(Ottawa) The House of Commons unanimously recognizes – but with the abstention of the Liberal cabinet and the Prime Minister – the existence of a genocide against the Uyghurs in China. A vote on a non-binding motion that puts the Liberal government in an awkward position.
Support for the Conservative motion was unanimous; 266 elected officials said yes and no one opposed it. Every Liberal, Conservative, Bloc, NDP, Green and Independent MPs who took part in the exercise supported it. In the Liberal benches, the motion was votable.
The Chamber has 338 deputies, including 154 of Liberal allegiance.
72 votes were therefore missing from the total number of votes, or 20% of them.
Proof of the government’s malaise, Justin Trudeau and all the ministers abstained and were therefore conspicuous by their absence.
In fact, only the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marc Garneau, spoke during the vote on Monday afternoon. “I am abstaining on behalf of the Government of Canada,” he said. Canada’s chief diplomat had pleaded hours earlier during question period that the government was very concerned about “allegations” about the plight of this Muslim minority in northwestern China.
The motion carried by Conservative MP Michael Chong demanded that the House “recognize that genocide is currently being perpetrated by the People’s Republic of China against Uyghurs and other Turkish Muslims” and urged the government “to officially adopt this position”. Its wording specified that both the previous administration of Donald Trump and the new Joe Biden did.
The abstention by the Prime Minister and his cabinet did not go unnoticed, despite a hybrid format that allowed them to get away without embarrassing images. “As it is a hybrid vote, they are not in the chamber. Otherwise, we would have seen them all leave the House. It is embarrassing for Canada and shameful for the PM and his ministers not to show their faces during the vote, ”railed on Twitter the parliamentary leader of the Conservative Party, Gérard Deltell.
The Bloc Québécois deputy Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe managed to amend the motion (229 votes to 29) in order to add a request to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “to move the 2022 Olympic Games if the People’s Republic of China continues this genocide “. A few weeks ago, he formed a coalition of elected representatives from the House of Commons, the National Assembly and a few NGOs to give weight to his approach.
Beijing gets involved
As the MPs’ vote approached, the Beijing ambassador to Ottawa warned them in an unsolicited interview with The Canadian Press. “We strongly oppose this, because it goes against the facts,” Cong Peiwu said on Saturday. Speaking about the parliamentary process, he argued that it represented interference in Chinese affairs.
Last week, former Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, who advises the current government on preserving Holocaust memory, suggested that the Trudeau government make a referral to the Supreme Court for an opinion . “This is an urgent and compelling question,” he wrote on Twitter. But for him, the “evidence is clear” that a genocide is underway in Xinjiang.
The Chinese government categorically denies the accusations of genocide that have been leveled against it. Numerous reports from several media around the world have reported a campaign of mass sterilization, rape and torture against this population of Muslim faith in the northwest of the country.
With The Canadian Press
#Uyghurs #China #House #Commons #recognizes #genocide #Liberal #cabinet #abstains