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Results: 1 - 44 of 44
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you very much, Chair.
Thank you to all of our witnesses for participating today. Yesterday, of course, we heard from witnesses. It was very hard to hear the testimony of many of them, and it was very moving. I like that today we are doing a lot of discussion about some of the propositions of what we can do moving forward.
I'm going to start by playing a little bit of a devil's advocate role, not necessarily because I don't agree with the Magnitsky act and calling out individuals, but just to clarify the impacts.
Mr. Browder, I'll pose this to you, and then perhaps to Mr. Mendes afterwards.
We know the Magnitsky act addresses individuals, and it does not in fact impact the underlying system. How can we enact widespread, systematic changes in China, not just on the Uighur issue, but in terms of Hong Kong, in terms of the Falun Gong, by targeting individuals one at a time? That's one question. The other one is this: When targeting individuals, is it possible that by increasing and creating this confrontation we will limit our opportunities to use diplomacy and persuasion?
Perhaps you could both comment on that. I think I know what you're going to say, but I'd like to hear your words, please.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Okay. When he comes back, I have another question for him. Hopefully I'll get another opportunity for it.
Dr. Alexeeva, you spoke a little bit about the radicalization of the Uighur activists in Xinjiang. Could you speak a little further about that, please?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you very much.
Very quickly, I'll ask Ms. Kanji and Ms. Alexeeva.... We know of course that the Chinese government has an anti-Muslim or Islamophobic sentiment. Do you feel that an anti-Islam sentiment has made it much more difficult for other countries to intervene in this particular instance?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to start by asking a few more questions of Mr. Mendes. I missed an opportunity previously to ask a little bit more about private sector pressure and how we can utilize that tool.
You spoke a little bit about the Canadian ombudsperson not having the teeth, not having the ability to do the job they need to do. This is something that's very close to my heart, something I've worked on for a number of years.
Is it possible, in your opinion, that we could change the scope of the ombudsman's role to make it more effective?
Also, what further legislation would you like to have the Canadian government and Canadian parliamentarians consider as we go forward to make sure that we have good, strong anti-slavery legislation such as you indicate France has?
Could you speak a little bit to that, please?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much to all of the witnesses. This has been very interesting. I really appreciate the propositional nature of our conversation today.
I wanted to touch on something we heard yesterday.
We heard some very harrowing testimony from some of our witnesses on the use of sexual violence and rape within the territory. I'm wondering, Ms. Alexeeva, if you could comment on that and share any information you may have on that particular topic.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Can I ask, in terms of intermarriage and some of the sexual violence that's perpetrated in this area, with regard to the suppression of women's reproductive rights, does that still apply to these intermarriages, or is there a different reality for that?
Ms. Kanji.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you, Chair.
I would also like to take a moment to thank you both for being with us today and for sharing your very challenging stories. I know you are putting your own health, your own safety and the safety of your loved ones at risk by being here. I know we are asking you to relive memories and experiences that are indescribably painful. I want to make sure I echo the sentiments of my colleagues. As they have said, we will hear your testimony. This will make a difference. We will take your stories forward.
Similar to many of my colleagues, my first question for you is, as parliamentarians, what can we do? What would you like to see us do right now to help you and to help the Uighur people in China?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you very much.
I am going to ask a few questions, in a bit more detail. I apologize for making you relive these painful memories.
Ms. Jelilova, I have a question for you? I know you mentioned you have four children. I'm also a mother. I wonder if you could talk about what happened to your children or where your children went while you were incarcerated.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Maybe just further, could you tell me, from your experience or from things you've seen, do either of you have an understanding of how children are dealt with if they are younger, if they are not in a situation where an elder child can look after the younger children?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you, Chair.
I believe I'm the last questioner. I feel compelled to pass the microphone to both of our witnesses.
At this time, knowing that this is a bit of a moment for you to share, is there anything we haven't touched on today or that you feel we need to know in this committee and haven't had a chance to discuss yet? I'd just like to open it up to both of you to take a few minutes and give us anything we may have missed or any information you'd like to share with us before we conclude today.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you very much for your testimony today. This is very interesting.
