STATEMENT: Canadians struggle as housing costs grow under the Liberal government

The Liberal housing strategy is delivering far less social and affordable housing than it used to and it's Canadians and their faimilies who are suffering for the government's failure. A recent report by the National Housing Council said that the Liberal’s largest housing programs ‘could meet only a fraction of existing need’ and the Parliamentary Budget Officer also said that the affordability gap and housing need will only continue to grow under the Liberal plan. Despite these troubling concerns, the government still refuses to recognize the lack of affordable housing as a crisis.

IN THE NEWS: BBC - Ukraine Crisis: Afghan family pleads for Canada's help

IN THE NEWS: BBC - Ukraine Crisis: Afghan family pleads for Canada's help

Former government prosecutor Mir Safi was among the thousands of people evacuated from Afghanistan's Kabul airport last August, fearful of retribution from the rapidly advancing Taliban.

Six months later, Mr Safi and his wife, nephew and three children - one just a week old - were again forced to flee, this time from a war in Ukraine he said is "more dangerous" than Afghanistan. They faced the Russian invasion, paperwork woes, medical issues and what Mr Safi said was an often hostile Ukrainian population.

MEDIA STATEMENT - NDP continued to call for Visa Free travel for Ukrainians

As the impact of the unprovoked war by Russia continues, Canada must provide support to Afghans and other ethnic minorities also fleeing Putin's war in Ukraine and ensure they have equal access to reach and cross borders, including Indian and African students who have faced discrimination in their attempts to find safety. Immigration measures need to be put in place for them so that they can expeditiously seek refuge in Canada.

STATEMENT: Liberals reject call to remove red tape for Ukrainians seeking refuge

NDP critic for immigration, refugees and citizenship, Jenny Kwan, made the following statement:

"Since 2018, the NDP has been calling for the visa requirements to be dropped for Ukrainians who wish to come to Canada. With the unprovoked Russian invasion, the need to expedite the process for Ukrainians looking for refuge in Canada has never been more urgent.

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?

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.

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