HANSARD: Will Liberals Immediately Enact Special Immigration Measures to Include Extended Family Members of Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents From Gaza?

House of Commons Hansard #261 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Oral Questions
December 4th, 2023 / 2:45 p.m.

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians with loved ones in Gaza have spent many sleepless nights worrying about their families as the humanitarian crisis worsens. UNICEF now calls Gaza the most dangerous place for children in the world. Today, the NDP joined with the coalition of Palestinian families and community groups to call for special immigration measures so people in Canada can reunite with their loved ones. The Australian government is already doing it. Canada must do the same.

Will the Liberals immediately enact special immigration measures to include extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents from Gaza

Mélanie Joly Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I agree that Gaza is one of the worst places to live in the world right now. We are very preoccupied by the fact that too many children and too many women have lost their lives. I met with many humanitarian groups earlier today to share my concern and to hear their thoughts on how we can make sure that Palestinian civilians are protected.

Meanwhile, I must say that we are extremely happy that 130 Canadians were able to cross Rafah last night and are now back in Egypt, heading toward Canada.


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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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