More and more, we are feeling the effects of climate change, including heat waves, increased fires, and floods. Extreme weather is killing people, devastating communities and destroying critical infrastructure and environmental assets.

It is my strong belief that environmental justice is social justice. A Just Transition must not only create a healthier environment, but also better opportunities and improve affordability for Canadian workers and families. We must end taxpayer subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and move into sustainable, renewable energy resources, investing in and bringing Canadian workers along the way. We need to improve energy efficiencies in all our infrastructure, invest in green, affordable transit and make lives more affordable for Canadians. We must center Indigenous knowledge and rights in our resource development.

Left unchecked, extreme weather connected to climate change will continue to wreak havoc on Canadian lives and livelihoods. Losing is not an option - we must fight the climate crisis like we mean to win.

Climate leaders do not buy pipelines. Climate leaders do not adopt Stephen Harper’s carbon emissions target.

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Federal NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan said Canada has a responsibility to increase the number of accepted refugees and asylum-seekers. “Instead,” she said, pointing to new numbers released this month, “the government is reducing the numbers, so it’s going in the opposite direction.”
“The work of lowering emissions and transitioning the energy sector must happen while supporting communities on the frontlines,” Kwan said. “[These changes] have to happen simultaneously because people are being displaced right now.”
Coming out of COP27, Kwan says she is not seeing the urgency from the Canadian government that is required on this issue. In addition to pushing to end oil and gas subsidies immediately, and to stop pursuing pipeline expansion, Kwan says the NDP is demanding the government sign on to an environmental bill of rights — for people and nature. 
“We need public accountability, truth be told,” she said. “We can’t trust the government on this issue. They say nice words, but they don’t match that with action. We need independent oversight with regard to climate action.”
What that means for Canada is making significant financial contributions to a fund for countries experiencing the ravages of the crisis right now.
“We must respond to what is happening in the global community,” Kwan says. “Climate migration is already happening. People are already dying as a result of it.

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NDP MP Jenny Kwan said that while the deal doesn’t include all of the policies the NDP want progress on, “it is about getting as much as we can for the people who need the supports and services,” and she and others will continue to fight for more.

“That’s what this agreement is about, getting as much as we can,” Kwan said. “Imagine—if 25 New Democrats can get us this far—what a majority New Democrat government can do.”

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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.

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Ms. Kwan, who insisted that the NDP will press the Liberal government hard to move on a myriad of issues starting with seniors who received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit during the pandemic and who have now either seen their Guaranteed Income Supplement payments reduced or lost leaving some of them unable to pay rent.

“Housing affordability is a paramount issue—whether it’s someone who is homeless or those trying to get into the market for the first time,” said Ms. Kwan, the NDP’s housing critic.
She explained that the affordability issue touches health care too, where one of her constituents recently told her of being unable to cover the cost of cancer medication—a shining example, in Ms. Kwan’s view, of why her party will continue to press the Liberal government on universal pharmacare.

The Liberals will have an eager and unrelenting ally in the New Democrats to pursue action in addressing “the climate crisis before us,” said Ms. Kwan, a former NDP cabinet minister in British Columbia. “Canada has yet to meet a COP target since Paris in 2015.”

In her opinion, she said Mr. Trudeau also missed an opportunity to advance reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples this year by both vacationing in Tofino, B.C. on the country’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Sept. 30), and later by his government filing an appeal of a Federal Court decision upholding a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling on Indigenous child-welfare compensation, while continuing to negotiate an out-of-court settlement.

In her role as federal NDP critic for immigration, refugees and citizenship, Ms. Kwan has another issue she will hammer home when the House resumes sitting.   “Immigration is in complete chaos right now. The backlog for every stream is mind boggling,” she explained.

“There was already a backlog before the pandemic, and with the pandemic, immigration processing was severely debilitated. Amidst all of that, the Liberals decided to call an election on the day [Aug. 15] when there was a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.”

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