Jenny Kwan, MP

Member of Parliament, Vancouver East

News

Liberal government's promises keep leaving Canadians out in the cold

As more Canadians struggle to pay rent or even dream of buying a house, a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer released yesterday concluded that the housing need and affordability gap is expected to grow under the Liberal government's plan.

Meanwhile, Justin Trudeau keeps announcing money for housing that just never gets built. And then they pretend things are better than they really are.

How bad is it? Well…

• The Liberals claim they are spending $42.9 billion on new housing across all programs, while the PBO indicates the actual spending is only a fraction of that –10.5 billion.

• The Liberals say they have spent $26 Billion under the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFI) on the housing strategy but the actual budgetary cost was $1.6 billion.

• The Liberals report the construction of 37,300 new units under the RCFI and the National Housing Co-Investment Fund when, in reality, they’ve just approved funding for 17,004 units.

• When Liberals claim they helped over 1 million Canadians find affordable housing but most of it is from programs that predate the National Housing Strategy. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government took credit for over 183,000 social housing funding arrangements that were created before 1993 and have been allowed to expire.

• They also have no idea what “affordable” means. In most Canadian cities, what the government considers “affordable” is actually between 32 per cent to 121 per cent higher than average market rent. Even though that’s definitely not affordable for most Canadians, the Liberals count these people paying sky high prices in the number of Canadians they claim to have helped find “affordable” housing.

Sadly, Canadians can’t live in Liberal announcements – they need the government to actually build the houses they promise. The Liberals keep proving that they’re all talk with no intention of taking action to make things better for everyday people. Canadians deserve better.

You can view the complete report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer at this link .

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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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Vulnerable Populations in the COVID-19 Response

On March 16, 2020, I raised concerns about COVID-19 Pandemic Measures for vulnerable populations in an open letter, jointly with Vancouver-Kingsway MP Don Davies, to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and all members of the Cabinet Committee on the federal response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19):

 

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2019 Budget Speech

Mr. Speaker, people in Vancouver East expect their government to make life affordable, sustainable and fair for all Canadians. They expect their government to be on their side.

    In Vancouver East, I have heard from my constituents time and time again that we need real measures to make life affordable for Canadians, that we need immediate and urgent action to protect our climate and environment.

    On behalf of the constituents of Vancouver East, I have been strongly advocating for measures such as affordable housing, public universal pharmacare, environmental protections, climate action and tax fairness. Instead, we now have a country faced with many crises.

 

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MP Jenny Kwan Statement on the Federal Government Quietly Offering Settlement to Halt Lawsuits Over Parent Immigration Program

On January 28, the IRCC website opened to accept Interest to Sponsor applications from family members wishing to apply for family reunification under the Parents/Grandparents Program. Within 7 minutes, the application process was shut down. 11 minutes after the application opened, IRCC announced via Twitter that the annual limit had been reached and the application was closed. 

The media revealed that a number of individuals who were not able to submit an application to reunite with their loved ones under the parents/grandparents reunification process filled a lawsuit against the government. The Federal Liberal government then quietly settled with the litigants by offering them 70 coveted spots in the parents/grandparents sponsorship program. 

The fact that the government quietly offered a side deal to 70 families who threatened to sue the Liberal government is indicative that the process is inherently flawed and unfair. With this side deal, the Minister is effectively telling Canadians that you have to take the government to court to be treated fairly. It should not have come to this. All families want to do is be reunited with their loved ones. They should not have to go through such pain and anguish to be with their parents or grandparents. They certainly should not have to threaten to sue the government. Our process should be one that is open, accountable and fair. 

Sadly the Liberal government’s handling of this file has been deplorable from the beginning – whether it’s following the Conservative’s process that allowed people with resources to get in front of the line, or the Liberal’s process based on the luck of the draw lottery system, or this flawed and unfair online system, all have been a miserable failure.

It is time for the Liberals to do what is right: allow families to make their applications in a fair and orderly fashion by lifting the arbitrary cap on family reunification.​

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