours in line for COVID testing, just like thousands of other families did across this country the very same day. We waited for hours, only to be turned away. The health care worker who was managing the line and going through and apologizing to each family as they were sent away wanted to tell us where to go to get another test, but he said every testing site was so busy that places were not even answering their phones. That dedicated health care worker looked more disappointed than we were that day because there was no hope or news they could provide to those families.
We went home. We are fortunate. I have an office now that helps me call around, and I found out that my workplace provided a test. A few days later, our family took advantage of that test. However, as we did that, Rebecca and I talked about all of those other hundreds of families in line with us that day. How many of them did not have a workplace that could help them out of days and days of waiting? How many of them had to take more days off of work because their children could not return to school without a clear test? How many of them had to change plans to take care of an ill neighbour or a grandparent? How many were left stranded? That is all we could think about. We were fortunate to get tested.
Just a year ago, if we were experiencing some of these cold or mild flu-like symptoms, we would have just powered through. Many Canadians actually take pride in never having taken a sick day, always stepping up for their classes, always stepping up for a shift and not letting a cold or a flu hold them back. I admire these work characteristics. This the sort of hard work and perseverance that built this great country. However, in a pandemic, those same characteristics can also cause public health challenges. That same approach, Canadians should realize, could spread the coronavirus to other Canadians. Times have changed, and we have to be cautious and change with them.
We think about the people who do not have options. A single mother who may be working a few jobs to make sure all the bills are paid cannot risk missing one to have to take care of a child at home. A new Canadian who may have been in their job for just a few years may be worried about potentially missing work, and may want to keep their co-workers safe and healthy, but knows they need to make the next rent payment. There are millions of Canadians, like that new Canadian family and like that single mother, who were left out of the throne speech last week. There was nothing but empty words in there for them.
The throne speech, particularly after prorogation, which this Prime Minister said he would never do to avoid a scandal, could have provided a clear and distinct plan on the eve of a second wave of this pandemic. It failed to do that.
One way the Prime Minister could have given these Canadians more peace of mind is through rapid testing, particularly for asymptomatic patients and for families so they could avoid the lines. The Prime Minister knows this. In fact, the Prime Minister himself has said:
We know that massive testing has been part of the solution in places that have managed to contain or slow the spread of COVID-19...
The trouble is, the Prime Minister said this in March during the first wave of the pandemic and, like many things, when the TV cameras are off and the tweets have been sent, there is no followup. There is no leadership. There is no accountability. In the Speech from the Throne, we saw an absence of leadership at a time when Canadians, with thousands in line and many waking up at three in the morning to line up, are desperate for some leadership. All they get with this Prime Minister is disappointment after disappointment.
Fifteen other developed countries, our closest allies, already have available rapid-test options that give their citizens answers in minutes. As I said today, the Prime Minister does not seem to realize that CETA, the European trade agreement that my friend for Abbotsford negotiated, allows us to recognize the regulatory approval for medical kits and diagnostic tests from those countries. The Liberals talk about it, they tweet about it, but where was the action? There was just more disappointment.
Half a year after the Prime Minister said that rapid testing was important, and half a trillion dollars later, there are tens of thousands of Canadians in line and forgotten. Canadian families deserve better than this. They were looking for some answers. They were looking for a second wave plan in the throne speech. They heard nothing.
Also, the Liberals had no sense of purpose for the economic recovery for our country. In fact, because they prorogued Parliament all of the programs, from the CERB to rent assistance, were expiring. The Liberals decided to prorogue to avoid difficult questions from some of my colleagues on the WE scandal rather than get Parliament to work diligently towards a plan for small businesses and families for the second wave.
Hashtags and photo ops do not prepare this country for a crisis, and that is why the Conservative government-in-waiting will start to offer that plan to Canadians.
Let us look back, because we still have not been told by the Prime Minister or the health minister, whom most Canadians lost faith in early in March, why they closed the early pandemic warning system, the Global Public Health Intelligence Network, in May of 2019. They closed it with no answer. Experts have shown that it could have helped not just thousands of Canadians, but the world with a better response to COVID-19.
