Time Colonist: B.C. MP Jenny Kwan tables petition for foreign agent registry

A national registry for foreign agents should be expedited, says Vancouver East Member of Parliament Jenny Kwan, after tabling a petition in Parliament Tuesday.

“Foreign actors will try to coerce, co-op, reorient, neutralize, or even silence our voices. We must not allow foreign interference to suppress our voices and deter us from fighting for those who do not enjoy basic human rights,” said Kwan, who said last May she herself has been a target of affiliates of the People’s Republic of China.

The official petition garnered 5,799 citizen signatures and was largely a reaction to multiple media reports indicating the Chinese government promoted the election of certain politicians. It also follows years of heightened concerns in the Chinese-Canadian community that the PRC government is becoming more involved in civic affairs through the state-operated foreign propaganda network, the United Front Work Department.

Kwan specifically cited human rights and free speech matters the Chinese Communist Party is attempting to suppress in Canada, according to pro-democracy groups that organized the petition.

The Inertia: Canadian Official Calls for Erin Brooks To Be Granted Citizenship

Erin Brooks was once Canada’s greatest hope for Olympic surfing gold. Then it was discovered that she was not legally a Canadian and shortly afterwards her application for citizenship was officially rejected. Now, a member of the Canadian government has taken up the ongoing fight to get Brooks citizenship in time to qualify for Paris.
Jenny Kwan, a Member of Parliament affiliated with the New Democratic Party, called on Marc Miller, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, to step in and grant Brooks citizenship. Furthermore, Kwan accused the Conservative opposition in Ottawa of stalling Bill S-245, an amendment to the Citizenship Act that would allow second-generation people born abroad to be granted Citizenship, as the Vancouver Sun reports.

CBC: MP Jenny Kwan tells feds to help Erin Brooks surf for Canada at Paris Olympics

A full-court press is underway to get Erin Brooks on a surfboard for Canada at the upcoming world championships and Olympic Games.

Member of Parliament Jenny Kwan, the NDP critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, asked Minister Marc Miller on Thursday to grant Brooks citizenship because an amendment to the Citizenship Act has stalled in Ottawa.

"I'm asking the Minister of Immigration to grant Erin's citizenship under special grant, citing undue hardship," Kwan said Thursday at a press conference in Vancouver.

The 16-year-old Brooks earned a silver medal at this year's world championship and claimed a 2022 world junior title competing for Canada under an International Surfing Association citizenship waiver.

She also won a World Surf League Challenger Series event Oct. 21 in Saquarema, Brazil.

"Erin is a prodigy," Surf Canada executive director Dom Domic said.

Canada's recent denial of Brooks' citizenship application threw a spanner in her career.
Kwan accused the Conservative opposition in Ottawa of stalling an amendment to the Citizenship Act, Bill S-245, that restores citizenship rights for second-generation people born abroad.

Bill C-37 in 2009 ended those rights and Kwan says Brooks is emblematic of those experiencing the fallout.

Bill S-245 won't return to the House of Commons for third reading before mid-December, Kwan said.

"As the Canadian law stands right now, people who are second generation born abroad, do not have Canadian citizenship conferred to them from their Canadian parents. This was not always the case," Kwan said.

Globe: Liberals, NDP urge Conservatives not to stall citizenship rights for ‘lost Canadians’

Bill S-245 would change the law so if a Canadian parent could demonstrate a “substantial connection” to Canada, their child would again qualify for a passport.

It would also reinstate citizenship for a group of people born between 1977 and 1981, classified as “second generation born abroad,” who failed to reaffirm their citizenship by the age of 28.

The bill has passed through the Senate and most of its Commons stages, including in committee.

“We support the bill and encourage all parties to do so as well,” said Bahoz Dara Aziz, spokesperson for Immigration Minister Marc Miller.

But the NDP’s immigration critic Jenny Kwan accused the Conservatives of stalling its progress and “playing petty political games,” including filibustering debate at committee, to reduce its chances of becoming law.

She accused the sponsor of the Senate bill in the Commons, Conservative MP Jasraj Singh Hallan, of slowing the bill’s passage in the House by twice switching its scheduled third reading debate with another bill. Mr. Hallan and Tom Kmiec, the Conservative immigration critic, would not comment.

“Canada needs to fix the lost Canadians issue once and for all. The Conservatives were wrong to strip the right of parents to pass on their Canadian citizenship to their second-generation-born-abroad children 14 years ago,” she said. “In the case of William and Jack Cowling, it means they do not have the legal status to work in Canada and the family farm that has been in their family for six generations is now in jeopardy.”

CBC: Liberals table bill to ban replacement workers, fulfilling a key NDP demand

British Columbia and Quebec have similar legislation. New Democrats have attempted to bring in a bill of their own more than eight times over the past 15 years. The last time an NDP bill banning replacement workers went to a vote, in 2016, both Liberals and Conservatives voted against it.
Anti replacement worker legislation was one of the NDP's demands when it signed an agreement with the Liberals promising the government support on key pieces of legislation in exchange for progress on New Democrats' policy priorities.
The agreement specifically calls on the government to introduce "legislation by the end of 2023 to prohibit the use of replacement workers ... when a union employer in a federally regulated industry has locked out employees or is in a strike.” Marc Miller Says that the Canada Closed Work Permit is Set for Reform

The committee meeting saw NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan saying that action was long overdue and workers under this permit often failed to speak up owing to fears of losing their jobs and being deported.

When questioned by her on whether temporary workers should be given a direct path to permanent residence, Miller said that his government was considering such a route for construction workers. However, he does not believe that all temporary workers should have an automatic route to citizenship, and neither does he believe in abolishing the closed work permit.

Globe & Mail: Immigration minister to reform temporary foreign worker program to stamp out abuse after slavery claims

At the committee meeting, NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan said action was long overdue and migrant workers tied to a single employer were reluctant to speak out about abuse because it was difficult to find another employer under the immigration rules.

She asked whether migrants who come here to work on temporary permits should be given a clear route to permanent residency when they arrive.

Mr. Miller said the government was looking at reforms to allow construction workers, who are in short supply and needed to build more homes, to find a path to settling in Canada.

But he said he was not in favour of giving all temporary migrants an automatic route to citizenship, or abolishing closed work permits altogether.

Media Release: The Liberals are Still Out-Of-Touch with Canadians in Need of an Affordable Home

“The Liberals are out of touch with Canadians struggling to find a home they can afford. They just handed six parcels of federal lands to wealthy private developers and only a small fraction of the homes that will be built will be deemed affordable.
We are in the midst of a housing crisis. Rent is through the roof. In St. John's alone, 2000 households are on a waitlist for affordable housing, and another 10,000 in Edmonton. In many cases, Canadians are having to make impossible choices – some end up sleeping in their cars or on the streets because they can’t afford a roof over their heads. Homelessness is on the rise across the country.
Canada needs at least 2 million non-profit homes. The Liberals making once again the bad decision of putting profits over building affordable homes will be harmful for people. Public Support For Immigration To Canada Falls Amid Financial And Housing Crises

Immigrants Should Not be Blamed for the Housing Crisis

MP Jenny Kwan commented on the increasing blame being put on immigrants for the housing crisis at the recently-conducted Meeting No. 78 of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

She said that the housing crisis is a result of successive Liberal and Conservative governments’ failed attempts at establishing a successful housing plan, and not because of immigrants.

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