Situation in Myanmar

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my friend from Parkdale—High Park for his experience as a war-crimes prosecutor and his Canadian experience as a Somali Canadian who came to this country for religious freedom and the opportunity we provided when a minority was being attacked. His family and the family of my best friend, Riyaz Lalani, have made Canada a better place.

What is Canada’s opportunity or potential here? When the Aga Khan addressed our Parliament, he said that cosmopolitan, civil societies like Canada can be “voices of hope for people living in fear”. I agree. Canada’s responsibility is to be that voice of hope.

The member mentioned the terse letter that the Prime Minister wrote to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, but should there not be a voice of hope at the United Nations? Should not Canada be using our privileged platform to do more than just write terse letters? Can the member tell the House that he will push the minister and the Prime Minister to make sure that religious freedom and particularly the plight of the Rohingya people get more attention in the Prime Minister’s trips and speeches overseas?

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