Parliament Video: Jenny in the House: Gendered violence is a national issue

On Wednesday December 9, 2020, MP Kwan delivered the following statement:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, even before the pandemic, gendered violence was already a national issue. Red Women Rising, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the TRC all identified the need to protect the safety of women and girls, through safe housing and spaces, as paramount to ending violence. However, little has been done.

The unconscionable violence faced by women in the Downtown Eastside is rising. Imagine one's daughter being sexually assaulted in broad daylight and no one intervening. Imagine one's mother giving birth to baby in a porta-potty and no one noticing. It should shock everyone to their core that such incidents have happened. We cannot let such brutal violence be normalized like this. There is no question that violence experienced by women in the Downtown Eastside is further exacerbated by COVID-related restrictions, which have reduced the number of safe spaces for women.

Advocates are calling for an immediate task force with all levels of government to ensure the safety of women. The Liberal government needs to show leadership and lead this work. The lives of women depend on it as our collective humanity hangs in the balance."

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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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