HANSARD: Jenny asks if IRCC has lost the 2900 urgent Afghan applications.

House of Commons Debates
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Oral Questions
May 10th, 2022 / 3:10 p.m.


Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the media reported that Afghan interpreters who helped the Canadian military are being tortured and beaten by the Taliban while they wait for the government to get them to safety.

Yesterday, our committee was told that 3,800 Afghans had their identities verified by National Defence, but only 900 of those have had their applications processed. No one knew or could advise what happened to the other 2,900 applications. Meanwhile, IRCC is in complete chaos and is asking GAC to resubmit those cases.

Can the minister confirm if IRCC has lost those urgent applications?


Marie-France Lalonde (Liberal) Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, so far, more than 12,600 Afghan refugees have arrived in Canada, and more than half of those arrived through our special immigration measures for Afghans who assisted in Canada's mission in Afghanistan. Another two flights are arriving later this week. We will not stop until we reach our goal to welcome at least 40,000 Afghan refugees to Canada.



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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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