CBC: Singh launches broadside against Poilievre as New Democrats prepare for Parliament's return

CBC: Singh launches broadside against Poilievre as New Democrats prepare for Parliament's return

Singh launches broadside against Poilievre as New Democrats prepare for Parliament's return
NDP caucus chair and housing critic Jenny Kwan said New Democrats will use their leverage with the Liberals to ensure the government's fall economic statement promises swift action on the housing crisis.

"We need ... real commitments in the fall economic statement for the government to understand the crisis that is there with respect to the housing situation," Kwan said.

The housing crisis will be high on the agenda when the New Democrat caucus meets in Ottawa today ahead of what's expected to be a busy parliamentary sitting.
No date has been announced for the release of the fall economic statement, which provides a snapshot of government spending and the outlook for the Canadian economy. Such statements also can contain new spending measures.

Kwan said the NDP will press the Liberals to expand the not-for-profit housing market and build more housing co-operatives. She said New Democrats also will pressure the federal government to change the initiatives that accompany the national housing strategy, which she said have not been "particularly effective."

The federal NDP currently holds the balance of power in the House of Commons. The Liberal minority government relies on New Democrats' votes to pass legislation through a formal agreement that both parties signed.

Under the terms of that confidence-and-supply agreement, the NDP agreed to support key government legislation in exchange for the Liberals advancing a number of NDP policy priorities.

CBC: MPs say democracy is fraying in Canada — but there's hope

CBC: MPs say democracy is fraying in Canada — but there's hope

For some MPs, the negativity of social media has crossed into both threatened and real abuse.

Jenny Kwan, NDP MP for Vancouver East, said she worries about rising extremism on the right, inspired by former U.S. president Donald Trump.

"I saw how people became very much open to the whole idea of discrimination and racism and and white supremacy openly," she said. "And I'm seeing some of that, you know, emerging in our community."

Just as she and CBC reporter Anne Penman were discussing the issue in Kwan's riding, the MP was confronted by someone who began to shout racist abuse at her, including, "You don't belong here, Jenny" and "Go home, Jenny."

"I hope that anger comes from a place of need, for people to be heard and be supported. So I work hard not to take it personally, even though it's very personal and sometimes very hurtful," Kwan said.

"I've had people say to my face, for example, with COVID-19, that it is the 'Kwan virus.'"

Kwan's caucus colleague, Nunavut MP Lori Idlout, said the wave of threats aimed at MPs last year was one of two things that made her fear for Canadian democracy — the other being the 2022 convoy protests.

"MPs as lawmakers need to know that they can do their work without fear, without knowing that their families' lives are at risk because of what other threats might be given to them," Idlout said.

While she sometimes feels down about the state of democracy, Kwan said there's often a simple fix.

"I will come back and I will walk the streets. I'll reconnect with people, talk to the people," she said. "Not as a politician, just as a human being. And [I] ground myself. Then I realize why I'm here.”

CBC: NDP MP, Beijing critics call on Ottawa to launch foreign agent registry quickly

CBC: NDP MP, Beijing critics call on Ottawa to launch foreign agent registry quickly

NDP MP Jenny Kwan and vocal critics of China are calling on the federal government to swiftly introduce — and on Parliament to quickly pass — foreign agent registry legislation to safeguard the next federal election.

In a new petition, Kwan and a coalition of human rights and pro-democracy groups are urging the House of Commons to pass the yet-to-be introduced legislation as soon as possible.

Under intense scrutiny over its handling of alleged Beijing-backed interference operations in the last two federal elections, the Liberal government launched public consultations on a proposed foreign agent registry in March.

A government source told CBC News in March that a bill will be tabled in the House of Commons later this year.

"This should have been done yesterday," Kwan told CBC News. "If we head into the next election without some safeguards and measures in place, then it is us, Canadians, who will actually suffer.

"The government has to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table to try and get this work done."

Chek News: Nanaimo family moving to Alberta as housing crisis, inflation continues

They say the problem is that not enough homes are being built and corporations are buying some of the ones that are.

“That’s why we are fighting to address the issues that we’re seeing around the financialization of housing, to see a national acquisition fund and to see a moratorium on large corporations swooping in and buying those affordable homes,” said Lisa Marie Barron, MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

“The largest real estate investment trusts over the last number of years benefitted $1.7 billion that they did not pay,” said Jenny Kwan, the NDP’s Housing Critic as she criticized how corporate taxes are set up.

Excalibur News: Federal Politicians Call for Better Strategies and Supports for Toronto Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Jenny Kwan, who is a member of Parliament for Vancouver East and NDP critic of housing, immigration, refugees and citizenship, noted that the IHAP announcement is a good first step but highlighted the federal government’s lack of planning in the past.

“The federal government really needs to ensure that they’re working collaboratively with the provincial, municipal, and nonprofit organizations on the ground. And in particular, the NGOs. They’re the people who actually really know what’s going on,” says Kwan. 

A report by the Committee on Citizenship and Immigration conducted at the House of Commons in November 2016 examined the federal government’s resettlement efforts of 25,000 Syrian refugees between November 4, 2015 and February 29, 2016.

The committee recommended for “Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada [to] work with its partners to develop an affordable housing strategy for newcomers, and that the government work with the provinces and settlement agencies.” 

Kwan says the federal government did not implement the recommended measures, even after NGOs offered to partner. “History is repeating itself. We have a large number of asylum seekers coming to Canada — there’s no preparation for it,” she adds.

Nanaimo News Now: Housing headlines federal NDP B.C. caucus meeting in Nanaimo

Barron accused the Liberals of using housing “as a commodity” while suggesting proposals from the federal Conservatives failed to look at issues around affordability.  She said a moratorium needs to be put in place to prevent corporate landlords “swooping in” to purchase low-cost units.

“We know at one point we had a government where our federal government did invest in co-op housing, social housing, we need to see that happening again.”

Barron’s comments were echoed by caucus chair and Vancouver East MP Jenny Kwan who said the issue dates back to the 1980s and 1990s when the private sector was embedded in the real estate and housing market.

“These are corporate landlords that are coming in and they started to buy up the existing, private, low-cost rental apartments. When they buy them up, it’s not like they’re fixing them up and putting them on the market at the same rate. They’re jacking up the rent, evicting people…and escalating the housing crisis.”

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