Mr. Speaker, 36 years ago, I was in Saudi Arabia. I did not have much of a background in its cultural practices, and when I first heard of the sexual mutilation of women, I was very troubled, as anyone would be. Of course, relative to that, in Canada we have strong laws to protect women from violence, and quite appropriately so.
While I was there, I worked with a number of people closely and got to know their families. In their culture, it was acceptable to have a second wife. In fact, in their culture, they could have four wives, although most had two.
I cannot imagine any one from any party who would accept the practice of forced marriage. It is offensive to us to have anyone forced into it. However, we have a situation, which the minister spoke to himself a moment ago, whereby people have wanted to come to Canada, and the only way they could was to evade the fact that they had a second wife. When I was in Saudi Arabia, that second wife was referred to as a sister wife. I think that in some polygamous cultures in the U.S. it is the same thing. Now we have the problem of a fair number of people, I would suspect, living in our country with these wives. Does that mean that we will force them to go back and leave this country? People who come here are not looking for tolerance. They are looking for acceptance. Is there room for some of that?