Madam Chair, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Mississauga—Malton.
As this is my first time rising in the House today after the summer break, I would like to take a moment to thank the constituents of Brampton East for putting their faith in me as I continue to advocate for them here in Ottawa.
I want to start today by offering my sincere condolences to the family of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian tragically killed on Canadian soil.
As the Prime Minister said yesterday in this very chamber:
Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Canada is a rule-of-law country. The protection of our citizens and the defence of our sovereignty are fundamental. Our top priorities have therefore been, one, that our law enforcement and security agencies ensure the continued safety of all Canadians, and two, that all steps be taken to hold perpetrators of this murder to account.
Our law enforcement and security agencies are actively pursuing this with the utmost importance and severity.
As I said, all Canadians deserve to feel safe and our government will do everything it takes to ensure Canadians and our sovereignty are not violated and Canadians are protected.
The Prime Minister of Canada raised this very serious concern directly with Prime Minister Modi just recently while he was in India and urged the Government of India to co-operate with Canada on this important matter. This is something our government is working closely on with many of our important allies around the world.
Canada is a country that respects international law and freedom of expression without violence. We will always stand up for these principles and values that we as Canadians, regardless of where we come from across the globe, hold very dear to our hearts.
As Canadians, it is important that we remain united. It is essential that we remain steady in our democratic values and principles.
I must say that this is a very difficult time for many families in my riding of Brampton East, those who come from India, with ties with India and the broader community.
Many constituents have reached out to express their deep and serious concerns on this matter. It is important to note that all parties in the House unequivocally stand with Canadians and stand united against all forms of foreign interference. It does not matter on this issue if one is a Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Bloc or Green. We heard from all leaders of these parties yesterday in this very chamber, who stood up together against the killing of Mr. Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
For those listening at home, there is one unifying message from all parties in the House, that no form of foreign interference will ever be tolerated and we will hold steady in our pursuit of justice. At a time when many from the Indo-Canadian community have deep concerns, it is important that we stand together and stand united.
As Canadians, we are proud of our multiculturalism. We value all religions and backgrounds, and we have a mutual respect for one another and our beliefs. Canada is a country made up of immigrants from across the world and it is our diversity and inclusivity which makes us stronger and keeps us united.
Diasporas from all around the world come to Canada for a better life for their families because of our values, the rule of law, the strength of our democratic institutions and so much more.
In my riding of Brampton East, we have gurdwaras, mandirs, masjids and churches, to name a few. I have witnessed first-hand the value of diversity in my riding and the mutual respect communities have for each other.
This is not just a representation of Brampton. This is a representation of many communities across Canada. During my recent visit to Richmond, B.C., I visited the “Highway to Heaven” and witnessed a Buddhist temple, synagogue, monastery and so many places of worship side by side.
The “Highway to Heaven” is home to many religious institutions from the Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu and Muslim faiths across Canada.
From coast to coast to coast, Canada truly is a diverse country and this is what makes us Canadian. As Canadians, we truly are one big family, and we need to continue standing together. Our values of multiculturalism, inclusion, resilience and respect bring us together and define what it means to be Canadian.
We value the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, which protects the rights and freedoms of Canadians, including freedom of expression and the right to equality. We all deserve to feel safe and be safe in our communities.
As I conclude today, as we saw in the chamber yesterday from all parties that this is a time for all Canadians to stand together, hold steady, be calm, be there for one another and hold strong our principles and values as Canadians.