OTTAWA, ON – The Hon. Erin O’Toole, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Hon. Michelle Rempel, Shadow Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today issued the following statement:
“In 2016, Justin Trudeau’s government took months to recognize the obvious: that the Yazidis in Iraq and Syria were the victims of genocide at the hands of the terrorist group ISIS. It was only after pressure from Conservatives that Justin Trudeau finally declared that the systemic killing, torture, and enslavement of thousands of human beings constituted genocide.
“The Liberals are repeating their mistakes. Despite the fact that the United Nations has released a lengthy, meticulous report detailing the genocidal crimes of Myanmar’s military, the Government of Canada has yet to take a stand for the ethnic and religious minorities of Rakhine State by recognizing they are the victims of genocide.
“UN officials have stated that Myanmar’s military has ‘systematically targeted civilians, including women and children, committed sexual violence, voiced and promoted exclusionary and discriminatory rhetoric against minorities, and established a climate of impunity for its soldiers.’ Anyone who has studied the Holocaust, or the horrors of Rwanda, or the war crimes of ISIS knows all too well that these are the hallmarks of genocide.
“A Conservative government will restore Canada’s principled foreign policy. Accordingly, we must do more than just look to the past with regret. We must take action today with resolve, and as such, we commit to:
a. Formally recognize that genocide is occurring against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims; b. Support the recommendations found in the Report of the Independent International Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar, and specifically act to sanction individuals through the use of our Magnitsky legislation; c. Request that the Government of Iraq, and the United Nations if necessary, monitor and report on the progress, if any, being made regarding the return of ethnic and religious minorities to their places of origin in northern Iraq; d. Provide support for the investigators mandated through UN Security Council Resolution 2379 to support domestic efforts to hold ISIS accountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide; e. Support family reunification for resettled Yazidis in Canada by indefinitely extending the one year window of opportunity for them to include immediate family members found to be living; define family members in the same way as those claiming asylum through exemptions to the safe third country agreement; and expedite the processing of these applications to take no longer than 30 days.
“With his numerous diplomatic failures it is clear that Justin Trudeau is not capable of strategically projecting Canadian influence, interests and values on the global stage. Unfortunately, when it comes to foreign affairs, this Prime Minister and this government are also demonstrating a failure of principle. Never again means taking action to prevent and stop genocide. Canadians deserve a government that will not hesitate to take a principled stand against those who commit the worst crimes against humanity.”
For more information:
Office of Erin O’Toole - Erin.O’Toole.A3@parl.gc.ca - 613-992-2792
Office of Michelle Rempel - Michelle.Rempel.A1@parl.gc.ca - 613-992-4275