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.”

Canadian Press: 'Incredibly frustrating' visa delays could thwart another Montreal conference

"It is really an embarrassment on an international scale, and we've seen this happen before," said NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan.

She said she's had constituents complain about visa woes, and timelines posted online suggest measures such as the event codes are not improving the department's ability to process applications.

"They said that they will learn from these lessons, and prevent it from happening again. But the reality is persisting, and if anything, it's actually getting worse," Kwan said.

Media Release: NDP blasts Liberals for failing to crackdown on greedy corporate landlords

“Under this liberal government, the cost of rent for Canadians went up 60 per cent,” said Kwan. “Liberals are letting corporate landlords rip off Canadian families by jacking up rent when they bring in a new tenant, and vacancy rates are lower than ever.”
Kwan says that the Liberals are making it easy for corporate landlords to get a profitable pay day on the backs of Canadian families struggling to find a home they can afford in their own communities.
“Letting corporations and speculators turn our housing market into a casino for the ultra-wealthy is wrong,” added Kwan. “But the Liberals have turned their backs on renters. When are the Liberals going to crackdown on the profiteering of corporate landlords that is keeping families from finding a home they can afford?”

Media Release: Expansion and extension of Lifeboat scheme for Hong Kongers step in the right direction but more needs to be done

Right from the beginning, Kwan and advocates for Hong Kongers had pointed out to the Liberal government that the 5-year graduation rule meant that many Hong Kongers would not be eligible under the program. This was proven to be the case when it was revealed that as of the end of October last year, only 134 Hong Kongers had come to Canada under the lifeboat scheme.
"Since the lifeboat scheme was first announced in November 2020, I continually brought the concerns directly to the attention of the Immigration Minister.  I spoke with him directly, had the issue studied by the Standing Committee on Citizenship, Immigration, and Refugees (CIMM) and most recently, CIMM issued a press release calling for action.  Today's announcement is a step in the right direction.  However, more needs to be done", added Kwan.
Hong Kong officials are working hard to promote the message that Hong Kong is returning to normal, however, the Hong Kong government is still aggressively using the national security law to persecute dissidents, journalists and including those who participated in the primary election of the Legislative Council.   Too many Hong Kongers find themselves accused of violating the national security law.  For the lifeboat scheme to be effective, the Canadian government recognize this and lift the criminal record check requirement for these Hong Kongers.

Media Release: NDP will table motion to raise Old Age Security payments for all seniors

OTTAWA – On Wednesday, NDP critic for Seniors Rachel Blaney (North Island—Powell River) will call on all members of parliament to support seniors by increasing Old Age Security (OAS) payments in the wake of the affordability crisis. But, instead of supporting some of Canada’s most vulnerable, the Liberals and Conservatives have teamed up to deny people the help they need.
“With the rising costs of groceries and mortgages and sky-high inflation rates, people are having an extremely difficult time keeping up. And seniors are some of the most impacted by how expensive everything has become, especially women,” said Blaney. “It’s really discouraging for a lot of people to see how the Liberals and Conservatives abandon people once they retire.”
Last summer, seniors 75 and older received a ten per cent increase to their OAS payments – but those under 75 haven’t received an extra cent. Blaney’s motion would have ensured that all seniors would receive the increase, rather than going forward with the Liberals two-tiered system that leaves out more than two million people.

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.

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