The government was warned of risks in December of last year and in January of this year. I am aware of at least five departments of the federal government that knew of the pandemic risks to Canadians, including health and economic risks, in January. By then, with no response and no plan, they were already letting hundreds of cases into Canada. By February, they had already sent critical personal protective equipment to China, at a time when their own departments were being warned that Beijing was trying to rally a global supply of PPE. While they were not being transparent on the full extent of the outbreak of the coronavirus, and while departments were warning them of the inadequacy of our own supply, they were sending supplies and tweeting rather than planning.
The government not only ignored our questions about the border, including my colleague in Prince George asking in January about closing the border to flights from at-risk countries. They accused the opposition of being intolerant. “We've got this,” the health minister said. In fact, for a month and a half she downplayed the risk to our country from this pandemic. That is why I say most Canadians had already lost faith in the health minister by that point.
Conservatives proposed using the EI system to prepare the economy for outages. Later on, when that was not used, we asked the government to push from a 10% wage subsidy program to 75% so we could preserve jobs and there would be something to return to after the closures of the first wave. We proposed this, we proposed the GST remittance, and we proposed faster and more direct rent relief to small businesses, not to the big landlords who unfortunately took their time to often opt out. The Liberals, sadly, got most of their programs slow or wrong. They had to introduce not one, but two emergency bills because the first one was insufficient.
We were all working hard. The whole world was responding, but Canadians expect their government to also work smart. They expected their government, their Prime Minister and their health minister to learn the lessons when they dropped the ball in the first round. When the Prime Minister said in March that rapid testing was Canada's priority, we should be rolling out hundreds of thousands of rapid tests today. Who is accountable there? Five departments of the federal government knew in January. The Prime Minister pledged to be prepared for the first, let alone the second, wave, and just yesterday they bought a rapid test and approved it the next day.
Rather than competing for the bottom, we should be looking to see how New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia and Vietnam responded and learning the lessons, not just looking at the poor response and the poor results in the United States. It reminds me of my land survival training in the air force. One of the wise old trappers in Hinton, Alberta, was asked a question when we were put out into the wilderness to survive as young air force officers. Somebody asked how to survive a bear attack and the wise old trapper said, “You just have to run faster than your friend.” That seems to be the Prime Minister's self-assessment of his response to COVID.
We seem to be running slightly faster than our friends to the south, but we are not learning from the countries that got it right. Hashtags, inaction and ethical scandals are the consistencies we see with this Prime Minister. Canadians, particularly during the biggest crisis of our lifetime, expect more. They expect a plan and they expect a response when families are worried about a second wave.
As my colleagues know, when I talk about health, I am talking about a government's most important role, namely to keep Canadians healthy and safe.
We know that the government did not fulfill its role in Quebec. By rolling out the CERB without first implementing a wage subsidy, it jeopardized jobs. By dawdling for months over a rapid testing system while refusing to use our allies' system, it jeopardized Canadians' trust. By keeping the borders open for the sake of political correctness, it jeopardized Canadians' health. Families in Quebec and across Canada sacrificed a lot during this pandemic: visits with grandparents, weddings, graduation ceremonies.
Many Quebeckers know at least one family member who fell ill. The long-term care homes faced major challenges. We all know the sad story of the Herron long-term care centre, but what really bothers me is knowing that the Liberal government waited far too long to send the army in to our seniors' homes. Even when the Government of Quebec asked for federal help, the Liberals hung back. Canadians are proud of our armed forces. Our men and women in uniform stepped up to help us at a time of crisis. They would have stayed longer if the Liberals had just let them do their job.
Now the Prime Minister is playing petty politics by foisting his own health care priorities on the provinces. Canadians have seen the Liberals stumble so many times that they do not trust them anymore.
My plan is clear. I will increase health transfers to the provinces by providing stable, predictable funding, no strings attached. This is about respecting the jurisdiction of the provinces, our partners, because we can count on our partners, our orderlies, our nurses, our doctors, and our soldiers, but we cannot count on this government.
Who is going to make sure Canada is better prepared next time? Who is going to make sure that Canada learns the lessons from the first wave and fixes the gaps and some of the problems that have put our citizens at risk? Who is going to make sure that working Canadian families stop getting left behind by the government?
