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.

CIMM#47: Motion to call Ministers to testify on the Afghan situation and probing the McKinsey contracts

"Just to be clear, this motion was passed by the committee on October 7. Since that time the committee has had 12 meetings. One would assume that since the motion had passed we would be inviting these ministers to come to the committee.

What are we talking about? We're talking about Afghanistan—the report that was done by the Special Committee on Afghanistan. We're talking about the 37 recommendations that committee had made to the government, and their response to it.

Meanwhile, we have Afghans who are being hunted down by the Taliban. Their lives are in grave danger for the simple reason that they helped Canada with its missions.

Meanwhile we have a third country, Pakistan, which has issued an enforcement for people who are there without a visa or with an expiring visa. They will be jailed or sent back to Afghanistan.

I have information that has been provided to me that the police in Pakistan have raided a hotel where they generally know that some of the Afghans have been staying, waiting for the processing of their application to get them to safety.

The situation is very real. Some people have already lost their lives, by the way. Some of the family members have not had any contact with what's happened with these individuals. We're talking about a gravely serious and urgent situation.”

MP Jenny Kwan: Pushes for stronger action on ending persecution and genocide of Uyghurs and Turkic Muslims

Madam Speaker, today we are debating Motion No. 62, a motion that focuses on the human rights abuses and genocide being carried out against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims by the government of the People's Republic of China.

Canada has an obligation to uphold and defend human rights in the international community and support Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims, who are facing horrific persecution. I want to send a clear message that New Democrats support the motion, and we stand in solidarity with them in their fight for human rights.

Canadian Press: Critics pan government plaque praising Canada's evacuation efforts in Afghanistan

Canadian Press: Critics pan government plaque praising Canada's evacuation efforts in Afghanistan

NDP MP Jenny Kwan, who sat on the committee, said Canadian public servants and soldiers put their lives at stake to help people and should be commemorated — but not while Afghan is suffering ongoing tumult.  "This is about the lack of planning and thought that the government had put into this (evacuation)," she said.

"I'm very dismayed that the Liberal government was busy finding ways to congratulate themselves when the aftermath is so dire for the Afghans who have risked their lives and that of their family members, who helped Canada with our missions.”  Kwan argued a plaque commemorating Afghans who served Canada would be more appropriate.

Canadian News: Ottawa urged to pressure Pakistan to stop deporting Afghans, speed up refugee claims

Canadian News: Ottawa urged to pressure Pakistan to stop deporting Afghans, speed up refugee claims

But that is cold comfort to NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan, who says she has been warning the government about the impending deadline since the Pakistan government first announced its plan in October.
Kwan pointed to numerous reports in recent weeks of Pakistan authorities checking foreigners' visas and making arrests as proof of the threat.  "The situation on the ground for people who are trying to escape persecution from the Taliban is that this is not reassuring at all," she said. "The reality is that they are living in fear every day."
Kwan said she has personally received text messages about Pakistani police having raided a hotel where Afghan refugees were staying. "And the only way I'm told that people cannot get arrested in that process is to pay heavy bribes," she said.
"The reality is that people have been hiding, and they have not been working. They don't really have the resources to be able to afford to pay these hefty bribes. That is what's happening on the ground for people."

CBC: Refugee group partners with Ottawa to bring hundreds of LGBTQ Afghans to Canada

CBC: Refugee group partners with Ottawa to bring hundreds of LGBTQ Afghans to Canada

"Rainbow Railroad has a fantastic track record in helping to resettle members from the [LGBTQ]  community across the globe," said British Columbia MP Jenny Kwan, the NDP's immigration critic.
While she applauds the partnership with Rainbow Railroad, she said the federal government must expedite the resettlement process for " individuals who are being persecuted [and] whose lives are at risk.”
Kwan said wait times for processing refugee claims can take up to three or four years — the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada's website states the projected wait time is approximately 24 months — and vulnerable people such as LGBTQ Afghans don't have that much time to wait.
Canadian Press: Unblocking Afghanistan aid could come in spring, minister says amid calls for urgency

Canadian Press: Unblocking Afghanistan aid could come in spring, minister says amid calls for urgency

The NDP says Ottawa has to boost its own spending to make up for the time it has spent holding back humanitarian groups from responding.
“This Liberal promise will not come in time to help Afghans face the brutal winter,” reads a joint statement by MPs Heather McPherson and Jenny Kwan.
“Afghanistan is in acute humanitarian crisis, with soaring food prices, insecurity and lack of access to basic services likely to cause widespread suffering and many deaths.”

CIMM#45: Jenny asked the Immigration Minister on Hong Kong lifeboat scheme, migrant workers treatment, systematic racism in IRCC, processing delay, and Afghan refugee applications

 My first question for the minister relates to the Hong Kong lifeboat scheme. Approximately 12,000 individuals have come to Canada and applied under that scheme, and 6,487 people were approved as of October 2021. Only 45 had permanent resident status approved by January 2022. According to research from Community Family Services of Ontario, 22% of the open work permit applicants graduated in 2016 or 2017, making them ineligible for PR under the scheme. By the time they complete their PR requirements, the degree, the limitation of five years will be over.
As the minister can see, there remain substantial barriers for Hong Kongers to access the open work permit scheme. It's set to expire on February 7, 2023. No replacement has yet been announced.

My question for the minister is this: Will he eliminate the five-year rule to make the lifeboat scheme actually workable for Hong Kongers? Second, will he extend the program?”

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