IN THE NEWS: Indo-Canadian Voice - NDP urges Liberals to take immediate action to address Canada’s nursing shortage

“Nurses are overworked and it is hurting them and their patients. When hospitals don’t have enough nurses, wait times increase and surgeries get delayed,” said Kwan. “Meanwhile, there are qualified internationally educated nurses waiting for their applications to be processed. The Liberals need to recognize that they can fix this crisis, rather than being a roadblock. We are demanding that the government adequately fund IRCC so that qualified health care workers can be granted permanent residence.”

NDP call for emergency debate on GIS cut crisis facing Canadian seniors

OTTAWA – Seniors in Canada have faced difficult challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with the pandemic still ongoing and the cost of living rising, the Liberal government is turning its back on our most vulnerable seniors by cutting the Guaranteed Basic Income (GIS) that they rely on to pay their bills and buy groceries. New Democrats know that’s not right and are fighting back. Today, the NDP’s Critic for Seniors, Rachel Blaney (North Island-Powell River) and the Critic for Employment and Workforce Development, Daniel Blaikie (Elmwood Transcona), sent a letter requesting an emergency debate on these cuts that are hurting seniors.

IN THE NEWS: Indo-Canadian Voice - NDP MPs urge Liberals to stop cutting help Canadians count on

“The cost of everyday essentials is skyrocketing and families in my riding were already struggling to get by, even before the CCB was clawed back,” said NDP MP Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East). “Vulnerable families need to be supported, and that’s why we’re calling on the Liberal government to give families the benefits they deserve.”

Statistics Canada on Thursday indicated that the cost of living is rising across the country – the price of gasoline rose a massive 41.7 percent from last October. New Democrats are saying that this will make it even harder for Canadian families to afford the things they need.

IN THE NEWS: Hill Times - New House set to return as Liberal government faces unfinished legislative business with potential NDP ally

Ms. Kwan, who insisted that the NDP will press the Liberal government hard to move on a myriad of issues starting with seniors who received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit during the pandemic and who have now either seen their Guaranteed Income Supplement payments reduced or lost leaving some of them unable to pay rent.

“Housing affordability is a paramount issue—whether it’s someone who is homeless or those trying to get into the market for the first time,” said Ms. Kwan, the NDP’s housing critic.
She explained that the affordability issue touches health care too, where one of her constituents recently told her of being unable to cover the cost of cancer medication—a shining example, in Ms. Kwan’s view, of why her party will continue to press the Liberal government on universal pharmacare.

The Liberals will have an eager and unrelenting ally in the New Democrats to pursue action in addressing “the climate crisis before us,” said Ms. Kwan, a former NDP cabinet minister in British Columbia. “Canada has yet to meet a COP target since Paris in 2015.”

In her opinion, she said Mr. Trudeau also missed an opportunity to advance reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples this year by both vacationing in Tofino, B.C. on the country’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Sept. 30), and later by his government filing an appeal of a Federal Court decision upholding a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling on Indigenous child-welfare compensation, while continuing to negotiate an out-of-court settlement.

In her role as federal NDP critic for immigration, refugees and citizenship, Ms. Kwan has another issue she will hammer home when the House resumes sitting.   “Immigration is in complete chaos right now. The backlog for every stream is mind boggling,” she explained.

“There was already a backlog before the pandemic, and with the pandemic, immigration processing was severely debilitated. Amidst all of that, the Liberals decided to call an election on the day [Aug. 15] when there was a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.”

IN THE NEWS: Toronto Star - As MPs return to Hill, some still worry about safety despite enhanced security

Jenny Kwan, NDP MP for Vancouver East, said she opted in to an expert security assessment of her home and it made her feel safer knowing the measures are up to par — not just for herself but also her family.

“For me, this is particularly important because in previous occasions, I’ve had threats where people came to my home and threatened my family, including my children,” said Kwan.

IN THE NEWS: CHEK - Documents detail impacts of federal aid on benefits for seniors, families

New Democrat Jenny Kwan said many seniors in her Vancouver riding are worried about paying the rent, and those facing language barriers have issues getting information on why their payments have been slashed.

“It is so stressful for these seniors,” Kwan said. “I have no doubt in my mind if the government doesn’t take action, these seniors will wind up being homeless.”

Best investigative journalism by a politician

Vancouver East NDP MP Jenny Kwan discovered that B.C. only received 0.5 percent of the National Housing Co-Investment Fund expenditures over two fiscal years under the national housing strategy. Ontario gobbled up $1.39 billion to fund 59,228 units, whereas B.C. only received $7.3 million to fund 66 units.

In light of this, is it any wonder that there have been so many tent cities popping up in Kwan’s riding?

IN THE NEWS: Tyee - Struggling workers face ‘bleak’ future as pandemic benefits end

Jenny Kwan, the NDP MP for Vancouver East, said she is concerned about the impact the federal government’s decision not to renew CRB will have on the arts and culture sector. According to Kwan, her riding has the highest per capita number of people employed in that sector in the country.

“The pandemic has hit them hard,” said Kwan, who has spoken to constituents who have seen live bookings dry up during the pandemic’s fourth wave.

“With the CERB and CRB ending, it places people in that very, very difficult situation,” she added. “It is a situation where people are saying, how are they going to make rent?”

“The assumption that they might just be looking to collect the CRB without working, that’s simply untrue,” said Kwan. “There are still a lot of people who are still out of work and unable to secure employment.”

Headline: CBC: Couple calls on new immigration minister to act on backlogged spousal sponsorship files, issue visitor visas

Kwan has also joined calls from family advocacy groups and the Canadian Bar association's immigration branch to remove or update section 179(b), and to provide TRVs to spouses who have been stuck in application processing queues for more than a year.

"Every MP in the country will know exactly what I'm talking about and will know this is a major issue for their constituents in their own riding, so it is in the best interests of the government to take action," said Kwan.

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