Liberals defeat Conservative counter-proposal to Islamophobia motion

With a Liberal MP's call to study Islamophobia still on the table, Liberal MPs voted on Tuesday to defeat a Conservative motion that sought a general study of religious discrimination.

Conservatives tabled proposal in response to Liberal MP's motion on Islamophobia

Liberal MP Iqra Khalid makes an announcement about an anti-Islamophobia motion on Parliament Hill earlier this month. (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press)

With a Liberal call to study Islamophobia still on the table, Liberal MPs voted on Tuesday to defeat a Conservative motion that sought a general study of religious discrimination.

The Conservative motion was brought forward last week, just as the House of Commons prepared to debate Motion 103, sponsored by Iqra Khalid, the Liberal MP for Mississauga–Erin Mills.

Both motions dealt broadly with religious discrimination, but whereas Khalid's motion made a specific reference to Islamophobia, the Conservative motion did not include the word.

Several Conservatives have come out against Motion 103, with some saying the term Islamophobia needs to be defined.

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly dismissed the Conservative proposal as a "cynical" attempt to get around divisions within the Conservative party.

The Conservative motion was supported by all opposition MPs, including the NDP, Bloc Quebecois and Green leader Elizabeth May, but the Liberal majority was enough to defeat the motion by a count of 165 to 126.

Jenny Kwan, the NDP's immigration critic, and May said during debate last week that they supported both the Conservative and Liberal motions.

A motion condemning Islamophobia is also now scheduled to be tabled in the Ontario legislature on Thursday. Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown says he will support the motion.

"Whether it's hate against any faith, it's wrong. I will always stand in opposition to any form of hate," Brown said on Tuesday.