I have questions for all three of you, but I think I'll start with Ms. Lehr.
You talked a lot about the forced labour, and certainly I know we unfortunately cut you off a bit during your introductory comments. I'd like to give you a little space for that. One of the areas that you talked about was poverty alleviation, and that it was being used as an excuse. Could you talk about that a bit more for me, please?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
I have a very quick follow-up on that. When they are sent to poverty alleviation...or into this forced labour, or into these dormitories, their children are left behind, I'm assuming. What do you know about the results of that?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
I have one last question for you before I move on.
You talked a bit about making sure that we're encouraging companies to explore their supply chains. That seems to me like a nice idea that they would do that of their own volition, which may not actually be the case in some multinational corporations. What are some of the steps we could take to maybe be a little more stern than encouraging?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Excellent.
I might ask Dr. Anderson a quick question as well.
You spoke a bit about the resource extraction in the area. I'm assuming that there is evidence of forced labour being used with some of this resource extraction. Perhaps you could talk about that, and maybe about whether or not there are Canadian or international companies that are also implicated in this resource extraction that's happening in the area.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
I have only 40 seconds. Very quickly, can you confirm, then, that obviously the mineral and resource sector wealth within that region would also be a contributing factor as to why some of these impacts are being seen?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I have a few questions for Mr. Saint-Jacques.
Again, to all the panellists, thank you for your interventions. They've been very helpful.
Mr. Saint-Jacques, I was intrigued a bit when in your opening comments you talked about CIDA and our international development funding, which I believe ceased in 2013. You wouldn't be recommending that we reinstate any funding for civil society within that framework again, would you?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you for that answer.
To follow on that, you had spoken of the idea that many of the Muslim countries are not speaking out against this atrocity and that this silence is a bit of a problem.
One of the things we've also seen is some deep movement by China into sub-Saharan Africa. Obviously they have huge ambitions to continue to colonize and expand their influence within sub-Saharan Africa.
Is there an opportunity, or could there be an opportunity, to work with allies within countries in sub-Saharan Africa, to push that? Is that another avenue for us to develop allies to work to work with?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
I'm a big believer in increased overseas development assistance and I can only imagine that would put us on a better footing to do push-back on some of this movement with the CCP.
Thank you very much.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
As the representative for the New Democratic Party, I have the privilege of always being the last to address our witnesses. I wanted to give you all some time to summarize or follow up if there were some points that you weren't able to bring up earlier. I thought maybe what I would do is frame it a little bit.
Is there is something more that you think we should be doing, that the parliamentarians in Canada should be doing, that this committee should be doing more of? Is there something that we need to be doing more at the multilateral level? Finally, is there something that we need to be doing more to support those people within China, those internal forces that we can use to push back?
I'll open it up to all three of you to have your comments, if that's all right with you.
I really did love that line, Dr. Anderson, about “if you have a voice but don't say anything”. Maybe we could start with you.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you very much, Chair.
Thank you all very much for being here and sharing your expertise with us. This is such an important topic and I'm so thankful to be able to have this experience.
Thank you to all of the members of the committee who have asked such great questions, many of which I had wanted to ask, so I was happy to hear that.
I'm a new parliamentarian and one of the things I'm a little disappointed to hear is—not disappointed but—the fact that we have done this research before, that we have looked at this issue and that there are those in the room who feel we have not done enough as the Canadian government to support the Uighur people in China.
The first question I want to ask is for Dr. Mahmut.
You spoke a little about what Canada has done in the past and your hopes for what we will do moving forward. I think you spoke about making sure that we had a very clear statement where we were naming what was happening and that we were looking at sanctions and asylum for Uighur individuals.
Could you talk a little more about what you would like to see Canada do and what we have done right? What are those things you think we have done right in terms of our response, and some of the things you've seen other countries around the world do that we could learn from or emulate?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Wonderful. Thank you.
I have one other thing, a quick follow-up on that.
