Ahmed Hussen has always been prickly in the House, and often refuses to answer questions from members of the opposition. Instead, he frequently attacks his questioners for their perceived failures and their records–even though the Liberals were elected in 2015.
Yesterday Hussen was being questioned about his department’s response to the swelling numbers of refugee claimants crossing from the US. Hussen crossed a line and insulted his colleagues in response to a question from Alice Wong, a Conservative from BC.
Mr. Speaker, the Harper Conservatives would not know what compassion is if it hit them in the face.
The Harper Conservatives cut $400 million from border security operations, and they pretend to care about the border. The Harper Conservatives kept families apart, with spouses, live-in caregivers, children, and others in queues. We inherited a huge, ballooning backlog under the privately sponsored refugees.
The Conservatives have no idea what compassion is about. They did not care about the Yazidi refugees.
The Speaker, Geoff Regan, rebuked Hussen for being unparliamentary, and said
It is not helpful for order in this place to suggest that people are not honourable or lack compassion or are not competent. Of course, that goes both ways. I ask members to be cautious and careful in the words they use, and particularly the minister on this occasion. I would ask him not to use that kind of suggestion in the future.
Hussen was barely chastened. Questioned again, this time by Michelle Rempel, he again blamed the Conservatives for his predicament, saying:
Mr. Speaker, the Harper Conservatives never understood a very simple thing about immigration, that investment follows silence. They did not make the necessary investments in immigration processing.