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House of Commons Hansard #142 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was islamophobia.

Topics

Religious FreedomOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as we have said many times, our diversity is our strength. Members across the aisle are refusing to admit that Islamophobia is real.

We condemn fearmongering and misinformation campaigns. We condemn policies that seek to divide us. I am proud to say that we have taken a strong stance on this issue. We will fight all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia.

Religious FreedomOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the past 10 years, Quebeckers have been debating secularism and integration as well as how to ensure social peace in a society in a period of transformation, taking into consideration the diversity, beliefs, and non-beliefs of modern-day Quebeckers. It is entirely legitimate, and healthy even, for a society to have these debates. It is about reflecting, having a dialogue, coming up with solutions, and wanting to improve the quality of life of everyone. It is about asking tough questions. I repeat, this is healthy for a people.

Now, can the minister tell us how, exactly, without playing politics—

Religious FreedomOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Religious FreedomOral Questions

3 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleague.

It is important to have these difficult conversations in our society. The problem of Islamophobia exists, and refusing to give it a name will not make it go away. The first thing we need to do to fight the phenomenon is to name it, to identify it.

I am glad that my colleague from Mississauga—Erin Mills has taken a leadership role on this issue and that the parliamentary committee will study it if we support the motion. This issue needs to be examined.

British Home ChildrenPoint of OrderOral Questions

February 16th, 2017 / 3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Thériault Bloc Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to seek consent for the following motion, which is seconded by the member for Humber River—Black Creek, the member for Chilliwack—Hope, the member for Vancouver East, and the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.

That the House recognize the injustice, abuse and suffering endured by the British Home Children as well as the efforts, participation and contribution of these children and their descendants within our communities; and offer its sincere apology to the former British Home Children who are still living and to the descendants of these 100,000 individuals who were shipped from Great Britain to Canada between 1869 and 1948, and torn from their families to serve mainly as cheap labour once they arrived in Canada.

British Home ChildrenPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?

British Home ChildrenPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

members

Agreed.

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to.)

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Members of Parliament are elected. There are 338 members of Parliament who are elected to be the voices of our constituents. We are given S. O. 31s on a quarterly basis to make announcements or to pay tribute to fallen members of our community but also to talk about causes we champion.

Earlier today, our hon. colleague from Calgary Nose Hill stood to talk about the plight of Yazidi women who are being raped, tortured, murdered, and imprisoned. She rose to speak about this. She has been a tireless champion on this. Throughout the member's speech, as she was again bringing awareness to the fact that the current government's inaction has not brought one Yazidi woman here over the course of four months, I witnessed shameful behaviour by the members for Eglinton—Lawrence and Spadina—Fort York. They not only laughed but also shouted insults across the way at our hon. colleague from Calgary Nose Hill.

We can all agree that given the debate that is going on today in this House, tolerance is so important. I call on you, Mr. Speaker, and implore you to ask the members for Eglinton—Lawrence and Spadina—Fort York to withdraw their comments and apologize.

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, in response to the point of order, I will acknowledge that during the S. O. 31 by the member opposite, I did respond, but it was in exasperation and in frustration. My seatmate just yesterday spoke about landing a Yazidi refugee in his riding, and I was simply bringing it to the attention of the members opposite. Perhaps—

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I think we are into debate now. Unfortunately, we got into debate, but I would encourage all members, when a member is speaking, whether it is in statements by members or at other times in the House, to show the appropriate respect to each other.

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marco Mendicino Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, in response to the point of order, all I would say is that I was listening attentively to my colleague across the way and made no comment at all whatsoever during her S. O. 31.

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mélanie Joly Liberal Ahuntsic-Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning I presented an amendment to the Conservative motion. My hon. colleague from Cypress Hills—Grasslands did not accept the motion, because he said he had not seen it. As my hon. colleague has had a generous amount of time to reflect, I would like to seek once again unanimous consent for the following motion.

That, the motion be amended by deleting the words “the House: (a) recognize that Canadian society is not immune to the climate of hate and fear exemplified by the recent and senseless”—

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Is there consent?

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The Minister of International Development gave me an answer that contradicts an email I received on February 6 at 11:50 a.m., entitled “semaine du développement international International Development Week”. It is in French and English. I am seeking the consent of the House to table this, even though it contradicts the minister's--

Oral QuestionsPoint of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

There is no consent.

The usual Thursday question, the member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Mr. Speaker, would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons please inform us of the business of the House for the rest of this week and for next.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon we will continue to debate the Conservative opposition motion. Tomorrow we will commence debate on Bill C-18 concerning Rouge Park. My hope is to finish third reading debate on Friday. If debate is not completed, we will call it again on Tuesday morning, with Bill C-23, preclearance, as a backup. We will continue with Bill C-23 debate on Wednesday and Friday as well.

I remind the House that we adopted a motion to have Monday sitting hours next Tuesday, February 21.

Finally, next Thursday, February 23, shall be an allotted day.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion--Systemic racism and religious discriminationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

When the House last took up debate on the question, the hon. member for Mississauga—Erin Mills had seven and a half minutes remaining in her time.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Mississauga—Erin Mills.

Opposition Motion--Systemic racism and religious discriminationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Iqra Khalid Liberal Mississauga—Erin Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, I forgot to mention earlier that I will be splitting my time with the member for Louis-Hébert.