In terms of our engagement at the multilateral level, do you feel that Canada has done enough, or would you like to see more action at that multilateral level?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
I have just one very quick question, a follow-up question actually for Mr. Zenz.
Mr. Zenz, you talked a bit about western companies not being as implicated in their supply chains. Could you talk a little about that? My understanding is that there are a number of western-based multinationals or corporations that are implicated, and I'd like your thoughts on how we could work with them on that.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you for all the questions, everyone.
I'm sorry to cut you off there.
I have a couple of questions. One is for Dr. Zenz, and it goes back to western corporate involvement in supply chains.
Could you comment a little bit on the role that the Canadian government could play in terms of ensuring that our Canadian corporations or international corporations have due diligence in satisfying...that their supply chains are not using forced labour? I think we know there are over 80 multinationals that are implicated in this. I'm just wondering if you could comment a little bit on that, please.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
We do have a corporate ombudsperson, but they do not have the teeth they need to have in order to do the job appropriately. Maybe that's something we could look at.
Dr. Jazexhi, I have a quick question about when you were in China. You were in Xinjiang, looking and observing. One tool that we could use would be to promote further observation missions through the United Nations. We could be asking for this, and pushing for this.
Can you talk about whether or not you think that would be an appropriate next step for Canada to take?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you very much.
I have one more minute and one very quick question for Dr. Mahmut.
We talked a little bit about the Uighurs in Canada who are suffering from intimidation and possible surveillance. Do you feel the Canadian government has done enough to protect that diaspora community in Canada?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you so much.
I have a few questions. I want to follow up on some of the questions around birth control and sterilization, knowing that this is a key component of genocide and it aligns with the universal declaration of genocide. I want to talk a little bit about some of the gendered impacts.
I'm a big proponent of Canada having a feminist foreign affairs policy. I know that Dr. Zenz has done quite a lot of work on this, and I'll quote: “where women had exceeded the birth quota by two or more children, [they] must 'both adopt birth control measures with long-term effectiveness and be subjected to vocational skills education and training'”.
Could you talk a little bit about whether those policies target just the women who have not aligned to the birth quota, or whether fathers are also sent for vocational skills education and training for the same reason?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
In the examples where the females and the males are both put into the camps and are both taken away, I think you talked a little bit about children being put into orphanages. Could you talk a little bit about what that looks like and what the scope of that issue is?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you so much.
I think I know the answer to this, but are there any avenues that are available to contest the decisions that are being made on sterilization or birth control?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you so much.
Thank you to all of our panellists. I can hear the emotion and the passion in your voices, and I appreciate that very, very much.
As parliamentarians, one of our key roles is to determine what the government should be doing as follow-up, so I'd like to start by asking Mr. Neve to fill us in on his final two comments on how he could see the Canadian government move forward, please.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you very much, Mr. Neve.
I have another question in terms of the efforts the Canadian government has made to date. I know we have taken a bit of a soft approach with expressions of concern. Our interventions at the multilateral and bilateral levels have maybe not been as strong as we would like. We haven't seen that China has been particularly swayed by the soft diplomacy effort.
Mr. Cotler, could you talk a little about what you think would be a more appropriate diplomatic response for the Canadian government to take?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you very much.
In the testimony we've heard from all of our witnesses, including the two we have today, the underlying thing I'm seeing is this frustration that there has been such a slow acknowledgement, a lack of movement, a lack of action on behalf of the Canadian government, and I guess I could say on behalf of the international community.
I want to dive into a few different things. I thought that maybe I would start with you, Dr. Turpie. You talked a little bit about organ harvesting. Of course, we know that this is a horrendous affront to human rights. We know that the Chinese government has done widespread collection of DNA data and other personal information. Can you confirm, or assume I guess, that the gathering of this data is for organ-harvesting purposes?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
If I can follow up on that, do you feel that the impacts of that have increased, or accelerated, during the COVID-19 crisis, not necessarily the organ harvesting, but the Chinese government using COVID-19 as cover to continue to accelerate its attack on the Uighur people?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
It does.
