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IN THE NEWS: Van Sun - Ottawa bumps up social housing funds for shortchanged B.C.

IN THE NEWS: Van Sun - Ottawa bumps up social housing funds for shortchanged B.C.

Two years ago, NDP MP Jenny Kwan protested that the federal Liberals were directing less than one per cent of their social housing budget to B.C., despite the province being home to 11 per cent of the nation’s population.
The stark imbalance has improved since Kwan aired her complaints.
“Since exposing that B.C. only got 0.5 per cent of the funding, I’m glad to report that more funds have begun to flow to B.C.”


IN THE NEWS: Hill Times - Liberals have misplaced priorities for immigration, say opposition MPs

IN THE NEWS: Hill Times - Liberals have misplaced priorities for immigration, say opposition MPs

“Some of the funding allocations within the budget were misplaced. The government’s priorities are out of place, as it seems that they’re putting more energy towards strengthening the bureaucracy that has contributed to the government’s failure, than helping to resettle, and to process applications, and [address] the backlog,” said NDP MP Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, B.C.) in an interview. 
Kwan said the government needs to provide further transparency about what exactly the purpose of these funds will be, particularly as they are going to CBSA and CSIS—two organizations that are not exactly tasked with welcoming asylum-seekers in. 
“When they say they’re strengthening the integrity of the government system, maybe what they can do is strengthen the integrity of the system by ensuring that applications are processed in a timely manner,” she quipped. 

MEDIA RELEASE - We must eliminate Islamophobia and all forms of racism from our systems of government

“New Democrats are appalled by how the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is reportedly treating Muslim organizations like the Muslim Association of Canada. We see clearly that Islamophobia and other forms of racism continue to exist in our systems of government. Not only does this pose a threat to the well-being of our communities, but it also hurts the social fabric of our country. We welcome the legal challenge launched on Wednesday.
Last summer, nearly 100 Muslim organizations and civil society groups sent a letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to reform the CRA’s auditing processes, which they allege unfairly target Muslims.

IN THE NEWS: Global News - Trudeau defends Canada’s resettlement of Afghans, says ’there’s much more to do'

NDP MP Jenny Kwan on Wednesday called for the government to waive documentation requirements for Afghan refugees and streamline the process to allow people to enter Canada quicker.
Kwan said in a statement that the government had requested “even more documentation” from family members of Afghan interpreters’ families seeking asylum. She said Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) had emailed the interpreters stating they had 30 days to submit additional documents for their resettlement or their applications could be refused.
“The families have already submitted abundant documentation to IRCC when they first applied. Now, eight months later, the government is putting up more hurdles for [them],” Kwan said.
“While the families flee for their lives in Afghanistan, the government is burying their loved ones with more onerous paperwork. For some, this may as well be a death sentence.”
Kwan called for the Liberals to waive the documentation requirements, issue single travel journey documents to the family members to reach a third country and organize evacuation flights to reunite them with their loved ones in Canada. The NDP is also calling on the government to waive the refugee determination requirements and allow the families to apply for the special immigration measures from within Afghanistan.
“Former Afghan interpreters are part of the Canadian military family — they deserve recognition,” Kwan said.

MEDIA RELEASE - The Liberals must stop giving a free pass to the ultra-rich and make them pay their fair share: NDP

In last week’s federal budget, New Democrats used their power to make big banks and other financial institutions pay a little bit more of their fair share after making record profits. New Democrats are calling for these measures to be extended to big box stores and big oil companies making record profits so that the money can be reinvested in solutions that make life more affordable for you and your family.
“When the cost of food, housing and gas for your cars goes up faster than workers’ wages, it’s like getting a hefty pay cut — it’s not fair,” said Blaikie. “Rich CEOs are lining their pockets on the backs of struggling Canadians. It doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of maintaining a rigged system that benefits the wealthiest, we need to fix it by making sure those at the top pay their fair share. By doing so, we can invest more in healthcare, build affordable homes, and create good jobs that help fight the climate crisis for Canadians.”

MEDIA RELEASE - Liberals’ fail to protect Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people

WINNIPEG — NDP Critic for the Status of Women, Leah Gazan (Winnipeg Centre) is asking why the Liberal government didn’t allocate new funding in last week’s budget to implement the 231 Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Since the inquiry released its findings in 2019, the Liberals have yet to release a national action plan with targets, timelines and funding to address this ongoing genocide, and their inaction is costing Indigenous women their lives.
“Rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls have dramatically increased during the pandemic, and the Liberal government keeps stalling on implementing all Calls for Justice,” said Gazan. “Last week’s budget was yet another opportunity for the Liberals to show that they are truly committed to a plan backed by real funding to implement the Calls for Justice, but again they’re failing to do what’s necessary. They chose to give billions to big oil companies while leaving out much needed investments to make life safer for Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people. This is unacceptable.”

