Ottawa, ON – Rachael Thomas, Conservative Shadow Minister for Canadian Heritage, intends to bring forward a motion calling for Minister of Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, to appear before committee to answer questions concerning the $133,822 paid by his department to Laith Marouf, who is a public racist, bigot, and anti-Semite. The Minister remained silent on this issue for more than a month after his department was made aware of the issue.
“It is unfathomable that the Heritage Minister had no idea his department was in damage control for over a month after concerns were raised about Heritage Canada having hired the public racist, bigot, and anti-Semite, Laith Marouf, to teach Canadians about anti-racism.
“To our Committee members’ disbelief, Minister Rodriguez testified during a meeting on Bill C-18 that he learned about his department hiring Marouf when he read it in the news on August 22nd, over a month after his department was made aware. Additionally, he didn’t bother to make a public statement condemning Marouf until August 31st.
“Interestingly, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois both had questions for the Minister on this matter, despite having voted down a previous Conservative motion that called for Minister Rodriguez to appear before the Committee to answer questions regarding the funding granted to Marouf. Seeing there is a desire from the NDP and the Bloc Québécois to question the Minister on this important issue, we are hopeful all opposition parties can work together to request the Minister to come to testify at Committee.
“Tomorrow, we intend to give all members of the Canadian Heritage Committee the opportunity to call for transparency and join us in holding the government to account. We intend to move a motion calling for Minister Rodriguez to appear before the Committee and answer our many questions regarding his department’s hiring of Laith Marouf. Though the meeting is scheduled to be in-camera, we intend to ask the Committee members that we discuss this motion in public.
“Canadians deserve answers, we call on members of the NDP, the Bloc Québécois, and the Liberal Party to stand with Canadians and support this Conservative motion tomorrow.”