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IN THE NEWS: Van Sun - Ottawa bumps up social housing funds for shortchanged B.C.

IN THE NEWS: Van Sun - Ottawa bumps up social housing funds for shortchanged B.C.

Two years ago, NDP MP Jenny Kwan protested that the federal Liberals were directing less than one per cent of their social housing budget to B.C., despite the province being home to 11 per cent of the nation’s population.
The stark imbalance has improved since Kwan aired her complaints.
“Since exposing that B.C. only got 0.5 per cent of the funding, I’m glad to report that more funds have begun to flow to B.C.”


CBC: NDP calls for end to most immigration detention cases

The federal NDP is calling for an end to immigration detention — except for people who pose a danger to the public — after Radio-Canada/CBC reporting revealed that thousands of foreign nationals are detained each year with no release date.
"To put someone in jail when they're not a threat to public safety and throw away the key, without letting them know when they will actually be free, is so wrong, so inhumane," said Jenny Kwan, the party's immigration critic.   "People's lives are destroyed in that way and they have zero hope. Many of them may have fled persecution to get to safety. Little do they know that when they get to Canada, they could be put in jail."
Earlier this week, Radio-Canada/CBC told the story of Abdirahman Warssama, who fled to Canada from Somalia only to be locked up for five years and seven months in maximum security jails in Ontario.

Canadian Press: Critics pan government plaque praising Canada's evacuation efforts in Afghanistan

Canadian Press: Critics pan government plaque praising Canada's evacuation efforts in Afghanistan

NDP MP Jenny Kwan, who sat on the committee, said Canadian public servants and soldiers put their lives at stake to help people and should be commemorated — but not while Afghan is suffering ongoing tumult.  "This is about the lack of planning and thought that the government had put into this (evacuation)," she said.

"I'm very dismayed that the Liberal government was busy finding ways to congratulate themselves when the aftermath is so dire for the Afghans who have risked their lives and that of their family members, who helped Canada with our missions.”  Kwan argued a plaque commemorating Afghans who served Canada would be more appropriate.

Canadian Press: As NDP gathers to talk strategy, MPs vow to keep Liberals at their word on pharmacare

Canadian Press: As NDP gathers to talk strategy, MPs vow to keep Liberals at their word on pharmacare

"We'll absolutely be watching very carefully to see where the government is at, and whether or not they are going to honour their word," NDP caucus chair Jenny Kwan said Monday.  Before the holiday break, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh threatened to pull out of the agreement if federal action isn't taken to improve health care, which the party sees as a national crisis.  Kwan said pulling out of the agreement remains an option.
"We're going to have to wait and see how things unfold. I mean, our agreement is very clear to say what are the items that the government needs to deliver on," Kwan said.  Cost-of-living policies the Liberals passed last fall, including dental-care subsidies for children under 12 in low-income households, one-time rental supplements for low-income renters and a temporary doubling of the GST tax rebate, had been NDP priorities.

Politics: ‘Slow as molasses’: Rollout of $4B housing accelerator fund criticized amid housing shortage

Politics: ‘Slow as molasses’: Rollout of $4B housing accelerator fund criticized amid housing shortage

NDP housing critic Jenny Kwan said it was disappointing that the fund wasn’t getting rolled out sooner.

“It was disappointing even last year,” she told iPolitics on Wednesday. “It’s slow as molasses. Per usual, the Liberals always make promises and then they are always short on delivery. In the meantime, we’ve got a housing crisis.”
Kwan said the government needs to learn from the rapid housing initiative — another program aimed at boosting the housing supply — to ensure funding gets to municipalities and projects as quickly as possible. She also suggested that the HAF needs to be stackable with other housing programs and funding to ensure projects move forward.
Kwan said she would also like to see more focus on affordable housing and setting targets to help those who really need a home.
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