Parliament Video: Jenny asks Minister to confirm if TFW would be criminalized for receiving CERB

At the Parliament's Standing Committee for Immigration on June 17, 2020, NDP MP Jenny Kwan asked the Immigration Minister to confirm that Temporary Foreign Worker who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria for CERB but have an expired SIN or expired work permits will not be criminalized for receiving the emergency assistance:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Thank you, Madam Chair.

Thank you, Minister, for taking the time to be here in person with us.

On May 8, Minister, you were before the HUMA committee where you said:

My understanding after engaging with CRA and ESDC is that if the individuals in question meet the criteria for eligibility under CERB, they can apply using their SIN, which does not expire for tax purposes, regardless of the status of their work permit. Depending on their situation, they might or might not be able to apply online, but they will be able to do so through the call centre.

On this basis, can the minister confirm that for those who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria for CERB—and I'm referring to TFWs in this instance—even with an expired work permit they would not be criminalized for using CERB?"

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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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