Quoting, using my full name, this was said in a chilling YouTube video that was shared widely, and this is just the tip of the iceberg:

“[She], the terrorist, the terrorist sympathizer, the terror inducer, the disgusting human being, this little girl with very little intelligence, no personality, no strength in character, with no brave bone in her body. That idiot, that scum bag, The guys out there are not going to debate you. You are going to see what the uncivilized Canadians out there take exception to. I'm not going to help them shoot you. I'm just going to be there to film you on the ground crying. Ya, I'll be there writing the story with a big fat smile on my face. “Ha ha ha ha, [the member] got shot by a Canadian patriot”.

I have received more than 50,000 responses, many of which were direct hate, direct discrimination, and direct threats. I have asked my staff to lock the office behind me, as I now fear for their safety. I have asked them not to answer all phone calls, so they do not hear the insults, threats, and unbelievable amounts of hate shouted at them and myself.

Nonetheless, I am flattered to see that the Conservatives have decided to use one of their very limited opposition days to bring a full day of debate on this issue. Looking at this opposition motion, I agree with 98% of it. Why? Because I wrote it. I am appalled by the cynical divisive tactics on the Conservative side to try to start a fake frenzy around the word “Islamophobia”, instead of tackling the actual issue at hand, united with all other parliamentarians.

I would like to correct the record. I spoke to Professor Irwin Cotler, and he supports Motion No. 103 wholeheartedly. He had not even seen the Conservative motion until today.

lslamophobia is real. My family, friends, neighbours, fellow MPs, and Canadians across the country have faced lslamophobia. These are real stories, and real people are affected by it. It is not just an imaginary statistic. I am sickened that the party opposite has decided to deny comforting all those Canadians who feel vulnerable and attacked by taking the word “Islamophobia” out of this motion.

I would like to read some of the messages I have received: “No need to debate her. Simply remind her that she is merely a woman and she needs to sit the [blank] down and shut the [blank] up. She has to comply according to Sharia; kill her and be done with it; I agree she is here to kill us, she is sick and she needs to be deported; Real Canadians will rise up and get rid of the nasty muzzie stench in Ottawa they should all the [blank] back to your [blank] hole where you belong; We will burn down your mosque diaper head Muslim; Why did Canadians let her in!!!??? Ship her back; Why don't you get out of my country, you're a disgusting piece of trash and you are definitely not wanted here by the majority of actual Canadians; [Blank off] Pakistani tali-bani. go [blank] yourself and go back to your [blank] hole of a country where you [blank] come from ugly; If I want to call a Muslim a piece of [blank] terrorist I will. Go back to the [blank] hole country where you came from [blank] hole; So the little [blank] is whining about [blank]'go home you Muslim...You're not home [blanking] stupid sand [n word]. You're a cultural Marxist inclusivity [blank] trying to ruin Canada; [Blank] you gently with a chainsaw, you camel humping terrorist incubator [blank]; and shoot this [blank]”

Although the hate was overwhelming, the messages of hope and support were coming in the thousands. Allow me to read a couple of them.

One states, “These hateful comments just prove how much Islamophobia there is and why M 103 is needed. ...So grateful to all those who have shown support and want to end hate”.

Another one states:

Thank you for bringing forward a motion that defends all religions and races. This is the Canada I am so proud to call home. We are all immigrants. Some, like me, immigrated many generations ago and it is important to know that...our government, will stand up for what is a truly Canadian value. This is exactly what we need - to defend our citizens, permanent residents and refugees from lslamophobia and all religious and racial discrimination.

With all of that said, I will not be voting for this watered-down version of Motion No. 103. I will be working tirelessly to communicate what Motion No. 103 is about, which is to stand against all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia.

Opposition Motion--Systemic racism and religious discriminationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for being brave enough to read some of those passages of horrific hate speech, which I think every member of the House of Commons, regardless what side of the House, condemns. In fact, in some cases, they would appear to violate Criminal Code provisions on hate speech, absolutely.

I appreciated the member taking my call to discuss her motion and the e-petition. While I am concerned that this issue has been politicized, perhaps the wider debate is a good one. It is good for us to have these debates in a country where debates can take place like this in our Commons, where free speech is embraced.

I got the sense during our conversation that the member understood some of the points I made. In her first reference to this issue at committee, when a witness talks about how this definition of Islamophobia could be taken in some countries to mean one thing and in regimes to mean another, is it not fair to say that there might be some concern about the term and that it does not then mean people are xenophobic or racist, but means we should have a talk about the term in the context of the debate today?

Opposition Motion--Systemic racism and religious discriminationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Iqra Khalid Liberal Mississauga—Erin Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, after I spoke to the member and upon reflection of the words we shared, I was disappointed that he wanted to ignore and denounce the signatures of over 69,000 Canadians who signed a petition to condemn Islamophobia and asked our government to take action on it. Could the member please respond to that?

Opposition Motion--Systemic racism and religious discriminationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her comments, which clarify what some members have difficulty understanding. They tend to put on blinders or to get stuck on words, even though, according to the member's comments, it is obvious that Islamophobia exists in Canada.

I would like to know whether all the messages she received and the comments she just shared have strengthened her resolve to study this issue in the House or in a parliamentary committee in order to identify solutions.

Opposition Motion--Systemic racism and religious discriminationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Iqra Khalid Liberal Mississauga—Erin Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, when I was receiving all of these messages over the span of a number of weeks, it only strengthened my resolve. It helped me to understand the irony of it, that while Motion No. 103 sought to tackle issues of systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia, the motion itself was highlighted by all these hateful comments against the Muslim community and myself, with the personal attacks and threats. It really strengthens my resolve.

I had hoped that we, as parliamentarians, could acknowledge an issue as it exists today, work on it together as a whole of government, and not use an issue that is so troubling, that exists in Canada to play divisive politics and fundraise off of the fear of Canadians.