Statement on Trump's Muslim Ban

Like many of you, I was surprised by the meteoric rise of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee and his eventual election as the President of the United States. His campaign was marked by misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and a complete disregard for basic facts. In my opinion, he represented the absolute nadir of American politics, a political manifestation of worst kind of reactionary demagoguery not seen since 1930’s Europe.

President Trump was elected with a majority of Electoral College votes, but he lost the popular vote to Hilary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes. America is a divided country. It was once my hope that the Office of the President of the United States, arguably the most powerful and responsibility-filled position in the world, would temper the man and make him reach out to all Americans (and, indeed, the rest of the world) to assure them that the campaign was now over and that he was going to try and govern in a more moderate course of action.

I now see that this was a false hope.

On Friday, January 27th, only one week in to his presidency, Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that banned citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for at least the next 90 days. These countries are Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen, places where brutal sectarian and civil wars are taking place, which have displaced millions of people and created the worst refugee crisis in modern times. This ban will have disastrous implications for thousands of innocent travellers, family members, students, business people, indeed travellers of all kinds, but most disturbingly, the men, women, and children who are seeking asylum and fleeing persecution.

I will not sit idly by and tolerate a ban on some of the most vulnerable people on Earth, a ban against individuals based on race, religion, or country of birth. Now, more than ever, we need to stand united against the hatred, racism, and xenophobia that has become so prevalent. As your Member of Parliament, there is no compromise for me on this issue – I completely and utterly denounce the actions of President Trump.

Today, on January 30th, my colleagues and I in the NDP are calling on the Speaker to grant an emergency debate in the House of Commons so that Parliament can urgently address this unacceptable situation and allow the Government of Canada to hear the voices of the people’s representatives. I will be pushing for the government to take a strong stand and to voice its complete opposition to the policies of President Trump.