On Thursday, February 18, 2021, the Conservatives in the House of Commons called for the House to formally declare the crimes against the Uyghur population in China as ‘genocide’ as other countries already have done.
The tabled motion calls on Canada to take a stand against China and its treatment of the Uyghur population.
On Friday, A CTV reporter asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how he would be voting on the upcoming Conservative motion to designate China’s actions against the Uyghur population as ‘genocide’ and whether or not the vote will be a “free vote” for his caucus.
Justin Trudeau replied to the reporter without clearly answering the questions asked. Here is his answer in full:
“We are of course extremely concerned with the situation around human rights in Xinjiang. We have expressed many times our apprehension and our disagreement with what is going on. We have taken careful note of conclusions drawn by experts around the world including findings of crimes against humanity and genocide, and we need to move forward not just as a country but as a world on recognizing the human rights violations that are going on in China.
This morning our G7 call we talked about China, we talked about this issue. We talked about our need to be coordinated in our way forward.
This is an issue that matters deeply to me, to all Canadians, and we will continue to work with our partners and allies on taking it seriously.
Were still reflecting very carefully on the best path forward for Canada and certainly, we recognize that moving forward multilaterally will be the best way to demonstrate the solidarity of Western democracy’s and the values shared by billions of people around the world that are extremely concerned and dismayed by reports of what is going on in Xinjang.”
The CTV reporter countered the Prime Minister saying, “Respectfully sir, that doesn’t answer any of my questions.”
The Prime Minister then repeated what he had previously said but in French.
The Conservatives motion seeks to further pressure the Liberal government to increase their actions on China for the actions taking place against the Uyghur population in the Xinjiang province beyond just calls for an international investigation.