Canadians need and deserve a government that is on their side, a government that works for the people, and not for the profits of corporations and the ultra-wealthy. With the rise of global conflict and authoritarianism, climate-related environmental disasters, and an ever-deepening wealth disparity, Canadians need a government that is focused on making their lives better more than ever.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised that 2015 will be the last election held under the outdated first-past-the-post system. It is past time for Canadians to have a modern proportional representation system and a strong democracy to better ensure that every vote counts. We must also lower the voting age so that young people who will be most impacted by the decisions we make today have their voices heard.

As your representative, I will work every day to amplify the voices of Van East and to hold the government accountable, and to push them to do more for Canadians.

IN THE NEWS: CanIndia - Trudeau announces $2B for creation of nearly 17,000 homes, new 5-year rent to own stream

“The housing supports announced today were secured by New Democrats for everyday people as part of the supply and confidence agreement. While this is good news for Canadians, we know that more needs to be done to help families afford to keep a roof over their heads. Since 1993, the housing crisis has been ignored by Liberal and Conservative governments who abandoned federal affordable housing programs people relied on. It’s wrong that families who need help now have been ignored by decades of Liberal and Conservative governments,” Kwan said.
“New Democrats will continue using our power to push the Liberals to make life more affordable for everyday people. This means pushing to reverse Liberal and Conservative cuts by restoring the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s role in building social and co-op housing. We will continue to fight for meaningful investments that address the urgent homelessness crisis in communities struggling with encampments. It also means pushing the Liberals to ensure immediate relief to renters who need it and crack down on investors treating housing like a stock market instead of a human right,” she added.

IN THE NEWS: CTV - Trudeau announces funding for 17,000 new homes

NDP housing critic Jenny Kwan wrote in a statement Tuesday the initiatives announced by Trudeau were the result of the Liberal-NDP supply and confidence agreement, and she called on the federal government to do more to help make housing affordable.
“This means pushing to reverse Liberal and Conservative cuts by restoring the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s role in building social and co-op housing,” Kwan wrote. “We will continue to fight for meaningful investments that address the urgent homelessness crisis in communities struggling with encampments. It also means pushing the Liberals to ensure immediate relief to renters who need it and crack down on investors treating housing like a stock market instead of a human right.”

IN THE NEWS: Canadian Press - Visa delays leaving international students in limbo for fall semester

NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan said there doesn't appear to by any rhyme or reason when it comes to why some applications have been processed on time and others haven't.
She has heard from students who are feeling incredibly stressed about whether they're going to be moving across the world to study in Canada in a few weeks.
"September is just around the corner as the school year is gonna start, and they don't know what's going on with their application," Kwan said in an interview.
The fact that so many students are likely to find out at the last moment shows the department doesn't recognize the real-life experiences people are going through, she said. "They have to find living quarters, for example, get housing in place, get familiar with how to get to and from school."
Everything from course selection to orientation is jeopardized, she added, and the delays cause uncertainty for institutions as well.

OPEN LETTER: The disastrous state of IRCC

It is with grave concerns that we write to you as the leader of the New Democratic Party, as the NDP critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and as Caucus Chair, to demand immediate action to address the ongoing system-wide delays and utter chaos at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It’s important to remember that these are more than just files in a system, each application number corresponds to an individual and delays often have profound and expensive effects on their lives and prevents loved ones from being able to reunite.
One of the highest demands at a MP office is on immigration-related issues. Sadly, IRCC is in complete chaos with over 2 million applications stuck in the backlog that continues to escalate. The unprecedented massive delays in processing in virtually every immigration stream is far beyond a few months above processing standards, whether it’s a permanent resident application, family reunification, renewal of CoPRs, verification of citizenship, work permit or study permit application or renewal, PR card renewal, or refugee applications. Applicants are informed of a processing timeline, only to have it changed months later. The Canadian Council for Refugees latest report highlights the dire backlog and slow processing times for permanent residence of those who have received refugee protection in Canada. For some, the threats are so severe that it’s a matter of life and death. Meanwhile, thousands of Afghans who have previously assisted Canada’s missions abroad are left behind and are being hunted down by the Taliban.

IN THE NEWS: CP24 - More than 1.3M immigration applications in backlog amid humanitarian crises

NDP Immigration critic Jenny Kwan said the minister's optimism is of little comfort to people who have spent months or even years languishing in the system.
“I find it astounding that the minister would talk glowingly about the work that he's doing, meanwhile, there's so many people who are struggling, who are suffering as a result of immigration processing delays,” Kwan said in an interview.
She wrote a joint letter with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to express their concerns about the “utter chaos” at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

IN THE NEWS: Canadian Press - Thousand of Afghans who helped Canada trapped in Afghanistan, struggling to leave

The federal government needs to do more to help thousands of Afghans who assisted Canadian Forces but remain trapped in Afghanistan a year after the Taliban seized Kabul, aid groups and opposition parties say.
As the grim anniversary passed Monday, NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan warned at a news conference that Canada will have blood on its hands if it does not take immediate action to help Afghans whose lives are in danger because they helped Canadians.
She called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene to sort out “chaos” at the Immigration Department, which she said has still not processed many applications to come to Canada.
“No more excuses,” Kwan said. “We do not want to lose lives because if we do the blood is on the Canadian government’s hands.”

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