Canadians are still getting to know me as the new leader of the Conservative Party and leader of the official opposition. Only the most dedicated political animals saw my speech live at 1:30 in the morning. My second big speech was from my doorstep. Through adversity to the stars.
As more Canadians get to know me, they will know that I set high standards for myself and this incredible team. We are a government in waiting, and we do not accept the poor response and the lack of lessons learned by the current government in a time of crisis.
Canadians will also get to know that I have tried to spend my entire life standing up for this country. I was not born with a sense of entitlement to lead the country, but I have worked hard for my entire life to serve Canada and its people, to earn the chance to lead. That is what we need in public life when we face a national unity crisis, a pandemic, economic rebuilding and uncertainty on the global stage: someone who will fight to ensure that no Canadian family gets left behind; someone who understands the importance of service and community.
Many Canadians know I am very proud to be a veteran. I am also proud to be a Legion member and a Rotarian. In fact, in this House there are probably dozens of Lions, Legion members and Knights of Columbus, Kinsmen, Optimists and Kiwanis. For decades, service clubs, faith organizations and community groups have been the pillars of strong communities, allowing Canadians to come together to accomplish great things together: service above self.
As a kid who grew up in a General Motors family, I also know that some of those organizations that help build strong communities are unions. Organized labour helps build strong communities. Unions foster community and workplace cultures where workers know that someone has their back.
An hon. member: Did Harper tell you that?
Hon. Erin O'Toole: Workers know that someone is fighting for them, as opposed to just agreeing with whatever the government says, like that member; someone who will fight for them when they are sick; and someone who fights for them to avoid the steel and aluminum tariffs that the government allowed to be applied on our hard-working families across the country.
I grew up on a street where neighbours looked out for one another. I have talked personally about when my mom was ill. My family and our neighbours were there to help. They were there for the meal. They were there to make sure the kids were okay. Strong communities take care of each other and foster a culture that values the health and well-being of those in their community. They value everyone.
Conservatives do not believe that big government programs are the solution to all problems. In fact, big and massive government can sometimes be part of the problem. Government can, by its very nature, stand between people. A government can give us clemency, but a government can also give us dependence. Only a community and our belonging to it can give us solidarity.
The Prime Minister does not understand the challenges facing our country because he has never had to understand the challenges facing the average Canadian family. Under the current government, Canada has become less united, less prosperous and less respected on the world stage. A large reason is that our Canadian community is being weakened under this Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister likes to preach that we are all in this together, but Canadians have seen time after time with this Prime Minister that this is not true. Millions of Canadians were already left out of the throne speech. They are not, as the Prime Minister likes to say, all there. In fact, they have seen many times that “all in it together” for the current government means the friends and family of the Liberal Party first and regular Canadians second; connected lobbyists for big corporations first and the Attorney General in their own caucus second; the family of the Prime Minister benefiting and the former finance minister arranging a program for the charity that helped the family.
In the middle of a pandemic, the Liberals were helping their friends and connected insiders. In the middle of a pandemic, they were suppressing the ability for Parliament to oversee spending, while they were creating a multi-million dollar plan to pay volunteers. When I talked about that sense of community earlier that we see in unions, service clubs and faith communities, the great thing about it is the altruism. They do not have to be paid. How novel is that, for the big government and connected insiders party? Canadians are left behind if they are not a Liberal insider with the government.
The Liberals gave a sole-source contract to an MP whose seat was hardly cold because he had just left the seat. They are applying national security exemptions to cover up decisions related to tendering during the pandemic. Think about that: the government is claiming national security grounds so that Canadians will not get to see who got contracts for hospital gowns or N95 masks. Is national security actually at risk or are the Liberal re-election chances at risk?
The Prime Minister has built his electoral success on dividing Canadians, province versus province, industry sector versus industry sector, rural versus urban; friends of the Liberal Party, the Laurier Club, versus everybody else. Now the Prime Minister continues that approach with the throne speech. He has not made Canada stronger or more resilient. He has not shown that we have learned lessons from the first wave of the pandemic, yet he is leaving people out of his vision for building back better.
