Parliament Video: Jenny in the House: Ontario legal aid crisis endangers the lives of refugees fleeing persecution & violence

On June 13, 2019, I stood in Question Period to ask:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister likes to denounce the Ford government's anti-refugee sentiments, yet, shockingly, when it comes to changes to the asylum system, as we saw in the omnibus budget bill, the Liberals took a page out of the Conservative playbook for political gain.

Now the Prime Minister is in a spat with Doug Ford over legal aid funding. The collateral damage is women fleeing gender-based violence and LGBTQ2-plus members faced with persecution. That means no representation at refugee hearings, detention reviews and deportation orders. This will put lives at risk.

Will the Prime Minister stop the deportations until the legal aid crisis is resolved?"

 

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2019/6/13/jenny-kwan-5/

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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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