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NEWS: CBC - How the Liberal-NDP agreement will work and what it  might mean for Canadians

NEWS: CBC - How the Liberal-NDP agreement will work and what it might mean for Canadians

The "supply-and-confidence" agreement struck between the governing Liberals and the opposition New Democrats could affect the kind of legislation Canadians can expect to see pass through Parliament between now and 2025.

According to the deal, those key policy areas are climate change, health care spending, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, economic growth and efforts to make life more affordable.


Open Letter to Federal Housing Minister on urgent housing crisis

Open Letter to Federal Housing Minister on urgent housing crisis

I am therefore calling on the federal government to re-establish the Vancouver Agreement – a tripartite initiative that brought all levels of government together to support social, economic and community development in Vancouver, with a specific focus on the Downtown East Side.  We need an urgent and concerted effort between all levels of government working in collaboration with local non-governmental organizations to address the challenges in our community, with urgent interventions to find safe housing and supports for people in crisis, and long-term systemic solutions to address the needs of the community.  The status quo simply cannot continue.

IN THE NEWS: CBC - Ex-Afghan interpreter praised by top soldier is still in the dark about his immigration status

Saturday will mark a year since Ottawa created a special program to prioritize immigration applications from Afghans who worked with the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian government, along with their family members.

One former interpreter — whose work earned him a letter of appreciation from Canada's current chief of the defence staff, Gen. Wayne Eyre — has been waiting nearly as long to find out if he qualifies.

"Sometimes [Eyre] would put his hand on my shoulder, say, 'Hey, nice, you've been doing a very good job for us,'" the interpreter told CBC News from Islamabad, Pakistan, where he now lives...

IN THE NEWS: Canadian Press - Canada’s Immigration Department revamps anti-racism strategy following criticism

NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan said the language in the strategy is positive, but doesn’t appear to be backed up by immediate action.

“As the government consults, as they examine and study these issues, the ongoing impact of discriminatory policies … is having a real effect for people,” Kwan said in an interview Friday. 

She pointed to speakers from Africa, South America and Asia who are planning to attend a major AIDS conference in Montreal who have been denied visas, often on the grounds that the Canadian government doesn’t believe they’ll return home after the event.

IN THE NEWS: Global News - Why is Ottawa turning away from Afghans who helped Canada? ‘We’re failing them’

IN THE NEWS: Global News - Why is Ottawa turning away from Afghans who helped Canada? ‘We’re failing them’

The government conceded that there’s enough interest to fill the 18,000 spots through the special program and that there are, in fact, only 18,000 spots.

“To suggest the program is open when the 18,000 spots are spoken for, they’re lying to themselves and they’re lying to the public,” Jenny Kwan, NDP MP for Vancouver East, told Global News.

“And the sad news is this: the people who’ve been left behind, their lives are in jeopardy. If we don’t do anything about it, they will be hunted down by the Taliban. It’s a matter of time before that happens.”

IN THE NEWS: New Canadian Media - Drop time limit for Hong Kong graduates, urges NDP critic

An open letter from the NDP immigration critic is urging the federal government to drop a requirement for Hong Kong applicants looking to become permanent residents which she says is already excluding many.

“I urge that you amend the temporary public policy to drop the 5-year limit on the graduation requirement for Stream B (Canadian work experience) applicants and include all persons who hold an eligible education credential without the 5-year graduation limitation,” MP Jenny Kwan wrote on June 22 in an open letter addressed to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

The letter was sent just days ahead of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from British control to Chinese jurisdiction on July 1, 1997 under what is known as the “one country, two systems” arrangement. Though Hong Kong is slated to officially become part of China in 2047, pro-democracy protests broke out in 2019, followed by government crackdowns that culminated in China’s national security law implemented on June 30, 2020.

IN THE NEWS: Global News - Thousands of Afghans who helped Canadian Forces could be left behind: MPs, NGOs

IN THE NEWS: Global News - Thousands of Afghans who helped Canadian Forces could be left behind: MPs, NGOs

NDP MP Jenny Kwan said she had also been told by Afghans applying to join the separate humanitarian program that there are no more spots left.
“What I am hearing on the ground is that the spots available are getting filled up or at least spoken for,” said Kwan, a member of Parliament’s special committee on Afghanistan. “So many will be left behind.”
Over 8,700 Afghans have arrived in Canada under the humanitarian program. The program relies on referrals, including by the UN Refugee Agency and human-rights organizations based in Europe.
Kwan said she had been told that these referral spots are also filling up.
Non-governmental organizations and opposition MPs are calling on ministers to extend the programs, warning that many vulnerable Afghans including interpreters who helped Canadian Forces face reprisals from the Taliban.
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