The Liberals are demonizing Canadians who work in the resource sector or grew up hunting with their family. They are cancelling out people because of a difference of opinion or someone's religious faith. Groups that were doing summer jobs programs and intending to grow a sense of community have been cut off because they were associated with a church, mosque, gurdwara or synagogue. How is that bringing people together?
People may not always get along with their neighbours, but in the winter when someone shovels their neighbour's walk before they get home at the end of the day, they are grateful for them. When someone takes a neighbour's recycling bins in for them, or offers to walk their dog, a sense of community is felt. Rebecca and I have felt that on a daily basis as friends and neighbours have dropped off meals for us. Her best friend, Dawn, dropped off Tim Hortons after ringing the doorbell and driving away.
That is what keeps a country strong. That is what gives people hope on the edge of a second wave, because Canadians know that community means that someone will return the favour if they should get into an entanglement or if they are in lockdown because of COVID-19.
Would not most Canadians help that neighbour, just like ours helped me when I was a little kid and neighbours helped our family this week? Would people not help that neighbour because they worked in the oil patch, or came from Alberta, or Newfoundland and Labrador? Is that what we are starting to see with the approach of choosing who will be a part of building back better?
That appears to be the path that the government is on. It is the vision presented in the throne speech where a person is judged by the job they have or where they live, if they are lucky enough to even have a job after COVID: a Canada where the government decides what jobs people have and what cars they drive, a Canada where millions of Canadians are knowingly left behind and are told the country will be building back better without them.
The Prime Minister attacked me for suggesting that we have national unity challenges. Five years ago, when I was sworn into the Privy Council, the Bloc Québécois was not an official party. There was no such thing as the Wexit movement.
Now there are more members signed up for an email, looking into separation, than there are members of the Liberal Party of Canada. That is the Prime Minister's record. We are going to be holding him to account.
As I said in my first conversation with him, the most important job of a Canadian prime minister is supporting Canadian families and keeping our federation united. What we should do is respect the inherent dignity that goes into working, whether in the forestry sector in western Canada or Quebec, in the oil patch, in manufacturing or aluminum in the Saguenay. When people use their sweat equity and dedication to save for a home or for their children's education, there is a fundamental aspect of their character attached to the nobility of work. They believe they are part of something bigger than themselves. Their vision of work gives them value and dignity that is far greater than a paycheque.
It is time that government thought this way and valued tax dollars, and Canadian workers and the work they do, rather than the sector they are in.
The Liberals always seem to forget this, but the federal government has a key ally in managing this pandemic. This ally is very familiar with what the people need, and it works hard to educate them, care for them and put them to work. I am talking about the provinces.
The Liberals always govern as though power were their birthright. Just ask the Prime Minister. When a party is the country's so-called natural governing party of Canada, it tends to take a confrontational approach to governing instead of a collaborative one.
The Liberals are mistaken. Our country is a confederation, an alliance of the provinces. The provinces have a shared destiny and a shared dream. The Prime Minister of Canada must be the one to bring them together.
As Prime Minister, I will be a partner; I will not be paternalistic. My vision of federalism is a decentralized one that trusts the provinces, that supports resource development in the west and that respects the Quebec nation. These topics are taboo for the Liberals. They are not modern enough for them. This Liberal arrogance needs to stop. The country was not founded by Pierre-Elliott Trudeau. It was founded by John A. Macdonald and Georges-Étienne Cartier.
Canada is not a postnational country without history or identity. Canada is an alliance between two founding peoples, in collaboration with the first nations. The Liberals do not have a monopoly on Canadian identity. They do not have a monopoly on freedom of speech. They certainly do not have a monopoly on national pride.
The Prime Minister likes to use scare tactics when talking about right-wing ideology. He likes to claim that we are intolerant. He does not realize that under his governance, western separatism is now a threat to our country, and the Bloc Québécois has returned in full force, all because of the arrogance of this government.
The time has come for a Prime Minister who will unite Canadians. We cannot allow ourselves to be divided. We have a country to rebuild.
For too many Canadians, the dignity of work has taken a blow with the impacts of COVID-19, particularly on family-owned small businesses. Going back to strong communities, often small businesses, entrepreneurs are at the core of that sense of community.
