Ahmed Hussen; our MP and the Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees; is facing tough questions in the press and in Parliament—and he’s avoiding them with repetitive answers of Liberal talking points.
On February 9, Hélène Laverdière, NDP, asked Hussen about refugees entering Canada from the USA. Hussen responded with an irrelevant response about Canadian refugee statistics.
this year alone, we will welcome 40,000 refugees in Canada. That includes 25,000 resettled refugees, which is double the number that the previous government welcomed.
Laverdière, unimpressed, said “Mr. Speaker, that was not really what I asked, but whatever.”
A day later, Michelle Rempel, CPC, asked Hussen about the terminated Iranian LGBT refugee program. Hussen’s response was almost exactly the same as the day before—even though the question could not have been more different.
this year we welcomed 40,000 refugees. That includes 25,000 resettled refugees, which is double what the previous government brought….and that obviously includes members of the LGBTQ2 community.
Rempel wasn’t pleased either: “The minister did not answer the question.” She is right: the question was one sentence and perfectly clear: “why has the government ended the practice of prioritizing persecuted Iranian LGBT as refugees to Canada?”
It’s an important question, too.
But it gets weirder.
When, both times, he was called out on his non-answers, he responded:
We will take no lessons from those parties on our record.
We will take no lessons from the previous government
I have no idea what is going on here. Hussen is new to the portfolio—but the portfolio has rarely been so important. Repeating Liberal talking points does no one favours, least of all the refugees in peril. An honest answer—even if it’s uncertain—is better than a non-answer.
It’s not that Liberals are being forbidden to respond; after Hussen floundered, Ralph Goodale provided a succinct answer to another of Laverdière’s questions; he said the MP in the riding has been in touch with the complainant, and he would follow up.