Parliament Video: Jenny questions Minister Carolyn Bennett

I asked of Carolyn Bennett, Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Madam Speaker, the Conservatives talk about the rule of law, yet they fail to recognize that section 35 of our Constitution clearly recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples; they fail to recognize that in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, section 10 recognizes the issue of free, prior and informed consent; and they fail to recognize that with the Delgamuukw case the highest court of this land, the Supreme Court of Canada, also recognizes indigenous peoples and their rights.

If the Liberal government truly is committed to a new nation-to-nation relationship, will it bring these principles that are enshrined in section 35, in UNDRIP and in Delgamuukw to the table and begin the negotiations? To show a gesture of goodwill, will the Liberals be willing to call the RCMP to stand down, take the guns out of the land and allow for negotiations to take place in a peaceful manner?"

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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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