What I was looking at more was the use of the pandemic to give China that space to amplify or to accelerate its attacks on Uighur people because there isn't the same capacity for oversight within the international community at this time. We're all very focused on our own communities.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Of course.
I'd like comments from both of you on this next question. In terms of the Canadian response to Uighurs who are seeking asylum, particularly during the pandemic, what would be the key things you'd like the Canadian government to do in terms of making sure that we are providing as much support for asylum seekers as we can, particularly knowing the challenges that we have within global travel at the moment?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Okay.
In particular, when you talk about the children who have been born and are now stateless, can I assume that you would see Canada playing an important role in ensuring that those children are given state status in Canada?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you very much.
I am going to ask two questions and get both of you to respond to them, if you wouldn't mind. The first is, compared to other western nations, how would you describe Canada's response to the Government of China's actions against the Uighur population? Are there examples from the international community that you'd like us to look at quite closely, international examples of where things have gone right and things that we could emulate?
If you could both touch on that, just to finish off today, that would be wonderful.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
It's very difficult to go after that testimony.
First of all, I want to thank all of you. I can't imagine what you have to go through, to not know where your father is, or where your husband is. Excuse me....
I'm incredibly moved by your bravery to be here and your bravery to share these stories. I'm sorry that you have to relive this pain by sharing this with us.
There are a few things I wanted to ask. One is for Kamila. I know that you are raising your family alone and that you have not been able to see your husband for 14 years, and you don't know where he is or how he is.
I know that Christopher MacLeod was able to talk a little bit about what Canada could do now and what we could do to help bring Mr. Celil home. I wonder if you wouldn't mind taking some time as well. I know we didn't get a moment to hear from you on what you would like to see Canada do now to help with your husband's case. I would really welcome hearing from you, if that's possible.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you very much. I'm sure your four sons, as you know, are very, very lucky to have a mother like you, who is working so hard for them and for their father.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
I have two children of my own, so I can imagine what four boys must be like, just feeding them alone.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
I appreciate what you say about working together and having all parties in the House work together. I want to commit that certainly that's something I feel I will bring forward.
For all of the panellists, one last question I can bring forward is in terms of our supporting the Uighur community: Who have been the most effective allies in the fight to end these human rights abuses? Whose voices are best to be amplified right now? What else can we do for you at this time?
I'll open that up to all of you, to the rest of this panel, just to wrap up.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you, Chair.
I'd like to thank the people who have come and who are sharing their expertise with us.
Bonnie, I will give you a bit of an opportunity to finish some of those thoughts if you'd like.
We talk about China using its economic leverage and we talk about China detaining citizens of other countries, including Canada, of course. I hear what you're saying when you speak about China respecting strength, but knowing where Canada sits and knowing that we have limited strength and knowing that our opportunities to work multilaterally have some limitations of course, globally, can you talk a little bit more—and maybe, Bonnie, you could finish off what you were saying earlier—about those things that you think would work? The idea of a tougher approach is what I think I'm hearing, and there's this idea that China does respect strength. What are the risks of that?
Could you also talk about where you've seen successes for other countries, particularly countries other than the U.S., countries that are not superpowers but middle powers like Canada?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
I have very little time left, so could you talk a little bit about the fact that when we actually bring this out in front, in public, the possibility of retaliation is so much greater?
You have 10 seconds. Good luck.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We just talked about Russia. We've certainly spoken quite a lot about the United States today.
Mr. Shambaugh, you spoke about the global south, and I know, Ms. Sun, that you spoke a little bit about the increased connection between China and Africa. Is there a potential for us to be building coalitions with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, or has the role China has played in sub-Saharan Africa made that an impossible thing going forward?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Just to follow up on that, at the moment our development dollars that are going to sub-Saharan Africa are quite low—historically low. Would you see investing in infrastructure in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and increasing the amount of official development assistance that we are allocating to those regions being things in which we could increase capacity?
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Results: 1 - 44 of 44

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