Parliament Video: Jenny Kwan: Statement on Tamil Heritage Month

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in recognition of Tamil Heritage Month.

Over the month of January, events were held all across Canada to celebrate the richness of the Tamil culture and language as well as the immense social, economic, cultural, and political contributions that the Tamil community has made to Canada. Tamil Heritage Month also provides us with an opportunity to learn about the unique and distinct culture of the thriving Tamil community in Canada. Through this knowledge, we are better able to understand and celebrate the diversity and individual values of the different communities that make up Canada's dynamic multicultural fabric.

I would like to acknowledge the resiliency of the Tamil community as it continues to overcome hardships, challenges, and to fight for social justice and equality for all.

New Democrats look forward to continuing to work with Tamil Canadians to build a more just and fair Canada.

Happy Tamil Heritage Month.

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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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