Parliament Video: Jenny Kwan moves that immigration legislation be withdrawn from Budget bill

On April 11, 2019, I put forward a motion seeking unanimous consent from the House to withdraw legislation from the Budget bill that would make drastic changes to Canada's asylum claims process:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

I move, given that, (a) Canadians expect that changes to our laws should be democratically and rigorously debated in the House of Commons; (b) all parties in the House have spoken against the use of omnibus bills to hide changes in initiatives from scrutiny; (c) the world is experiencing a global refugee crisis; and (d) Lloyd Axworthy is condemning proposed changes contained in the omnibus budget bill to the asylum system, while Faith Goldy is cheering them on, that in the opinion of the House, (a) Canada is at serious risk of being on the wrong side of history and (b) the government must immediately withdraw division 16 of part 4 of Bill C-97 and table it as a stand-alone piece of legislation to ensure that Canada continues to live up to its obligations under international law."

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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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