HANSARD: Jenny suggests to initiate an agreement similar to the Vancouver agreement to address the Downtown Eastside crisis

House of Commons Debate
Opposition Motion—Bail Reform
Business of Supply
Government Orders
February 2nd, 2023 / 11:10 a.m.


Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was glad to hear that the minister wants to engage in addressing the causes of crime.

In my riding of Vancouver East, and particularly in the Downtown Eastside, we have a major homelessness crisis. We have people with mental health issues who cannot get mental health supports. We have people with an addiction issue who cannot get support or treatment on demand. People are dying in the community. The fallout of that is that it impacts the entire community in all its ways.

Will the minister support and will he have the government initiate what had been done before, which was the Vancouver agreement, bringing all levels of government together, working together, to address the crisis in the Downtown Eastside? That is a possible approach to bringing forward solutions to the problem.


Marco Mendicino (Liberal) Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, the short answer is yes. In fact, I have met with battered women's groups and shelters in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. We have met with municipal leadership there. I had the chance to meet with the new mayor. We are looking forward to being able to make, I hope in the not too distant future, some announcements around the building safer communities fund, which speaks to the core of our issue around prevention to address the systemic issues that have far too long plagued our justice system.

We need to ensure that we put an appropriate focus and emphasis on those who have been marginalized: women, members of the 2SLGBTQI community, indigenous peoples, racialized Canadians. That has to be part of this debate, and that is precisely what this government will do. Let us keep all Canadians safe.



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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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