Parliament Video: Jenny in the House: Housing First!

On December 9, 2019, I rose in the House of Commons to speak about the national housing crisis. Safe, secure, affordable housing is a basic human right. There is an acute and severe need for the federal government to take immediate action on housing. If federal funds to build housing flow now we can work together to do this - ending homelessness is entirely possible if only parliamentarians have the political will to do it:

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, solving the national housing crisis is one of the most important issues that we face. I have long advocated for access to safe, secure, affordable housing as a basic human right.

In 1993, the federal Liberals cancelled the national social housing program. That one action caused Canada to lose more than half a million units of social and co-op housing that would otherwise have been built in communities all across the country. Having those units would have put Canada's housing affordability in a dramatically different position than where we are today. In east Vancouver, the situation is so severe that we have had a tent city in Oppenheimer Park for more than a year.

Solving the homelessness crisis is entirely possible. If people can go to the moon, surely we can actually get housing built. During the election, the NDP called for half a million units of affordable housing to be built and for those funds to flow now. I believe that the federal government must step up and do its part. We need to work with the cities, the province and non-profits to get the housing built. Together, we can end homelessness."

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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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