The music store in downtown Belleville, Ontario, Pinnacle Music Studios, owned by Ken and Janet Harnden, just closed their doors after 25 years. At their peak, they had 600 students taking music lessons every week. Great Big Sea's Alan Doyle would drop by when he was in town. They played a major role in bringing people together through music and community. Their supply chain was devastated by COVID-19 and none of the government's programs worked for a small, family-owned business like theirs. They recently made the tough decision, after a generation, to close.
The legendary Ranchman's Cookhouse & Dancehall in Calgary, synonymous with western culture for half a century, closed its doors due to COVID-19. This month the property is for lease for the first time in its history. Restaurants like Campagnolo and Federico's Supper Club in Vancouver have had to permanently close their doors.
Small businesses that put communities on the map, like Caribou Crossing Trading Post near Carcross, Yukon, have been struggling as COVID-19 has shut down tourism. Generations of guide outfitters across Canada's north, who not only play an important role in the rural economy but are dedicated stewards to the environment and to wildlife populations, have had nothing to fall back on. Others have remortgaged their homes just to keep businesses on main street open. Some have pivoted their businesses to find new ways to help their communities in a crisis, like the mompreneur who owns Sohma Naturals in Digby Naturals in Digby, Nova Scotia, which switched from making diaper balm to hand sanitizer during the pandemic.
These small businesses are at the heart of strong communities. Canada does not need them to build back better. They do not need the Liberal government in Ottawa to tell them that their contributions have value.
Canada needs to build back stronger and smarter by setting up small businesses for recovery and success post-COVID-19. We need to ensure that more Canadians are not left behind, like they were in the throne speech. Picking winners and losers in the midst of a pandemic, as the Prime Minister seems intent on doing, is a failure of leadership and an abandonment to a commitment to the community of Canada.
Indigenous communities have also been left behind with an Ottawa-knows-best agenda. Indigenous communities have been strengthened by entrepreneurship and small business ownership only to watch opportunities vanish, from catering services to remote mining operations to security and construction. The prosperity of the country, including our resource sector, can be shared by all Canadians, including indigenous-led businesses and families.
Indigenous communities have known more than their share of tragedy. That is why I, like many members here today, wear orange to show support for reconciliation. It is why we asked several questions on the subject today. It is also why I was disappointed to hear the Prime Minister's condescending remarks about how happy he was to hear the Conservatives talking about reconciliation.
Both parties have a bad record when it comes to the indigenous experience, particularly surrounding residential schools. The condescension comes from ignorance. The last prime minister in our lifetime to open residential schools was Pierre Trudeau. Brian Mulroney closed the program, and I was proud that Stephen Harper apologized for it. We have a lot to do on this side, but the Liberals certainly have a lot to do as well. Indigenous Canadians are tired of the photo ops, the hashtags and the inaction on progress.
To Conservatives especially, and to indigenous entrepreneurs, reconciliation means opportunity, means collaboration and means participation in the Canadian economy. Encouraging indigenous businesses, building strong economies in indigenous communities, developing indigenous supply chains and giving indigenous young people brighter futures is part of our commitment to reconciliation.
Indigenous businesses are hiring local workers and reinvesting in their communities, yet they still do not have access to compete for procurement in federal government contracts. This, too, was not addressed in the throne speech. Almost half a trillion dollars has gone out the door, and today my colleague talked about cuts to high-speed connectivity for rural indigenous communities. Is that his priority? It is certainly his record.
We need a serious government, a government that saves for a rainy day, a government that encourages economic growth, a government that fosters peace, order and sound ethical governance. That is what our ancestors always did. That is what the Conservatives want to continue to do and that is what I will do as Prime Minister.
A time of crisis and uncertainty is not the the time to conduct social experiments like those set out in the throne speech. It is as though simply ensuring that Canadian families have good jobs is not prestigious enough for this Prime Minister. It is as though hashtags, tweets and impressing the UN are absolutely necessary. It is as though all Canadians have to work for a high-tech company to be happy. Perhaps the Prime Minister needs to meet ordinary people, small business owners who risked everything for their company. I am thinking of La Normandise in Saguenay, a family business that has been around for 30 years and had to close its doors because of the pandemic and poorly designed federal assistance. I am also thinking of Montreal institutions like L'Entrecôte Saint-Jean and Librairie Olivieri, which were hard hit by the uncertainty. Small businesses are fed up with roadblocks, taxes and red tape, but the Liberal government is still cruising down the spending highway.
