Friday, June 05, 2009

Statement in the Canadian House of Commons on 1989 Tiananmen Square Protest

Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, today marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic events in Tiananmen Square. At the time, Canada took a strong, principled stand and unequivocally condemned the communist government's murderous crackdown on its own peaceful citizens.

For this, the government of the day was criticized by some who felt that standing up for human rights in China could jeopardize Canada's investment opportunities in that country.

In addition to the demonstrators, among the heroes of Tiananmen Square are the Chinese government officials, such as Zhao Ziyang, who sympathized with and supported the protestors at great risk to their own personal safety.

That is why, when the world learned of Zhao Ziyang's death in 2005, Canadians were once again proud to see our current Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism visit Zhao's family home to pay his personal respects. Once again, as with our principled stand in 1989, the Minister of Immigration was criticized by some who were concerned that this would damage Canada's commercial interests in China.

History can never be purged of the truth, and memory is more powerful than oppression. We hope that China will use the opportunity to examine the --

The Speaker:
The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

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