Yesterday in Parliament – December 5, 2018
House of Commons
Statements by Members
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in this House today to pay tribute to the Jewish people and the celebration of Hanukkah. The word “Hanukkah” is Hebrew for dedication. The holiday commemorates the festival of lights, when one day’s supply of olive oil miraculously lasted for eight days during the dedication of the second Jewish temple in Jerusalem.
Last Sunday, I was honoured to be asked by Rabbi Zaltzman to light the first candle on the menorah in Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls. At a time when people of faith are being persecuted around the world, celebrating our heritage and religions is critical. I would like to thank Rabbi Zaltzman, from Chabad in the Niagara region, for putting together this event each year.
As the word Hanukkah denotes dedication, may we dedicate ourselves to ensuring religious freedom in Canada and around the world. I would like to take this opportunity to wish a happy Hanukkah to my colleagues in this House and across our nation.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Mr. Speaker, Monday was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We celebrate the contributions that persons with disabilities made to our society.
We know that many people continue to face numerous barriers to inclusion. That is why our government introduced the accessible Canada act, to transform the way the government and federally regulated sectors remove barriers to accessibility in Calgary and across Canada.
Mr. Speaker, Yasmine Sherif is the former director of a group that promotes anti-Israel propaganda and the BDS movement. Today, she is the director of Education Cannot Wait, a recent recipient of a $50-million tweeted pledge by the Prime Minister.
The House has rejected BDS and the xenophobia that it promotes. In 2016, even the Prime Minister recognized that BDS is anti-Semitic. Will the Prime Minister withdraw the funding promise and support the Jewish community and our allies in Israel, or is he more concerned with impressing his celebrity friends?
Mr. Speaker, once again, the Conservatives are so eager to play politics it puts them in the awkward position of actually opposing funding that will support nearly 340,000 of the world’s most vulnerable children in conflict and crisis zones to stay in school. It is unfortunate that this is the new Conservative philosophy.
Children around the world must have equal access to quality education and learning opportunities. This is something we will always support. Unfortunately, the Conservatives have been consistent. They would rather play politics than help the world’s most vulnerable.
Mr. Speaker, Canadians know the Prime Minister loves to swagger on social media, but his tweet to Trevor Noah took the cake. A $50-million donation on Twitter, with some of it going to UNRWA. Speaking of UNRWA, I did not see the Prime Minister tweet about the earlier $50-million donation he made to that agency: “Hey, Trevor Noah, I am donating $50 million to an organization that supports anti-Semitism.”
Will the Prime Minister withhold his donation to UNRWA until that organization denounces—
Mr. Speaker, once again, the Conservatives choose to play political games instead of actually looking at how we are working hard as Canadians to support the world’s most vulnerable. The fact that we continue to work with UNRWA allows us to hold it to account to ensure proper accountability on where and how it spends its money, because we know that we need to support the most vulnerable in the world as opposed to continuing to have negative outcomes and funding the wrong sorts of people.
Having Canadian dollars there leads to more accountability, and that is something the entire world values.
Persons with Disabilities
Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to building a Canada where all people, regardless of their disability, can fully participate and be included in society. We are acting and have undertaken major initiatives to create an inclusive and accessible Canada. As chair of the committee for the status of persons with disabilities, I am extremely proud of our government’s work.
Could the Prime Minister please give the House an update on our government’s historic progress in this area?
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Cambridge for his hard work as chair of the committee for human resources, skills and social development and the status of persons with disabilities.
We are creating a system whereby barriers are identified and removed proactively so that all Canadians, regardless of their disability, can fully participate in society.
I am proud that last week the House unanimously supported our legislation to ensure a barrier-free Canada. This shows that when we truly work together, we can have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of Canadians.
Mr. Speaker, this Friday, the government is required to submit a plan to Parliament on how it plans to bring justice to those who survived genocide at the hands of ISIS terrorists. Never again means taking concrete action to bring those who are complicit in genocide to justice.
Will the Prime Minister table this report on Friday, and will it include concrete action to monitor, gather information to prosecute, and restrict the activities of ISIS terrorists who are in Canada?
Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to be putting forward that report on Tuesday.
Our government has proven to be a global leader in welcoming refugees and we have more than doubled Canada’s refugee numbers. We have provided a new home to more than 1,400 women and their families who endured the brutality of Daesh, 85% of whom are Yazidi.
We are not stopping there. We will continue to expedite privately sponsored applications, as well as support family reunification. We have also announced further funding of $20 million in budget 2018 to expand our refugee programming targeting women and girls.
Notice of Motion to Condemn the Current Regime in Iran
(a) strongly condemn the current regime in Iran for its ongoing human rights abuses and sponsorship of terrorism around the world, including its vocal and material support aimed at the destruction of the State of Israel;
(b) condemn the recent statements made by Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, calling Israel a “cancerous tumor” in the region;
(c) call on the government to:
(i) demand that the Iranian Regime immediately release all Canadians and Canadian permanent residents who are currently detained in Iran, including Maryam Mombeini, the widow of Professor Kavous Sayed-Emami, and Saeed Malekpour, who has been imprisoned since 2008;
(ii) immediately designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in its entirety as a listed terrorist entity under the Criminal Code of Canada; and
(iii) to utilize the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) to sanction Iranian government regime entities and individuals involved in egregious human rights abuses; and
(d) stand with the people of Iran and recognize that they, like all people, have a fundamental right to freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, including freedom of the press and other forms of communication, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of association.
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