They even turfed the finance minister because he wanted to avoid a spiralling debt. If the money were at least going to Canadians and not the Liberals' friends at WE, it would not be so bad. Either way, our kids and grandkids will have to pay off that debt, which is quite real. When the Liberals refuse to develop our resources, when they refuse to fight for softwood lumber, when they refuse to stop illegal blockades, they are jeopardizing our social programs. Funding for our hospitals, our universities, our seniors pensions, the Liberal debt puts all that at risk. It is time for a serious government. The country needs it.
The number one job for the Prime Minister of Canada when representing our country abroad is to stand up for the national interest and our values as a country. We must also foster strong communities with our allies. Putting the national interest first does not mean we have to go alone.
For the last three decades, an uneasy compromise has existed with the engagement of non-market economies and countries that resist democracy and rules-based diplomacy. Our belief, as Conservatives, in free markets and the positive influence of capitalism has fought for equal position with our commitment to international freedom and democracy when it comes to communist China.
As Conservatives, we normally believe that tariffs are bad for consumers. Free trade is supposed to lead to more free nations and greater prosperity as the market allocates economic resources to places that allow for goods to be produced and marketed for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of people.
I still believe in free trade, but I also believe in fair trade where countries follow the rules; free trade among free and democratic nations. I believe in free markets, free trade, even free movement with the U.K., Australia and New Zealand in CANZUK. I also believe that we have to resist the protectionist instincts of our American friends because we do more than $1 billion of business with them every day, because the aluminum in Kitimat and in the Saguenay has been a North American enterprise that helped win the Second World War, because since the 1960s and the Auto Pact, we have had an integrated manufacturing and steel industry in North America. We have to remind our American friends about that. Sadly, we have to remind the Canadian government about that.
I believe we should build new relationships, particularly grow our relationship with India and establish closer economic ties with the democratic regime in Taiwan. The price of market outcomes is too high when it comes to the Communist regime in Beijing. The price for Canadian auto workers, steelworkers and aluminum workers is too high. The price for access to safe and reliable PPE and medical products in a pandemic is too high. The price for Canadian communities and Canadians being left behind is too high.
China has ignored almost all of the conditions under which it entered the WTO. Its interference through its state-owned enterprises would not be tolerated from any other WTO member. For more than a decade, the chief economic exports from China often have been IT infringement, counterfeiting and digital privacy. I saw this first-hand when I worked in the private sector fighting the rise and export of dangerous counterfeit goods from mainland China. All of this is before we even raise the terrible ethnic cleansing of Uighur Muslims, the establishment of a police state in a once free Hong Kong under a one country, two systems agreement, the rapid expansion of its military into the South China Sea, the assertion of China as a near-Arctic nation and the suppression of Christian communities in China.
Let there be no mistake. I am in favour of free trade, but the cost of market outcomes with Beijing is simply becoming too high and the approach of the government is simply out of touch. Do we continue to ignore re-education camps in western China to grow our exports, or do we open new markets, work with our allies and rebalance global trade to show the Communist Party in Beijing that the one thing not for sale is our values? To do this we must help Canadian businesses grow new market opportunities, particularly in the Indo-Pacific and break dependency with China.
We must also show a commitment to free trade alongside the value of freedom. Under the Prime Minister's leadership, Canada has become less united, less prosperous and less respected on the world stage. Tonight I talked about some of the tens of thousands of Canadians left behind in his throne speech. Our communities are becoming weakened, families are worried and our Confederation is strained.
The Prime Minister is dividing our country between east and west, erasing our history and embarrassing us on the international stage.
Our small businesses are in crisis. After being attacked as tax cheats three years ago, family-owned enterprises were largely left out of the COVID response and now tens of thousands of them are teetering on the edge of insolvency. They do not need to build back better, they need to stay open so the family can survive.
Canadians are tired of being pitted against one another, sector versus sector, rural versus urban, west versus east, because it is really neighbour versus neighbour.
