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.

IN THE NEWS: CBC - For many young Hong Kong graduates, Canada’s new routes to immigration have turned into a dead end

IN THE NEWS: CBC - For many young Hong Kong graduates, Canada’s new routes to immigration have turned into a dead end

The crackdown has seen dozens of former lawmakers and pro-democracy activists arrested.
NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan is part of the parliamentary committee that published a report this month on pathways to Canadian permanent residency for Hong Kong residents. She argues that the Liberal government should eliminate all education and work experience limitations on people who wish to come to Canada before Hong Kong's exit ban takes effect. 
"If the government doesn't take further action to support the people of Hong Kong, I fear that it would be too late," she said.  "Unfortunately, the humanitarian component is not part of the package — the government is only thinking about what economic benefit can we get from the people of Hong Kong."

IN THE NEWS: CBC - Ottawa mom fed up with immigration delay to children stuck in Gaza

IN THE NEWS: CBC - Ottawa mom fed up with immigration delay to children stuck in Gaza

Qunoo has received support from MP Jenny Kwan, the NDP critic for IRCC, who has sent a letter to the minister urging Qunoo's temporary resident permit application be granted immediately.

"It is simply unacceptable that there is no process in place to allow a parent to not be separated from children while going through the asylum process," wrote Kwan.

Kwan is also advocating for a six-month limit on applications that involve children, instead of the current delay she now estimates at 39 months for permanent resident status applications of family members of refugee applicants.

IN THE NEWS: CBC - Advocacy groups warn Covid-19 travel ban has left refugees in limbo

The Canadian Council for Refugees called on the government months ago to introduce exemptions to the travel measures for people being resettled as refugees and entering to make a refugee protection claim.  Janet Dench, the organization’s executive director, said refugee travel is essential, saying that those awaiting resettlement live in precarious circumstances and that the pandemic has only added to their vulnerability.
NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan said processing delays were significant before the pandemic and “things have just gone from bad to worse.”
Ms. Kwan said the lag can be particularly burdensome for refugee families who left family members behind and made applications to reunite. “I am regularly in discussion with people who made an application, been waiting a year, two years or more with having their application processed,” she said.

HANSARD: Why Canada let our visa application centre in China operated and run by the CCP?

Madam Speaker, it has been brought to light that Canada's visa application centre in China has been subcontracted to a Chinese state-owned company run and operated by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. The company that was awarded the contract, VFS Global, has confirmed at the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration that the Canadian government knew right from the beginning that services were being subcontracted and that it was informed of the ownership structure of the company.

OPEN LETTER to Immigration Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister - Follow-up on immigration measures for Sikh and Hindu communities in Afghanistan

OPEN LETTER to Immigration Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister - Follow-up on immigration measures for Sikh and Hindu communities in Afghanistan

As noted by the WSO, on March 25, 2020, ISIS-K terrorists attacked Gurdwara Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib in Kabul and murdered 25 Sikhs, including four-year-old Tania Kaur. At the funeral for the victims of this attack, a second attack was initiated involving the detonation of an explosive device. Earlier, in July 2018, the senior leadership of the Sikh and Afghan communities was assassinated in a suicide bombing that took 19 lives in Jalalabad. In June 2020, an Afghan Sikh, Nidan Singh Sachdeva, was abducted from a gurdwara and tortured for weeks. That was followed on July 17 by the abduction of 13-year-old Salmeet Kaur who was kidnapped from a Kabul gurdwara where she was living with her blind mother and younger brother. Salmeet’s father was killed in the March attack. ISIS-K has sworn to exterminate all Afghan Sikhs and Hindus if they do not leave Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s Sikh and Hindu communities face a threat to their very existence. The minority communities which once numbered over 200,000 have now dwindled to less than 800, due to decades of persecution. Only those families remain that do not have the means to relocate elsewhere. The majority of the community is forced to reside in gurdwaras and face discrimination in accessing education, employment and housing. As ISIS-K continues to attack civilians and international troops continue to withdraw from Afghanistan, Sikhs and Hindus are likely to face more violence.

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister on US border restrictions on asylum seekers

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister on US border restrictions on asylum seekers

As it stands, the government announced this temporary measure would be extended for an additional 30 days, with Prime Minister Trudeau stating these restrictions will not be lifted anytime soon. This is particularly concerning as there is a lack of clarity on assurances from the U.S. as to how asylum seekers who are turned away under this policy would be treated. A recent article published on April 10, 2020, from BBC News acknowledged a disturbing leaked document on the U.S. border controls that are currently taking place. The full leaked document can be found here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6824221-COVID-19- CAPIO.html. According to the document, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have very broad powers. There is no clarity on what will happen to individuals who attempt to enter Canada to seek refugee protection and are turned back to the United States.
Given the government’s policy directive to turn back all irregular asylum seekers from the U.S. at the border, it is important that Canadians are given assurances that we have done our own diligence with respect to our international obligations.

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister on clarification on various COVID-19 border measures

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister on clarification on various COVID-19 border measures

As you can see, this statement is considerably different from the information on the government's website and OIC. ​Needless to say, this has created much confusion in the public realm which in turn has created additional anxiety and frustration for people already in a stressful situation. Moreover, this has made it difficult for Members of Parliament and our offices to provide information and assistance to those in need. It is therefore vital that clear and accurate information is made available on this critical question as there are many people who are being impacted by this policy.
I can provide an example of a case in my riding. Currently in Vancouver East, a TFW who had been working full-time in Canada since 2018 had travelled out of the country for a short period of time and now finds she is unable to return to Canada due to the travel restriction. She has not been able to get information on what exceptions, if any, are made for temporary foreign workers seeking to return to Canada to resume their employment.  ​

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