Mr. Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to rise in the House to speak to this issue of vital importance.
Today I request that the House hold an emergency debate regarding the rise of white nationalism and far right extremism in Canada and across the globe.
Two years ago, Canadians, and especially Muslims, were devastated by the news that an act of terror had been carried out at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City. Six innocent lives were stolen from us, and 19 other people were injured, when a gunman indiscriminately opened fire at worshippers.
For those impacted, the healing process has been a long, slow, painful journey. They were shaken to the core. Their city and their place of worship were places they believed to be safe, and they should have been able to believe that. We would learn that the motives behind this act of terror were hatred of Muslims and opposition to immigration and multiculturalism. We would find out that he was radicalized online by far right extremist messaging.
On March 15, the healing journey for Quebec City's and Canada's Muslim communities faced a significant setback. A horrific act of terror was carried out in New Zealand. A far right white nationalist took the lives of 50 innocent people and injured 50 more. He, too, acted out of hatred and xenophobia targeted at Muslims. He, too, destroyed the sanctity of the places people come to worship. In this case, they were the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre, in Christchurch.
Since the Syrian refugee crisis, there has been a troubling increase in anti-immigrant xenophobic rhetoric, acts and policies, primarily targeting Muslims, by western nations. It has led to a significant growth in the popularity of far right and nationalist political parties and the implementation of anti-immigrant and anti-refugee policies.
As you may recall, Mr. Speaker, you granted my request for an emergency debate on January 29, 2017, when the newly elected President of the United States, Donald Trump, in one of his first acts in office, enacted a discriminatory Muslim travel ban. While the most recent events in New Zealand happened far from Canadian shores, we must recognize that Canada is not immune to this trend and the threat of white nationalism and far right extremism. We must recognize that these events are linked. The name of the perpetrator of the Quebec City mosque shooting was etched on the weaponry used by the New Zealand shooter.
Elected officials in this country have a duty to stand up and speak out against hate. We cannot continue to allow and implicitly support rhetoric and individuals that foster this hatred in our communities, online and abroad.
Should my request be granted, it would allow parliamentarians to address the situation before us. We must determine a way forward that deals with these troubling trends and events. We cannot sit idly by and allow our neighbours to no longer feel safe in our communities.