At a time when we need, more than ever, to be united, to work together, to have each other's backs, Canada does not need another slogan or hashtag. It needs a plan. It does not need a poster boy, it needs a handyman. People do not need the cold shoulder of indifference, but the hope that comes from a helping hand that gets them back to work. It needs to build back stronger and the only way that can happen is with a united Canada, where prosperity is shared from our outport communities in Newfoundland, to the Saguenay, to the factory floors in Windsor, to the oil patch of Alberta and the lower mainland of British Columbia. It is a Canada where no Canadian is left behind.
Canada needs someone who will fight for our workers and for people who are proud to work.
Canada needs a leader for all Canadians with a plan for all of Canada, not just the parts where the Liberal government finds its votes. Canada is a great country that was built on the communities that have always had one another's backs without question. That is why so many Canadians feel left out by this prorogation and the WE-scandal-avoiding throne speech. I want all those Canadians, especially those feeling forgotten, those in lineups for rapid tests and those worried about job losses in the second wave of COVID, to know I am proud to lead a strong, united Conservative government in waiting, and my goal in the coming months is that more of these Canadians will see a Conservative looking back at them when they look in the mirror each morning.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I am rising today to speak about the horrific crimes facing Uighur Muslims in China. More and more Canadians, and certainly parliamentarians, are becoming aware of the situation. We have clear evidence of Uighur Muslims in China being sent to concentration camps. One expert told the Subcommittee on International Human Rights that it is the largest mass detention of a minority community since the Holocaust.
This is a high-tech-enabled, systematic effort to destroy Uighur culture, Uighur faith and, indeed, Uighur people. We have seen evidence brought before the subcommittee and other fora, that what is happening includes a systemic effort to prevent births within the Uighur community through forced abortions, forced sterilization and forced insertion of IUDs. These horrific, unspeakable crimes that the Subcommittee on International Human Rights heard about are becoming more and more known around the world.
Canada has to act. Canada has a responsibility as a party to the international convention on the prevention of genocide, but also simply by virtue of the fact that we are all human beings. We have a responsibility to respond when we hear this information about these horrors being inflicted on Uighur Muslims in China.
I asked our foreign affairs minister many times about this issue. I have asked him to name the crime and to commit to action, to recognize Canada's obligations under the genocide convention, to recognize a genocide when it is taking place and even to recognize the responsibility to protect in cases where there is credible evidence, even short of certainty. When there is credible evidence the genocide is taking place, Canada's obligations under that convention, in terms of a responsibility to protect vulnerable populations, are invoked. This is clear in terms of our international commitments.
However, Canada's foreign affairs minister has always stopped short in terms of the response on these issues. He has told us that he is deeply disturbed, that he feels deeply in response to these events. He noted in response to my last question a declaration that he had co-signed, where he notes that he has consulted with various UN officials about if there might be opportunities to do more. He knows full well that his failure to recognize and respond in terms of a responsibility to protect and take real concrete action is missing.
We will continue to call on the government out of a sense of our international obligations, but also out of a sense of basic human decency in recognizing the commitments we made after the Second World War, saying never again. We should make good on our commitments to ensure never again will we see a people face this kind of mass extermination effort that is going on right now in East Turkestan targeting Uighurs.
Our government needs to recognize the crime taking place. I asked the minister if he would use the word “genocide” or would he use the words “crimes against humanity“, and we have not heard that recognition.
We need the government to be willing to use Magnitsky sanctions and impose real consequences through targeted sanctions against individuals involved in these vile atrocities. I know the government is capable of using the Magnitsky Act. They have used it in the case of Belarus, but they have yet to use it in the current case of what is happening to Uighur Muslims in China.
To the minister or whoever is answering on his behalf, will the Magnitsky sanctions be used? The minister said a few months ago that it was on the table. It has been months and the atrocities are continuing. Will he use Magnitsky sanctions? We need to see reforms to our supply chains to ensure that we are not importing products made through Uighur slave labour. Will he take these concrete steps? Feelings are not enough. We need action in keeping with our international obligations.
View Darrell Samson Profile
Lib. (NS)
Madam Speaker, the promotion and protection of human rights is an integral part of Canada's foreign policy and the Government of Canada is engaged with China.
