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.

Global News: ‘Invisible wall’ at Roxham Road will drive persecuted asylum-seekers on ‘a dangerous pathway’: NDP Kwan

Global News: ‘Invisible wall’ at Roxham Road will drive persecuted asylum-seekers on ‘a dangerous pathway’: NDP Kwan

During question period at the House of Commons on Monday, NDP MP Jenny Kwan said that the closure of Roxham Road over the weekend with “an invisible wall” would “only drive persecuted asylum-seekers on a more dangerous pathway.” Parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marie-France Lalonde responded by saying that the government had “finally updated” the Safe Third Country Act and that this was a “victory.”

QP: ‘Invisible wall’ at Roxham Road will drive persecuted asylum-seekers on ‘a dangerous pathway’

QP: ‘Invisible wall’ at Roxham Road will drive persecuted asylum-seekers on ‘a dangerous pathway’

During question period at the House of Commons on Monday, NDP MP Jenny Kwan said that the closure of Roxham Road over the weekend with “an invisible wall” would “only drive persecuted asylum-seekers on a more dangerous pathway.” Parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marie-France Lalonde responded by saying that the government had “finally updated” the Safe Third Country Act and that this was a “victory.”

MEDIA RELEASE: NDP reacts to government's decision related to the Safe Third Country Agreement

“The NDP is deeply disturbed to learn that Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal government announced an expansion of the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) to the entire Canada-US border, following discussions with President Biden, which came into effect at 12:01 am on March 25, 2023. This new agreement will expand the STCA to apply beyond official ports of entry, to the entire length of the Canada-US border, further denying asylum seekers a viable path to safety.

Given the widespread human rights implications of this decision, the NDP is also alarmed to learn these secretive negotiations took place without any consultation from stakeholders and experts. Further, this more restrictive agreement between Canada and the US was signed in secret back in Ottawa on March 29, 2022, while a case was already before the Supreme Court of Canada. This is shocking and appalling.

MEDIA RELEASE: NDP reacts to government's decision related to the Safe Third Country Agreement

“The NDP is deeply disturbed to learn that Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal government announced an expansion of the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) to the entire Canada-US border, following discussions with President Biden, which came into effect at 12:01 am on March 25, 2023. This new agreement will expand the STCA to apply beyond official ports of entry, to the entire length of the Canada-US border, further denying asylum seekers a viable path to safety.

Given the widespread human rights implications of this decision, the NDP is also alarmed to learn these secretive negotiations took place without any consultation from stakeholders and experts. Further, this more restrictive agreement between Canada and the US was signed in secret back in Ottawa on March 29, 2022, while a case was already before the Supreme Court of Canada. This is shocking and appalling.

CIM#55: Inquiring about the challenges faced by Afghans with the Foreign Affairs Minister and officials

"In the minister's introduction, she talked about the laws that need to be changed. The bill has been introduced. Recommendation 11 of the Afghanistan special committee calls for the government to “review the anti-terrorism financing provisions under the Criminal Code and urgently take any legislative steps necessary to ensure those provisions do not unduly restrict legitimate humanitarian action that complies with international humanitarian principles and law.”


Doctors Without Borders has raised a concern. They do not support the changes tabled by the government. They are instead encouraging the government to enact a full humanitarian exemption, as recommended by their committee. They say the idea that someone could be charged with a crime for providing medical care to a patient in a hospital during a conflict is ridiculous and out of step with the international humanitarian law that explicitly prohibits punishing a person for upholding medical ethics:

The legislation proposed by Canada today requires humanitarian organizations to seek permission from the Canadian government before we send medical staff to respond to some humanitarian crises—what happens if they say no? Do we walk away from maternity hospitals or primary health clinics? The Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian Law clearly state that countries have an obligation to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and a duty to not criminalize the work performed according to medical ethics, yet that's exactly what this legislation does.

That's a quote from Jason Nickerson, humanitarian representative to Canada, Doctors Without Borders.

My question to the minister is this: Why didn't the government put in the full humanitarian exemption?”

This petition asks Canada to grant asylum to transgender people from the U.S. Could it work?

This petition asks Canada to grant asylum to transgender people from the U.S. Could it work?

Some Democrat-led states are taking steps to protect transgender and non-binary people, especially young people. This month, for example, Minnesota Gov.Tim Walz signed an executive order to protect the rights of LGBTQ people in the state. A bill tabled by Minnesota's first openly transgender lawmaker also aims to make the state a "trans refuge state." 

NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan, who supports the reasons for the petition, said she's not sure travelling to different regions within a home country will be feasible for everyone. There are also uncertainties about whether that's a viable long-term option.

"These are ongoing concerns," she said. "If they [go] to yet another state, maybe the laws there will also change.”

Media Release: Open Letter to Immigration Minister on immigration measure for Hong Kong

Media Release: Open Letter to Immigration Minister on immigration measure for Hong Kong

The NDP is therefore calling on the government to apply this extension and expansion to the Permanent Residency stream for Hong Kongers. This is a gap that must be filled to ensure Hong Kongers have a sustainable pathway to safety.

In addition, I urge the government to lift 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 applications. As you could anticipate, for those who are being persecuted for violation of the national security law,

Are you ready to take action?

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