Citizenship hearing witnesses ejected for alleged intolerance
Tories pull witnesses from committee hearings over 'disgusting' website
Conservatives on a House of Commons committee put the kibosh on hearing from two witnesses Wednesday, after opposition members raised concerns that they operate a racist website.
The Citizenship and Immigration Committee was set to hear from Madi and Julien Lussier, who operate the site Canadian Immigration Report.
At the meeting's outset, NDP immigration critic Jinny Sims drew attention to some of the material on the site, including stories defending so-called white nationalism and video clips from Canadian white supremacist Paul Fromm, among others.
"Mr. Chair, I am quite shocked that government members have asked this group to testify before us," she said. "I would hope that you would agree with me that these views don't have any place at a parliamentary committee in one of the most diverse, open and accepting countries on Earth."
The Conservatives requested the committee move in-camera to discuss the matter, and then agreed to drop the witnesses from the day's proceedings.
Afterwards, Conservative MP Chungsen Leung told reporters he had requested the witnesses on the recommendation from people in his Toronto-area riding of Willowdale, but admitted he didn't do due diligence in checking their backgrounds.
"I was told these witnesses were lawyers, I was not told anything else, and I was not aware of the views or the website they are associated with," he read from a statement.
"The views stated in their website are disgusting, and anti-Canadian, and I'm outraged by them. So as a result, I have asked the clerk that they be pulled [from the committee list]."