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IN THE NEWS: G&M: Canadians should brace for economic collateral damage as sanctions against Russia mount, Chrystia Freeland says

NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan urged the government to drop the requirement. Canada has granted citizens of more than 60 countries and jurisdictions visa-free access to this country. The European Union in 2017 dropped its visa requirement for Ukrainians.

“I have heard from constituents who have family members back in Ukraine that have had their visa applications rejected. Canadians are feeling helpless and frustrated because they can’t get their family members to safety,” Ms. Kwan said. “By failing to remove all the bureaucratic red tape the government is leaving people stranded in a terrifying situation.”

IN-DEPTH: CCPA - What happened to the National Housing Strategy?

When it comes to new affordable housing, however, the bottom line is that the NHS has delivered relatively little of what Canadians might consider to be affordable housing or social housing, in particular dedicated non-market and co-op rental housing. Market housing in Canada constitutes about 95% of the housing stock, and the NHS does not make any serious inroads into challenging that situation. If anything, the NHS is supporting the ongoing financialization of Canada’s housing stock by emphasizing low-interest loans to private developers building market rental housing.

IN THE NEWS: CTV - Canada sending anti-tank weapons, ammunition to Ukraine

The NDP is calling for Canada to drop its visa requirements for Ukrainians, to avoid those seeking refuge from a “bureaucratic nightmare,” as immigration critic and NDP MP Jenny Kwan put it in a statement.

“Canadians are watching in horror, as hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians seek refuge from the unprovoked Russian invasion. People in this country expect their government to act swiftly to help those in danger… The government has to move quickly to cut the red tape – Ukrainians' lives depend on it,” Kwan said.

STATEMENT: People in northern communities can’t afford more broken Liberal promises on housing: NDP

"For years, people living in northern communities have been dealing with a devastating housing crisis while consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments ignored their basic human rights. Houses in northern communities are often overcrowded, in desperate need of repair and many are filled with mould. Despite the Liberals promising to deliver an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy since 2017, Canadians are still waiting. Even these promises are not sufficient to meet the current housing needs which are hurting communities."

IN PARLIAMENT: VIDEO - Speak to support Bill C-242, the Reuniting Families Act

The heart of the issue of Bill C-242 is reuniting families. It is about ensuring that parents and grandparents can come to Canada to be with their loved ones. We know the value of that and cherish it as individuals. Like other people with children, I value the moments that my daughter and son spend with their grandmother and grandfather. Of course, my parents are immigrants here, so they get to enjoy that, but so many newcomers, so many immigrants who come to this country, are not in that fortunate situation. They did not bring their parents and grandparents here to Canada, and they cannot enjoy those moments. What Bill C-242 is trying to do is facilitate a process for those families to be reunited through the super visa process.
The super visa process is already in place, and the bill before us seeks to enhance it by addressing the high cost of the issue with respect to insurance coverage particularly, and then extending the period to which parents and grandparents can come to Canada under a super visa.
Interestingly, and because of petty politics, in my view, after the bill was tabled, we saw the government, through committee, literally in the ninth hour, bring forward ministerial instructions to try to kill the bill, which is exactly what happened. Despite government members saying that they have advocated for this for a very long time, the reality is that they did not act on it. I remember, because back in 2015 as a new member of Parliament, this was one of the issues that we studied. We studied parents and grandparents reunification, and there was a whole host of recommendations that were tabled, but then it just sat on a shelf and nothing happened. I express my congratulations to the member for actually pushing the government in this regard and getting this done.
With that being said, I do think there are flaws within the bill. Of course, my first choice would be for the government to lift the cap on parents and grandparents reunification so that all those family members could seek permanent residence status here in Canada in an expeditious way. Now, that did not happen.

Federal Government To Reverse GIS Clawback with One-Time Payment

Since before the election, New Democrats have been hearing from seniors who have been seriously hurt by the Liberal government's unacceptable decision to claw back the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) from seniors who received emergency pandemic supports such as CERB. The NDP brought the issue directly to the attention of the Ministers before the election, sadly they just ignored it. For months, we continued to call for the government to fix this injustice immediately by excluding pandemic benefit benefits in the calculation of GIS eligibility.

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