Federal Liberals will support a backbencher’s motion calling on the government to condemn Islamophobia and study the best ways to quell an “increasing public climate of hate and fear.”
Motion 103, tabled by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid last December and set for debate Wednesday, has sparked divisions among Conservatives and raised the ire of those who argue its adoption could have a chilling effect on free speech.
The non-binding motion has also been the subject of rumours and innuendo from some right-wing blogs in Canada and the United States suggesting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seeking to somehow criminalize criticism of Islam.
Khalid addressed some of those concerns Wednesday at a press conference with Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly. The pair was surrounded by Liberal MPs in what Joly called a “demonstration of solidarity.”
Joly said that the government was voicing “strong and clear” support for Khalid’s motion. She later said that while all Liberal MPs will be free to vote based on their own beliefs, there will be "very strong support" from caucus.