Parliament Video: Jenny in the House: Ending violence against Indigenous women must be treated with the same priority as the pandemic

On November 25th, 2020, Jenny speaks about violence against women:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, let us all be reminded that the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ final report concluded that thousands of indigenous women and girls are victims of a genocide.

To end the genocide, the Government of Canada is required to fully and promptly implement all the calls for justice, yet more than a year later we still do not have an action plan led by indigenous women, as promised by the Prime Minister. This failure betrays the truths shared by survivors and their families.

What is worse is that the government is using the pandemic as an excuse for delays. It is as if the Prime Minister is blind to the fact that the pandemic has made violence against women much worse. Calls for action to address poverty, economic inequality and inadequate housing have been made repeatedly in numerous reports and by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

There can be no more delays. There can be no more stolen sisters. The government must treat violence against women, especially indigenous women, with the same urgency as its pandemic response."

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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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