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.

CIMM#49: Inquiring about the challenges faced by Afghans with the Immigration Minister and IRCC officials

"Thank you very much, Madam Chair, and thank you to the minister and officials for coming to the committee today.

On the Afghan file, I would first like to touch on the issue around the cultural interpreters. They've been excluded from the program, and it requires legal counsel representing the families to take the matter to court. I think that, just before we started this meeting, one of the cultural advisers spoke with you about the lack of action from the government.

From that perspective, why is it that cultural advisers are excluded? I know there's work in place to try to include them, but there are still extended family members who are excluded, who are being targeted and hunted down by the Taliban because of their work for Canada.

Will the minister confirm that the extended family members of the cultural advisers will be brought to safety?”

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.”

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?”

CIM#43: Study on the conditions faced by asylum seekers

 If the Canadian government suspended the safe third country agreement, for example, people would not have to go through irregular entries. In fact, they could go through the official ports of entry without any fear. Right now, because of the safe third country agreement, they are not allowed to do that. When they do, they will be rejected automatically.
This is why I ask the question of whether the government should suspend the safe third country agreement.

I'm going to turn to Mr. André regarding the same question.”

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