Parliament Video: On food banks, food insecurity and poverty, better is possible!!

On December 8, 2021, MP Jenny Kwan gave the NDP's Wednesday Women's Statement, talking about Food Banks, Food Insecurity & Poverty:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, food bank use in Canada climbed 20% with the pandemic and topped 1.3 million monthly visits. It is the largest increase since the 2008 recession.

With the clawback of the GIS and the Canada child benefit, and the elimination of COVID emergency benefits, food banks face further increases in demand. Food banks alone do not solve hunger. They are a symptom of the root problem of poverty.

Who are the faces of poverty? They are families, women, seniors, people with disabilities and low-wage earners. They are our friends and our neighbours. Fixed income earners’ buying power has been decimated and we can do something about it.

Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent received unanimous support for his motion in 1989 to eradicate child poverty by the year 2000. That was more than three decades ago. The Liberal government has a chance to address the affordability crisis with the fiscal update. A guaranteed livable basic income is the path forward.

Better is possible."

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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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