We live in an interconnected world, and events transpiring worldwide ultimately affects Canadians, whether we are speaking about economic trade, global prices of goods and commodities, knowledge and skills exchange, effects of climate change, disease transmission and control, natural disaster management, and others. Fulfilling our international obligations protects and serves the interests of Canadians.
People fleeing war, persecution or natural disasters face tremendous barriers to obtaining necessary travel documents. For this reason, I have been advocating for visa-free travel for urgent, life-and-death situations such as the war in Ukraine. I have also been advocating for the government to rescind the safe third country agreement because often, refugees cannot get to safety without first going to a third country. It is paramount that Canada has an adequately resourced immigration system that can act with flexibility and expediency in times of crisis without compromising national security standards.
As your Member of Parliament, I will fight to ensure Canada fulfills its humanitarian and environmental obligations as a member of the international community.
The federal NDP is calling for an end to immigration detention — except for people who pose a danger to the public — after Radio-Canada/CBC reporting revealed that thousands of foreign nationals are detained each year with no release date.
"To put someone in jail when they're not a threat to public safety and throw away the key, without letting them know when they will actually be free, is so wrong, so inhumane," said Jenny Kwan, the party's immigration critic. "People's lives are destroyed in that way and they have zero hope. Many of them may have fled persecution to get to safety. Little do they know that when they get to Canada, they could be put in jail."
Earlier this week, Radio-Canada/CBC told the story of Abdirahman Warssama, who fled to Canada from Somalia only to be locked up for five years and seven months in maximum security jails in Ontario.