Jenny Kwan, MP

Member of Parliament, Vancouver East

Jenny in the House

Jenny's Member Statement: Calling on the federal government to decriminalize, cost share pandemic housing plan, have the Port stand down

On November 27, 2020, I stood in the House to call on the federal government for urgent help for our Van East community: 

"The Minister of Health said she has the highest regard for Dr. Patricia Daly, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

Why then has the Minister refused to follow their sound advice and decriminalize simple drug possession to help save lives?

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Now is our moment. Bring in universal comprehensive public single payer Pharmacare in Budget 2020!

On March 12, 2020, I gave a speech in the House on universal comprehensive public single payer Pharmacare. 

This was in support of the NDP's Motion:

March 10, 2020 — Mr. Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) — That the House: (a) acknowledge the government’s intention to introduce and implement national pharmacare; (b) call on the government to implement the full recommendations of the final report of the Hoskins Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, commencing with the immediate initiation of multilateral negotiations with the provinces and territories to establish a new, dedicated fiscal transfer to support universal, single-payer, public pharmacare that will be long term, predictable, fair and acceptable to provinces and territories; (c) urge the government to reject the U.S.-style private patchwork approach to drug coverage, which protects the profits of big pharmaceutical and insurance companies, but costs more to Canadians; and (d) recognize that investing in national pharmacare would help stimulate the economy while making life more affordable for everyone and strengthening our health care system.

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A Top Housing Priority: a funded housing strategy led by Indigenous peoples, for urban, rural, and northern Indigenous peoples

When I rose to ask the Prime Minister about the failures of his national housing strategy, including the glaring absence of a housing strategy that is led by Indigenous peoples, for rural, urban and northern Indigenous peoples, I received the usual meaningless talking points. This happened despite the fact that the Liberals pledged in 2017 with the introduction of the national housing strategy to address the housing crisis for Inuit, Métis and First Nations people.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development even committed on the public record that the Liberals are committed to a separate national urban indigenous housing strategy by and for urban Indigenous people. However, years later there is still no action.

Aboriginal people in Canada are 10 times more likely than non-Aboriginal people to become homeless. When I pointed out that in Vancouver 40% of the homeless population are Indigenous peoples, the Prime Minister was so busy patting himself on the back with self-congratulatory rhetoric that I do not even think he realizes how severe the housing crisis is and how grossly disproportionate it is in affecting urban, rural and northern Indigenous communities.

 

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Jenny on adding respect for Indigenous peoples' treaty rights to the Canadian Citizenship Oath

On February 24, 2020, I rose to speak the Bill C-6, "An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's call to action number 94)."

Madam Speaker, for generations, Canada has welcomed newcomers from around the globe looking to arrive here and contribute to this great place we call home. Canada has openly welcomed people fleeing political, economic and social hardships as well as those looking for better opportunities to better themselves and their families.

The multicultural mosaic of Canadian society has been shaped by people from all walks of life who have chosen to live freely together to ensure peace and respect for all. In welcoming those to our beloved country, we look to continue and strengthen that tradition of diversity and inclusion for all and those who wish to call Canada home.

As we begin to debate on Bill C-6, an act to amend the Citizenship Act, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's call to action number 94, we need to acknowledge Canada's colonial history. Embedded in that history are many chapters of how Canada legislated against and discriminated against the ethnic minority community.

The Chinese people who came before me helped Canada build the railway to connect this country from coast to coast to coast. They went through hell to earn me the right to stand here today. They sacrificed everything, and some paid with their blood. They took on the most dangerous work to help build the railway, and they fought for Canada even though they were deemed “aliens”. They were discriminated against and mistreated in ways that will make us hang our heads in shame.

I have learned from elders and the stories of how it was Indigenous peoples, themselves experiencing discrimination, who came forward to support the Chinese people. They helped them, housed them, fed them, clothed them, gave them medicine and offered a sense of belonging, and treated them with humanity. In practice, they have shown the world again and again that the most important life lesson is humanity; this from the very people who were experiencing colonization, who suffered extreme hardships and discrimination themselves.

All of this is to say how very grateful I am to the Indigenous peoples for their teachings, kindness and their humanity. What a privilege it is for me to learn from them, to stand with them, to thank them, to appreciate them for the teachings that they have given to all of us. These are the teachings of lifting each other up, of being land defenders, that water is life and that mother earth is sacred. These are teaching of being united with one heart.

As a non-Indigenous person, I stand as an ally. That is why the bill before us is so important. We, as settlers, must learn and understand Canada's colonial history.

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Jenny in QP: Dental care for millions of Canadians can happen!

On January 27, 2020, I stood in Question Period to ask my first question of the 43rd Parliament:

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Jenny responds to the new Liberal minority government's Throne Speech

On December 9, 2019, I gave my reply to the Speech from the Throne. Vancouver East is one of Canada's most diverse and progressive communities in the country. I am so very proud of our record here in Van East. We fight hard for what we believe in, and we have so much to celebrate. Yet, unfortunately, like me, the people of Vancouver East were left wanting after this throne speech. From affordable housing, to lasting justice for Indigenous people; from pharmacare and dental care to the urgent need for safe supply; from electoral reform to averting climate crisis - there is so much more that needs to be done and done now for the people of Vancouver East and indeed the entire country. I put forward these suggestions in the spirit of co-operation and saying to the government it is a minority government and New Democrats are here to work with it. Let us work for the people and act now make the changes.

 

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Jenny in QP: Justice for Golden Eagle Farms migrant workers!

On June 6, 2019, I stood to ask the following in Question Period: 

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Jenny in QP: Will the PM end the sex-based discrimination against First Nations women & their descendants today?

On June 5, 2019, I asked the following during Question Period: 

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"This is Canada's shame": we must acknowledge deliberate genocide against Indigenous peoples.

On June 5, 2019, I delivered a Members' Statement on the concluding report and Calls For Justice of the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: 

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Jenny in QP: Honour the truth of family members and survivors.

On June 4, 2019, I stood in Question Period to ask: 

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