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.

Media Release: NDP reacts to announcement of new immigration measures for Hong Kongers fleeing persecution

New Democrats welcome the federal government’s changes to Canada's lifeboat scheme that will clear a pathway to Permanent Residency for Hong Kongers in Canada. The NDP has called on the Minister of Immigration to remove the education requirement that restricted Hong Kongers from a pathway to permanent residency right at the start. Alongside advocates for Hong Kongers, I had pointed out that the restrictive 5-year graduation rule meant that many Hong Kongers would not be eligible under the program. Hong Kongers have contacted me and were extremely anxious that they would face deportation especially at a time when the Hong Kong police is escalating their hunt by placing a million-dollar bounty for the arrest of prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activists that fled abroad in search of safety.

New Democrats have opposed the imposition of the draconian National Security Law since its installation by the Hong Kong government that violated the Sino-British Joint Declaration of One Country, the Two Systems Rule, and the United Nations Charter of Human Rights.

The NDP urges the federal government to take further action by lifting the criminal record check requirements for individuals accused of violating the National Security Law or in the very minimum substitute that requirement with an alternate means to satisfy public safety concerns. This is an essential component to ensure the pathway to safety is workable on the ground for Hong Kongers.”

CTV News: Syrian human rights defender becomes a permanent resident of Canada after being flagged as a security risk

CTV News: Syrian human rights defender becomes a permanent resident of Canada after being flagged as a security risk

On June 30, two NDP members of Parliament sent a letter with an urgent request for a briefing on the case to federal ministers responsible for foreign affairs, immigration and public safety.

In a copy of the letter provided to CTV News, MPs Heather McPherson and Jenny Kwan wrote that they “are alarmed by this case and its implications not just for Noura, but for all human rights defenders seeking safety in Canada.

Is it this government’s position that human rights advocacy, including opposing brutal dictatorships that torture their citizens renders a person inadmissible for permanent residency?”

Five days later, Aljizawi was granted permanent residency on July 5. Since her case became public, Aljizawi says she’s heard from three other democracy activists who are facing scrutiny under Section 34.

Kwan, the NDP’s immigration critic, says that Aljizawi’s high profile added pressure on the government to act. But the MP says she also worries that lesser known human rights activists under similar suspicion will not be protected.

Kwan says immigration officials need to reassess how they use Section 34 in evaluating the applications of human rights defenders


Province: Opposition MPs demand answers on why security risks were allowed into Canada

Province: Opposition MPs demand answers on why security risks were allowed into Canada

OTTAWA – Opposition parties say the fact the government allowed half of foreign nationals red-flagged as security risks into the country between 2014 and 2019 is shocking and erodes Canadians’ trust in the immigration system.

“This is very concerning and undermines trust and confidence of Canada’s immigration process,” NDP MP and Immigration critic Jenny Kwan said in a statement Tuesday.

She was responding to a National Post report Tuesday morning that between 2014 and 2019, 46 per cent of foreign nationals flagged by security agencies to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for ties to serious offences such as war crimes, espionage and terrorism were allowed to take up residency in Canada.

Media Release: NDP reacts to the Supreme Court decision regarding the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA)

“Today’s Supreme Court of Canada's decision regarding the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) is a partial victory for advocates for asylum seekers' rights.

The Canadian Council for Refugees, Amnesty International, Canadian Council of Churches and others challenged the Liberal government in the Supreme Court stating that the STCA violates Section 7, related to right to life, liberty and security of a person, and section 15, related to equality rights within the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In their decision, the Supreme Court of Canada stated that Section 15 on equality rights are just as important as every other human right and ruled that this challenge to the STCA should be sent back to the Federal Court for determination.

In particular, girls, women and 2SLGTBQIA+ people fearing gender-based persecution are adversely affected by the Safe Third Country Agreement. Even the government’s own lawyers acknowledged that the recent expansion of the STCA could increase the risks of human trafficking and sexual violence often disproportionately targeted at migrant women, girls, and 2SLGTBQIA+ people. They further noted that an urgent exemption for those faced with gender-based persecution is needed.

CIMM#71: Exploitation Scheme Targeting Certain International Students

"With respect to the announcement that the minister made, I'd like to get a clarification on the issue around the inadmissibility based on misrepresentation. The minister said just now that the students who are victims would not be subjected to the five-year ban. Could the minister clarify whether that would mean the record of inadmissibility based on misrepresentation will be erased from their file?”
"Okay. I hope that when it comes to that, it would actually work that way for those students. What I'm worried about is that when you have that bad record, so to speak, that dark mark next to your name, sometimes an official who's processing the application will still say that there's misrepresentation on the record. I want to flag that as a concern, because we obviously would not want to have a second chapter to this issue down the road.

Now, there are students who are in a situation where they have been issued a removal order and they have filed to the Federal Court but, for example, have not yet had the hearing. They are waiting. There are those who have filed and who have been rejected, for example. There are those who have made an application to have their work permit extended, let's say, and they're now out of status but waiting to see what's going to happen to them.

Is the minister saying that with this new task force, those individuals should not worry about all of those outcomes and that their case will be assessed under the new task force?”

Globe: Critics question Harjit Sajjan’s revelation he didn’t check e-mail during fall of Afghanistan

Globe: Critics question Harjit Sajjan’s revelation he didn’t check e-mail during fall of Afghanistan

Asked by The Globe on Parliament Hill Thursday to clarify what he said, Mr. Sajjan declined to answer questions, saying he was late for a meeting.

During Question Period on Thursday, NDP MP Jenny Kwan called the revelations shocking. “Does the Prime Minister really think this is acceptable?” she asked.

Neither the Prime Minister nor Mr. Sajjan were at Question Period, leaving Immigration Minister Sean Fraser to respond. He defended the government’s response to the crisis in Afghanistan, saying Canada helped to save thousands of lives through its evacuation efforts.

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