Nathaniel Erskine-Smith

Your member of parliament for

Beaches-East York

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith

Your member of parliament for

Beaches-East York


Myanmar Crisis

This post has been updated with Nathaniel's thoughts, government action, and resources for Canadians to get involved.

On September 26th, we held an emergency debate in the House of Commons on Myanmar’s campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people.

Myanmar has persecuted the Rohingya for decades, denying them citizenship and basic freedoms. The military and extremists have now raped and killed thousands of Rohingya, burned villages to the ground, and triggered a mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya into Bangladesh. Over 200 Rohingya villages now stand empty.

Below is a video of my remarks. I have linked speeches from my fellow MPs in the comments section. The text of my speech can be accessed here.


October 22: 

Prime Minister Trudeau has appointed Bob Rae as special envoy to Myanmar (CBC News article).

Bob Rae is a true stateman and an excellent choice to help lead our efforts to address Myanmar’s atrocities and resulting humanitarian crisis.

Our government has also committed an additional $12 million (now over $25 million) to help those affected in Myanmar and Bangladesh.


October 31:

Today, our government launched the Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund to support experienced Canadian and international humanitarian organizations providing emergency relief to more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees and other persecuted minorities.

For every eligible donation made by individuals to registered Canadian charities between August 25 and November 28, 2017, the Government of Canada will contribute an equivalent amount to the Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund.

More information on the Relief Fund and a list of registered Canadian charities can be found on the official Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund website.


December 13: 

Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, has announced that more than $37.5 million has been raised through the Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund. 

Canada has adopted a Feminist International Assistance Policy, which supports gender-responsive humanitarian action. As such, Canada’s contribution to the Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund will be allocated to address the gender-specific needs of women and girls in humanitarian settings, including survivors of sexual and gender- based violence, pregnant and nursing women, and women-headed households. Canada’s response will also include sexual and reproductive health services, as well as psychosocial counselling.

More information can be accessed on the Government of Canada backgrounder.


February 16:

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced today the Government of Canada has imposed targeted sanctions against Major-General Maung Maung Soe, under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act. The Major General has played a significant role as a key military official in the human rights violations against the Rohingya in Myanmar.

“We stand in solidarity with the Rohingya people and other ethnic minorities as they struggle to see their rights respected. Myanmar’s military and civilian leaders have an obligation to respect the human rights of all people and those responsible for these atrocities must be held to account.”

– Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

For more information, read the backgrounder regarding this latest development here.

The Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act can be accessed for reading here.