Mamadosewin (meeting place, walking together)

Question Period: Democracy Protests in Hong Kong

Question Period: Democracy Protests in Hong Kong

Hon. Jim Munson: 

Honourable senators, I have a supplementary question on the Hong Kong issue. I was going to ask a question about the children, but I have a year-and-a-half to ask about children and human rights.

I have been thinking about the young people on the streets of Hong Kong. Since we have spoken about human rights and the importance of this day, it seems to me that the government may have spoken but hasn’t spoken loud enough —

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Senator Munson: — about what is taking place on the streets of Hong Kong and particularly about police brutality. I had a young lawyer in my office two years ago —

The Hon. the Speaker: Senator Munson, you have about 10 seconds.

Senator Munson: Senator Harder, will the government speak louder about the human rights of the people of Hong Kong, as we’ve seen in the last few days and in the last six months?

Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question. Let me say, as his question implied, that the government has been consistent in speaking out on these issues and in dealing with the appropriate interlocutors in the Government of China, and also with our like-minded partners, in terms of coordinating our approach and our concerns with respect to the events taking place in Hong Kong. The honourable senator and I attended a luncheon with Emily Lau last week to hear first-hand the concerns expressed by the leadership of the student movement.

These are quite unprecedented events and they’re events that the Prime Minister has spoken about and to. They’re ones that clearly all Canadians would wish the appropriate response to the democratic right of expression be observed. That has not been the case and that is to be regretted.