Committees examine, in small groups, selected matters in greater depth. We report conclusions of those examinations, and recommendations, to the House. Committees undertake studies on departmental spending, legislation and issues related to the committees’ mandates.

As the NDP immigration critic, I am currently a member of the Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) and vice-chair of the Special Committee on Afghanistan (AFGH). I also participate in other committees, including the Special Committee Canada-China Relations (CACN) and Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA).

You can see my questions, answers and speeches in these committees on this page and the committee specific subpages.

AFGN COMMITTEE REPORT - Honouring Canada’s Legacy in Afghanistan: Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis and Helping People Reach Safety

The NDP stands firmly and fully in support of these calls for action.  The NDP is urgently calling on the Government of Canada to adopt the following recommendations.   

Recommendation 1: 

That the Government of Canada ensure that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada reduce the documentation requirements and allow persecuted Afghans’ paperwork and biometrics to be completed when they are safely on Canadian soil.

Recommendation 2:

That the Government of Canada provide evacuation flights to Afghans in third countries.

Recommendation 3:

That the Government of Canada apply the special immigration measures for Ukraine to Afghanistan.

Recommendation 4:

That the Government of Canada expand and renew the special immigration measures for Afghans for another year, so that those who are eligible have another opportunity to apply. 

CIMM: Potential appeal system for temporary resident visa applications

I move to amend Bill C-242 by adding, before line 5 on page 1, the following new clause:

1.1 Subsection 14(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is amended by adding the following after paragraph (c):

(c.1) special circumstances to be taken into account in the processing of temporary resident visa applications;

(c.2) a review process for decisions made in relation to temporary resident visa applications;

CIMM: Refugee Determination Process: Waive vs. Replace

In speaking first to the amendment, I would not support that amendment. It is not to replace the refugee determination process; it is to waive the refugee determination process. There is a distinct difference if you were to replace that versus to waive it. For all the other privately sponsored refugee processes, it is waived, so I would strenuously oppose the amendment.
The other piece, in speaking to the larger issue, I support this motion absolutely. There's no question. It has always been the NDP's view and my view that the government should apply special immigration measures equitably to all the different groups faced with conflict in different regions and persecution in different regions.

A Study on the Immigration and Refugee Board’s Appointment, Training, and Complaint Processes

As displacement and forced migration increases, the willingness to share in the responsibility to provide vulnerable people a safe haven to rebuild their lives is decreasing, especially amongst the wealthiest nations in the world. Canada has thus far gone against that trend, remaining a welcoming nation with a humanitarian spirit. However, the trust Canadians have in the system is at risk of being lost if the situation with irregular migrants is not managed properly.

Hearing from the Minister on Main Estimates, Interim Estimates, and Supplementary Estimates for the 2018-19 Budget as it pertained to immigration

In March, I asked the Minister whether the 2018 budget has increased much needed funding to the SWIS program to ensure that students and families do not fail in the resettlement process. In addition, I inquired as to whether the government is doing anything to address the issue of lack of affordable housing, particularly for newcomers. Unfortunately, it seems that there is no funding specifically allocated to housing when it comes to resettlement, hence the large number of refugees in shelters.

NDP STATEMENT ON THE M-103 REPORT: TAKING ACTION AGAINST SYSTEMIC RACISM AND RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION INCLUDING ISLAMOPHOBIA

To build a better Canada, all parties need to work collaboratively to address systemic racism and religious discrimination. There is significant statistical evidence and personal testimony highlighting an increase in hate incidents towards Muslims. Despite this, partisan politicking and debate over the term ‘Islamophobia’ disappointingly hindered discussion of how we can best combat the rise in hate crimes in Canada, including those directed towards Muslim Canadians and their places of worship.

Motion M-39: Immigration to Atlantic Canada

Strong families build strong communities, and strong communities build a strong economy. In order for families and communities to thrive, the local economy must be sustainable. Motion M-39 was tabled in part to identify ways to increase newcomer retention to Atlantic Canada. It was quickly identified that just increasing immigration isn’t enough – substantial work needs to be done to increase the sustainability of the region so that those born there and newcomers alike wish to stay and can thrive in the region.

Immigration Consultants

Canada’s immigration system can be very complex and difficult to navigate. Many people, both in Canada and abroad will seek the help of professionals to ensure their applications are filled out correctly and on time. Most often, that means people will hire an immigration lawyer or an immigration consultant. These services can be very expensive. While there an oversight body for registered immigration consultants in Canada, the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), Members of Parliament – myself included – far too often are told of stories of unregistered or ‘ghost consultants’ that charge incredibly high fees and provide bad services; including advice to break the law.

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