Mr. Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to thank all members of the House for their restraint and understanding in not attacking me on the recent controversial statements attributed to me by the media. Members have allowed me an opportunity to explain myself. I sent all members a media release dated May 8.
As many members know, I am a Hungarian refugee who fled the Soviet oppression through minefields as a 10 year old boy with my parents, my 12 year old brother and 3 year old half sister. My mother, a Roman Catholic, and my stepfather, a Jew, suffered terribly under both Nazi and Soviet dictatorships. I loathe everything those regimes stand for. This is very much part of my family's legacy and forms my frame of reference.
Recently some comments I made were misunderstood, misinterpreted and misstated. It was not my intention to imply or suggest that our country or our judiciary is in any way to be compared with Nazism or Stalinism. I meant no offence to any group or individual. If my lack of clarity caused any hurt or discomfort, I apologize.
I have always worked to bring people and communities together to create a stronger Canada, and I have a lifetime record of fighting for justice. That will continue.
I resigned as parliamentary secretary because I believed then, as I believe now, that the charter of rights and freedom should apply to the six million Canadians who are citizens by choice. Revocation of citizenship is a matter for the courts, not a matter of political decision.
My concern is for the principle of fair and proper treatment for everyone, whether born in Canada or, like me, a Canadian by choice.