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Trudeau and cabinet abstain from unanimous vote condemning China for Uighur genocide

The only minister present for the vote said, ‘I abstain on behalf of the Government of Canada.’
Wed Feb 24, 2021 - 11:29 am EST
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OTTAWA, Ontario, February 23, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet abstained from a House of Commons vote resulting in a unanimous declaration that the Chinese Communist Party has been committing acts of genocide against the Uighurs in Xinjiang province.

The motion declared the atrocities being committed against the Uighurs as a genocide at the hands of the Chinese Communist regime. The motion was the work of Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) M.P.s Michael Chong and Garnett Genuis.

The vote took place Monday and had support from all political parties, including many Liberal backbenchers, the NDP, the Bloc Québécois, and Independents. However, Trudeau and his cabinet abstained from the vote.

The only Trudeau minister to be present for the vote was Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau, who noted that “I abstain on behalf of the Government of Canada.”

Last week, Trudeau said that using the term “genocide” was “extremely loaded,” and while allowing a free vote on the matter for his M.P.s, he refused to say how he would be voting.

“This is an issue that matters deeply to me, to all Canadians,” Trudeau said. “We will continue to work with our partners and allies to take this seriously. We’re still reflecting very carefully on the best path forward for Canada.”

Reports of sexual abuse and rape, torture, forced sterilization, and forced labor at the hands of the Chinese Communist regime against the Uighur people have been making headlines worldwide.

In a statement released yesterday, CPC leader Erin O’Toole said the “coordinated absence” of Trudeau and his cabinet for the vote “speaks volumes.” He called on Trudeau’s government to “respect parliament” and recognize what is taking place in China's Xinjiang province as “genocide.”

“It is shameful that Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government continue to refuse to call the horrific conduct by the Chinese Communist Party what it is: a genocide,” O’Toole explained.

The CPC motion calling out the horrific treatment of the Uyghur people stated: “In the opinion of the House, the People’s Republic of China has engaged in actions consistent with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 260, commonly known as the ‘Genocide Convention’, including detention camps and measures intended to prevent births as it pertains to Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims.”

It went on to state that given “it has been the policy of the Government of Canada to act in concert with its allies when it comes to the recognition of a genocide,” there is a “bipartisan consensus in the United States where it has been the position of two consecutive administrations that Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims are being subjected to a genocide by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.”

“The House, therefore, recognize that a genocide is currently being carried out by the People's Republic of China against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims, call upon the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Olympic Games if the Chinese government continues this genocide and call on the government to officially adopt this position.”

The vote was welcomed by The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP). In a statement, the group said it applauds “the vote by the Canadian House of Commons to recognize that the Chinese government is carrying out a genocide against Uyghurs, and calls on the UN and other governments to take action without delay.”

“China’s atrocity crimes demand a worldwide response. Uyghurs thank Canada for this historic vote,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat in the press release. “We are now in the 5th year of unimaginable hell.”

The UHRP went on to state that the Canadian government “must develop a plan of action to follow-up on the vote,” and urge its allies to “make similar designations.”

On Monday before the vote, the CPC held a press conference at which some Uyghur survivors described in horror the evils they had to endure.

A former teacher from Xinjiang named Kayum Masimov, who herself endured forced sterilization at 50 years old in 2019, gave horrid details of how many Uighurs were made to “crawl like dogs” and were beaten and tortured.

“When the Nazis were exterminating Jews, the world did not believe until [seeing] the liberated camps. Jews were not able to get any help from outside,” Masimov said, as reported by the Globe and Mail. “Today the Chinese Communist Party are holding Uyghurs in concentration camps and killing them. Yesterday’s Jews are today’s Uyghurs.”

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Last week, O’Toole said that China should not be allowed to host the 2022 Winter Olympics due to their “genocide” of the Uighurs.

On Monday, the Bloc Québécois introduced an amendment to the genocide motion to call for the 2022 Beijing Olympics to be moved out of China, should the Communist regime continue the genocide.

This motion passed with 229 votes in favor and 27 Liberal M.P.s and one independent voting against.

On the last day of Donald Trump’s presidency, then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo officially called China’s terrible treatment of the Muslim Uighur population in Xinjiang a “genocide.” 

According to Pompeo, the U.S. State Department’s investigation into the Uighur people showed “torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained, forced labor, and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement.”

Although Trudeau has not been vocal in calling out China’s human rights abuses, some members of his party were signatories of a recent letter signed by 20 M.P.s who called for the 2022 games to be moved out of China.

The M.P.s’ letter stated that the Chinese communist regime’s human rights abuses would taint any medals won by athletes at the games, comparing the situation to the 1936 Berlin games.

Contact information:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Fax: 613-941-6900

Use online contact form here.

Find information to contact your MP here.


  ccp, chinese communist party, genocide, justin trudeau, uighurs

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