IN THE NEWS: CTV - Treat our families as well as Ukrainian refugees: Afghan interpreters

IN THE NEWS: CTV - Treat our families as well as Ukrainian refugees: Afghan interpreters

NDP critic on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Jenny Kwan criticized the government for subjecting interpreters to "even more bureaucratic red tape" just days after the interpreters held a protest and began a hunger strike to highlight their plight last month.
Kwan cited an email to Afghan interpreters from immigration authorities saying they have 30 days to submit additional documents or their families' applications may be refused.
"While the families flee for their lives in Afghanistan, the government is burying their loved ones with more onerous paperwork," Kwan said. "For some, this may as well be a death sentence."

IN THE NEWS: Globe & Mail - Former Afghan embassy guards plead with Ottawa: ‘Please don’t forget us’

NDP Immigration critic Jenny Kwan said the Prime Minister is making up excuses for not providing the travel documents, especially for security guards and interpreters who received high-security vetting to be able to work at the embassy.
”Frankly they are running out of excuses. People’s lives are on the line,” she said. “People are not saying help us get out of Afghanistan. They are saying give us the travel documents so we can get out of Afghanistan and to safety.”
Ms. Kwan emphasized that the House of Commons Immigration committee unanimously passed a motion last week calling on the government to simplify the processing for Afghans, as it has for Ukrainians fleeing Russian aggression.
Mohammad, who worked at the embassy as a full-time guard since 2013, said the Taliban are hunting Afghans who worked for Canada and other Western countries and they are getting help from informants.
He and his wife and three young children are in hiding. They abandoned their home in Kabul and are relying on safe houses to avoid being caught by the Taliban.

MEDIA RELEASE - Liberals must remove red tape to bring families of Afghan interpreters and collaborators to Canada

OTTAWA – Today, NDP Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Jenny Kwan called out the Liberal government for requiring Afghan interpreters to complete even more bureaucratic red tape before they can bring their families to safety in Canada. Only days after the interpreters held a protest and hunger strike to highlight the already frustrating and lengthy process in March, the government requested even more documentation from their family members seeking asylum.
“Afghan interpreters and their families have gone through enough,” said Kwan. “Just days after their protest, the government decided to complicate the process even more for these Afghan interpreters and their family members threatened by the Taliban. While the families flee for their lives in Afghanistan, the government is burying their loved ones with more onerous paperwork. For some, this may as well be a death sentence.”

MEDIA RELEASE - Liberals must expand sanctions to crack down on Putin

“The reports of Putin’s war crimes against Ukrainians are appalling. As Ukrainians are being bombed and killed by Putin’s illegal invasion of their country, New Democrats welcome newly announced sanctions against Russia. However, it’s extremely unfortunate that there are still parts of the Russian defense sector that haven’t been sanctioned this far into Putin’s war. While the NDP has been calling for the expansion of these measures, the Liberals refuse to take the necessary steps.
We are also concerned that while yachts and properties are being seized by other countries, there has been little information regarding how Canadian sanctions are being enforced and how effective they’ve been in hitting Putin and his oligarchs where it hurts. We have been urging the government to be more transparent to ensure sanctions aren’t just empty words, but truly laser focused on those who are benefiting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

STATEMENT: Jenny Kwan’s statement on the launch of EMPP and the Global Task Force on Refugee Labour Mobility

STATEMENT: Jenny Kwan’s statement on the launch of EMPP and the Global Task Force on Refugee Labour Mobility

The Liberals need to make good on their promises if we are to meaningfully realize the talent of ​the refugees who want to come to Canada and contribute to ​Canada's economic, social and cultural fabric.
Furthermore, the EMPP’s requirement that applicants must have UNHCR refugee status determination means that many talented refugees will not be able to access this program as in some regions,  there are no UNHCR offices available. This requirement is not only an impediment for this program, it is also a huge barrier for those seeking private sponsorships through the Group of Five Initiative. I have repeatedly called on the government to waive this requirement and I must echo that call now. For those seeking asylum in Canada and elsewhere, time is of the essence.

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