Parliament Video: Jenny in the House: Safe Third Country Agreement

On March 18, 2019, Jenny rose in the House during Question Period to ask why the government will not suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement in order to better protect asylum seekers crossing from the US who are fleeing gender-based violence:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, the safe third country agreement was not working over a year ago. The U.S. is not a safe country for asylum seekers. Children continue to be separated from their parents. Gender-based violence is no longer recognized as a basis for asylum.

The Prime Minister stated that the treatment of asylum seekers by the U.S. was wrong, but instead of suspending the agreement, the Liberals are looking to expand it and apply it to those crossing into Canada irregularly. Is this what a Liberal feminist government looks like, denying women fleeing domestic violence the right to make an asylum claim?"

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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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