NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is pushing the prime minister to publicly denounce, on behalf of all Canadians, what he has called U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban.”
Mulcair rose during question period Tuesday to condemn Trump’s controversial executive order to temporarily halt immigration for people from seven Muslim-majority nations and indefinitely block Syrian refugees from the United States.
And the NDP leader suggested Trudeau was not backing up his rhetoric with action.
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak in the House of Commons on Jan. 31, 2017. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)
“A Canadian ally is blocking access to their country to individuals based on their religion and place of birth,” Mulcair said. “The prime minister talks about the importance of standing up to intolerance and racism.
“So, why is he refusing to denounce this policy that breaches fundamental human rights and that will inevitably have consequences for Canada?”
Trudeau spoke of the “double-role” with which his government must grapple — to protect the economy by working with Canada’s biggest trade partner while still upholding this country’s principles.
The prime minister said his government has “stood loudly and clearly” for the principles of openness and compassion.
"It is always the role of a Canadian prime minister to stand up to racism and hatred."
— NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair
“I’m sorry, Mr. Speaker, but it is always the role of a Canadian prime minister to stand up to racism and hatred,” Mulcair shot back.
Mulcair then noted reports suggesting Trudeau will soon meet with his U.S. counterpart.
“Will the prime minister denounce on behalf of all Canadians the Muslim ban when he meets with the president of the United States? Yes or no?” Mulcair asked.
Again, Trudeau said Canadians expect him to stand up for their values and advocate for compassion.
“And I will do so loudly and clearly,” Trudeau responded.
"Enough with the fine words. That’s too easy," Mulcair said. "Now it’s time for action, Mr. Speaker.”
NDP leader has called Trump a 'fascist'
Mulcair, who has called Trump a "fascist," also raised the topic in question period Monday, the first since MPs returned from the holiday break. He asked if Trudeau agreed that Trump’s policy was “an affront to our shared values as Canadians” and all those who believe in human rights.
Trudeau pledged to always stand up for the diversity Canadians recognize as essential for both success and safety.
“I will continue to stand for Canadian values any chance I get, in this House and elsewhere,” Trudeau said at the time.
With a file from The Canadian Press