Parliament Video: Jenny in the House: On Neighbourhood Houses

On May 11, 2017, Jenny rose to speak on neighborhood houses:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, where can we go and find a place that is the heartbeat of the community, a place where it is the touch stone of social life, a place to help people to connect, combat isolation, and build both personal and community capacities?

It is in our friendly Neighbourhood Houses, the living room of our communities where people connect, engage, foster a sense of belonging, and take part in civic life.

Canada's first Neighbourhood House opened in Toronto in 1899. In the Lower Mainland, four of 10 Neighbourhood Houses are in East Van, and the Association of Neighbourhood Houses BC to boot.

Like all Neighbourhood Houses, Van East's very own Kiwassa, Frog Hollow, Mt. Pleasant, and Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Houses do invaluable work.

The 2017 Leadership Forum report details this important research.

As we celebrate the third annual Neighbourhood House Week, I call on the federal government to go beyond short-term program funding. It is time we become a true partner and support their work with stable core funding."

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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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