Member Of Parliament for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan

Opposition Motion (CPC) Israel - Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement

We are fortunate to live in a country where we do not face discrimination on the basis of things like religion, sex, age or ethnic or national origin. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms entrenches this fact, that everyone is equal under Canadian law. This section of the charter reflects our deepest held values. People should not face discrimination again on the basis of religion or of ethnic or national origin.

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Opposition Motion (CPC) Office of Religious Freedom - part 3

 Mr. Garnett Genuis: Mr. Speaker, on May 16, 1919, Molly Pinto was born in Karachi, Pakistan, then part of greater India. Her family was originally from Goa, a Portuguese colony on the west coast of India, which had and continues to have a large Catholic population. She grew up in a Goan Catholic colony in Karachi. She remembers a very happy childhood, one populated by children and then young adults from all different ethnic and religious communities; Goan, as well as indigenous Pakistani Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, et cetera. Various languages were spoken: English; Konkani, the Goan language; Urdu; Hindi; et cetera. She recalls how people from different communities shared meaningful friendships. They would bring sweets to their Muslim neighbours at Christmastime, and their neighbours would bring them sweets for Eid.

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Opposition Motion (CPC) Office of Religious Freedom - part 2

For example, a recent project gave $290,000 to the Aga Khan Foundation for development and distribution of children's books that promote pluralism among school-aged children in Bangladesh. Working through a Muslim organization, this project also particularly is important to the atheist community, who face growing persecution in Bangladesh. Among the non-Christian groups, the Sikh, Jewish and Muslim leaders in Canada have taken the lead on calling for the renewal of this office. Earlier this year, representatives from these three communities sent a joint letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs pleading with him to do the right thing and to renew this office.

 

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Debate - Office of Religious Freedom

It was Shabazz's legacy and the advocacy work of his family here in Canada which led the previous Conservative government to act to create the Office of Religious Freedom, not some theoretical, political statement about abstract rights, but an office that would and which has made a real difference for people in Pakistan and all around the world.

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Opposition Motion (CPC) Office of Religious Freedom

   Religious freedom of course includes atheists. It includes the right not to believe. In fact, atheists have direct representation on the Office of Religious Freedom's external advisory committee. The right to believe as a non-believer is frankly one of the most threatened expressions of religious freedom in the world today. Canada's Office of Religious Freedom advocates for atheists in countries like Bangladesh, where they are particularly vulnerable.

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Second Reading (C-6) act to Amend the Citizenship Act - Part 1

Mr. Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, CPC): Madam Speaker, I usually start by saying that it is an honour to participate in this important debate. However, I have to say that this is a particularly important debate, one of the most important that we have had thus far in this House, because we are talking about what Canadian citizenship means and about the core aspects of the Canadian identity.

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Second Reading (C-6) act to Amend the Citizenship Act

However, to have a cohesive democratic society that is diverse, we always still need to have and maintain that idea of common values. There is a point at which somebody goes too far and steps outside of those common values. This is what we are fighting for, and this is something that we on this side of the House believe is worth fighting for, the idea that citizenship must at some point entail common values. As we have seen, this is an idea contested by members opposite.

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