Two hundred and sixty-six Members of Parliament of a total 338, with none opposed, voted Monday to label the Chinese government's treatment of Uighur Muslims as a genocide and to ask the Canadian government to do the same, days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to do so when asked.However no member of the Cabinet took part except for Foreign Minister Marc Garneau who abstained “in the name of the Government of Canada.”
The Conservatives introduced the motion, which is not binding on the Trudeau government. Liberal MPs were free to vote as they wished. Mount Royal Anthony Housefather said he would be among those voting in favour.
The Conservative motion stated: "In the opinion of the House of Commons, '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'.. [and] 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… and call on the government to officially adopt this position."
According to reports, the MPs also passed a Bloc Québécois amendment calling on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing "if the Chinese government continues this genocide."
The Chinese government has been accused of subjecting the Uighurs to imprisonment in concentration camps, mass rape, forced labour, torture and sterilization.
In 2016, the Trudeau government's then-Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion declined to call the ISIS killings of Yazidi Muslims a genocide until the release of a United Nations report detailing atrocities against that population, despite urgings from Conservatives for months.