The Chinese authorities' widespread violation of the rights of the Uighurs in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, is very worrisome.
The government is concerned about mass arbitrary detentions, generalized repressive surveillance, torture and mistreatment, reports of forced labour and forced sterilization, and the mass arbitrary separation of children from their parents.
These actions are contrary to China's own constitution and are in violation of its own international human rights obligations and are inconsistent with the United Nations global counter-terrorism strategy.
Canada has voiced its concerns on numerous occasions, publicly and privately, in multilateral forums as well as in bilateral dialogues with Chinese authorities.
We have made several statements at the UN. For example, in June 2020, Canada joined a statement with more than 20 countries raising concerns over the situation of Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang. We jointly called for unfettered access to Xinjiang for independent observers, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. We made a similar call in a statement co-signed by over 20 countries at the UN General Assembly in October 2019. We continue working with other countries to raise this issue internationally at every opportunity.
Canada continues to raise this matter with Chinese authorities at every level.
Canada tailors its responses to the specifics of each unique situation. We are judicious in our approach regarding when we choose to deploy sanctions or draw on other courses of action in our diplomatic tool kit.
I want to assure my colleagues that the promotion and protection of human rights are core priorities of Canada's foreign policy.
The Government of Canada will continue to raise its concerns regarding the human rights situation in Xinjiang and all of China, and will continue to call on China to live up to its international obligations.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, in the government's response to this file, I vacillate between anger and disappointment. I do not blame the parliamentary secretary. He is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. This is not even his file. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Foreign Affairs are not here and they have sent a parliamentary secretary whose file is not—
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I am not indicating whether someone is in the House, but the responses are being read by a parliamentary secretary who does not have this file. I do not blame him for not being able to answer the specific questions, but I wish the government would give responses from the people responsible and explain why Magnitsky sanctions are good enough for Belarus, but not for the situation in China, where we have these horrific crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity. We do not even have the people responsible answering the questions.
If he is able, could the parliamentary secretary try to provide us with some greater clarity? Why can we not hold people responsible for deportations to concentration camps and systemic forced sterilization? Why can we not hold those people responsible?
View Darrell Samson Profile
Lib. (NS)
Madam Speaker, the government continues to be alarmed by widespread human rights violations on Uighurs by Chinese authorities in Xinjiang.
The actions by the Chinese government are contrary to its own constitution, in violation of international human rights obligations and inconsistent with the United Nations' Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
The government has raised its concerns on numerous occasions publicly and privately in multilateral forums and bilaterally.
Please be assured that the promotion and protection of human rights are an integral part of our engagement with China. Canada will continue to raise this matter with Chinese authorities at every level.
View Bob Zimmer Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a petition that recognizes an article by the Associated Press that revealed an ongoing campaign of Uighur birth suppression by the Chinese Communist Party.
The petitioners state that they would like to recognize that Uighurs in China have been and are being subjected to genocide, and ask that the government use the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, the Magnitsky act, to sanction those who are responsible for the heinous crimes being committed against the Uighur people.
View Chris Lewis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Chris Lewis Profile
2020-09-29 12:14 [p.236]
Mr. Speaker, I as well am very proud to stand in the House to present petition 432.
In addition to my hon. colleague's reference to recent news of coordinated Uighur birth suppression, there is also a body of mounting evidence showing that Uighurs are being subjected to political and religious indoctrination, arbitrary detention, separation of children from families, invasive surveillance, destruction of cultural sites, forced labour and even forced organ harvesting. Moreover, it is estimated that up to three million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities have been detained in what have been described as concentration camps.
View Arnold Viersen Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions today.
The first one is on the treatment of the Uighur population in China. They are being subjected to what amounts to genocide, and the petitioners call for the justice minister to use Magnitsky sanctions to end these horrific atrocities.
View Tracy Gray Profile
CPC (BC)
View Tracy Gray Profile
2020-09-29 12:16 [p.237]
Mr. Speaker, I have petition 432, which is calling on the undersigned, with the House of Commons, to take the following actions to address the situation: formally recognize that Uighurs in China have been and are being subjected to genocide, and use the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act to sanction those responsible for the heinous crimes being committed against the Uighur people.
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