IN THE NEWS: Hill Times - As Conservatives decry end of accountability at committees, NDP MPs say nothing has changed

IN THE NEWS: Hill Times - As Conservatives decry end of accountability at committees, NDP MPs say nothing has changed

“I will continue to advocate and hold the government to account and pursue different issues on the two respective committees that I sit on,” she said. “From that perspective, this agreement changes nothing for me.”

“With or without the agreement, it does not steer me from holding the government to account, pushing the government in delivering for the people,” she said. “I’m going to be as helpful as I can, but I am going to be hard in holding the government to account to push them to take the necessary actions.”

She said she will continue to ask “tough questions,” including when Immigration Minister Sean Fraser (Central Nova, N.S.) appears.

Kwan said in cases where filibustering takes place, the NDP would assess if it is helpful or impeding the work of the committee.

She said she foresees that there will continue to be opportunities to work with other opposition parties.

IN THE NEWS: CTV - ‘Lives are at risk’: NDP implore feds to speed up resettlement of Afghan interpreters’ families

IN THE NEWS: CTV - ‘Lives are at risk’: NDP implore feds to speed up resettlement of Afghan interpreters’ families

The New Democrats are pleading for the government to speed up the immigration process to allow extended family members of Afghan interpreters fleeing the Taliban to come to Canada.

NDP immigration, refugees, and citizenship critic Jenny Kwan was joined by former interpreters on Wednesday to call on Immigration Minister Sean Fraser to reduce application barriers and speed up processing as their families face escalating threats.

“As the government continues to dawdle on this file, lives are at risk as I speak to you today. Their lives could be at risk and I have to ask this question: What is going on with the government? What is going on with the Ministry of Immigration?” said Kwan.

MEDIA RELEASE: NDP stands up for Afghan interpreters’ families

“Since the application process opened on December 9, 2021, these former Afghan interpreters representing 300 families submitted over 300 applications,” said Kwan. “To date, not one family from their group has arrived in Canada, and all applications submitted in January haven’t even received a file number. This is unacceptable. Meanwhile, lives hang in the balance. The government must expedite these applications so these families can be reunited safely in Canada.”

Hundreds of Afghan interpreters provided vital service​s to ​the Canadian military in Afghanistan. In early September 2021, just weeks after the fall of Kabul, former Afghan interpreters organized a hunger strike calling on the Liberal government to allow their extended families to get to safety in Canada. They were successful with their advocacy when the government announced new measures for extended families of Afghan interpreters—but the government has yet to process their applications.

IN THE NEWS: Hill Times - ‘Racism plays a role in immigration decisions,’ House Immigration Committee hears

IN THE NEWS: Hill Times - ‘Racism plays a role in immigration decisions,’ House Immigration Committee hears

NDP MP Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, B.C.) her top priority on this topic is to convince the government to put an independent ombudsperson in place whose job it would be to assess IRCC policies and the application of said policies as they relate to differential treatment, systemic racism, and gender biases.

“Let’s dig deep. Have an officer of the House do this work completely independent from the government,” she said in an interview with The Hill Times.

At the March 22 meeting, Kwan asked all six witnesses to state for the record if they agreed that the government should put such an ombudsperson in place. All six witnesses agreed. Kwan questioned the ability of the department to conduct its own internal reviews.

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister on border restriction

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister on border restriction

This letter is regarding the most recent announcement made on the morning of March 20th 2020 by Prime Minister Trudeau that irregular migrant crossings will not be permitted from the United States border, and will be turned back into U.S custody. It was only days ago that the government provided verbal assurance that asylum seekers crossing into Canada irregularly would not be turned away. Now today these unprecedented restrictions have been announced and I am highly concerned about the possible implications that could result. It is incredibly disappointing that Canada is turning its back on its humanitarian obligations, particularly when we are facing a global pandemic when those who are most vulnerable are in need now more than ever.
The current unprecedented situation with COVID-19 does not mean that the global forced displacement crisis is over, nor does it mean that the conditions for those fleeing persecution had stopped. Choosing to turn our backs on those in desperate need to get to safety will not effectively stop the spread of COVID-19.

IN THE NEWS: CTV - The day after the deal: MPs voice their views on the Liberal-NDP agreement

IN THE NEWS: CTV - The day after the deal: MPs voice their views on the Liberal-NDP agreement

NDP MP Jenny Kwan said that while the deal doesn’t include all of the policies the NDP want progress on, “it is about getting as much as we can for the people who need the supports and services,” and she and others will continue to fight for more.

“That’s what this agreement is about, getting as much as we can,” Kwan said. “Imagine—if 25 New Democrats can get us this far—what a majority New Democrat government can do.”

NEWS: CBC - How the Liberal-NDP agreement will work and what it  might mean for Canadians

NEWS: CBC - How the Liberal-NDP agreement will work and what it might mean for Canadians

The "supply-and-confidence" agreement struck between the governing Liberals and the opposition New Democrats could affect the kind of legislation Canadians can expect to see pass through Parliament between now and 2025.

According to the deal, those key policy areas are climate change, health care spending, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, economic growth and efforts to make life more affordable.

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