Madam Speaker, I am honoured to rise and have this debate in our House, the House of Canadians, where we are allowed to bring forward issues that are important to Canadians, including those people in the diaspora community from Iran. I want to remind everyone that this motion from the immigration and citizenship committee was based upon two facts.
First, the IRGC attacked Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752. It was determined to be an act of terrorism, and the Iranian regime needs to be held to account for it. Of the 176 people who died on that plane, 55 of them were Canadian citizens and 30 of them were permanent residents. On top of that, numerous young Iranians were coming to Canada to study.
The Liberals have suggested that we are taking up valuable, precious time from the government's agenda by having this debate to highlight the shortfalls of the Liberal government in addressing the needs of those who were impacted: the families in Canada, the victims of those terrorist acts and those who lost loved ones. I want to say, on the House of Commons floor, that it is our right as parliamentarians to bring forward these types of concurrence motions, to have these discussions and to do it in a respectful way.
I am disappointed when the member for Winnipeg North continues to cry about the fact that this is taking away from the debate on Bill C-27. I remind the parliamentary secretary that this bill was tabled in the House of Commons in June 2022. I remind him that the Liberals have only brought this forward on three occasions for debate. Therefore, the digital charter that he is decrying as being so important to Canadians has not been a priority for the government as it has not brought it forward very often over the last nine months.
Taking three hours today to debate this important issue and to talk about how the Government of Canada has not listed the IRGC as a terrorist organization is something all Canadians need to understand. This is about Canada. This is about the threat environment that we are facing.
We know there is an increasing threat from the IRGC. Its terrorist activity is not just against the people of Iran. It is not just against the people who were unfortunate enough to be on flight PS752 and were shot down and killed. We have to remember that the IRGC is exporting its terrorism around the world. It is on the ground, as we have just witnessed in Syria, killing American soldiers. We know that the IRGC has been supporting the genocidal Assad regime in Syria. We know that the IRGC has been helping Hezbollah in Lebanon and in Syria. It has been helping Hamas carry out terrorist attacks against the State of Israel. We know that today, in Ukraine, the IRGC is on the ground, operating drones, killing Ukrainian civilians and bombing Ukrainian infrastructure. All of these are atrocities, war crimes and violations of the Geneva Convention. If there is any organization that ever deserved to be listed as a terrorist organization, it is the IRGC from Iran.
When the Liberals talk about the response to the committee report, it is that they have taken some measures. They are targeting individuals, including 1,000-plus people who are part of the IRGC leadership. However, let us remember that this is an elite fighting force that the Iranian terrorist regime has brought forward, recruited and moulded. These are the people who continue to serve even though there is only a one-year mandatory service. These are the people who stay and they are more than happy to go out and kill those whom they consider as being unclean.
We see it active in Canada. Today, the Persian community faces coercion, intimidation and death threats from operatives of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. We have seen it interfere with our politics.
We are having this discussion right now about the foreign interference by the People's Republic of China, by the Communist regime in Beijing, influencing the elections here in 2019 and 2021. We also know that Iran has been active in trying to intimidate and coerce the Persian community to support its efforts, its cause and its potential for election outcomes.
In this motion, we think about Mahsa Amini, women, life and freedom. She was a brave, young Kurdish girl who stood on the streets of Tehran and refused to put on her head scarf. The morality police, under the direction of the IRGC, beat her to death. That has sparked civil disobedience, protests throughout Iran, and rallies of support across Canada and around the world.
I have had the pleasure of joining our Persian community and standing with it in solidarity, fighting for women, life and freedom, the things that we take for granted here. Our diaspora community from Iran expects the government to do better in supporting their cause, those who seek democracy and liberty, and enjoy the life we have in Canada. They expect us to be there for them.
As we have witnessed, the IRGC continues to crack down on those who take to the streets. Not only is it going after those brave women and those who stand beside them fighting for equal rights for an egalitarian society, for a pluralistic culture, but it is also cracking down on religious and ethnic minorities, like the Kurds, the Baha'is, the Baluch and the Azerbaijanis. The IRGC continues to target them, make them political prisoners and torture them in those prisons.
It is time for us, as Canadians, and for the government under the Liberal Party to stand up for those people who are fighting so hard for that opportunity to have freedom, democracy and a rule of law that respects individuals, not their ideology.
I call on the government to do more than just list the IRGC as a terrorist organization. We should be paving the way at the International Criminal Court to ensure that those responsible for the attack on flight PS752 and those who are responsible for the attacks against those innocent civilians, be dragged in front of the Hague and tried for the atrocities they are committing.
The crimes against humanity are so easily documented. If we believe in the Geneva Convention and if we believe in an International Criminal Court, then this is the time to start bringing forward the cases, as we have done with Vladimir Putin and Russia to ensure that he is held responsible for his crimes against humanity with the kidnapping of thousands of children from Ukraine and brainwashing them in Russia.
This is also ensuring that those in the regime in Tehran, those fanatics, are also dragged in front of the Hague for the crimes they are committing against their own people, for the crimes they are committing throughout the Middle East, for the crimes they are committing against Ukraine, both in shooting down PS752 as well as going to war with Russia in Ukraine, flying those kamikaze drones against civilians and civilian infrastructure.
I call on the government to use Magnitsky sanctions once and for all, which it quit using in 2018, especially against the IRGC that is standing shoulder to shoulder with Putin. Let us call them out under the Magnitsky sanctions, recognizing that they are both gross human rights violators as well as corrupt foreign officials.
As this motion calls on the government, let us finally do the right thing and list the IRGC for what it truly is: a terrorist organization and it should never be allowed to have any assets or the ability to raise funds in Canada, directly or indirectly, that benefit its ideology as well as its terrorist activities.