Social justice means that everyone has equal access to opportunities to thrive and resources to live in safety and dignity. This means equitable access to housing, healthcare, justice, economic opportunity and security. We must defend the hard-won rights fought for by generations of activists, such as women and pregnant people’s reproductive choice and freedom. We must fight and eradicate the social stigmas faced by marginalized people, such as people who are part of the LBGTQ community, people who belong to gender minorities, people who live in poverty or people who struggle with substance use disorders. We must address systemic barriers that continue the perpetuation of colonialism, racism, ableism, ageism, misogyny, and all forms of oppression.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh always says that “when we lift each other up, we all rise.”

Nowhere is this statement more evident than in the riding of Vancouver East. The diversity and commitment to social justice of this riding attracts many of the country’s most innovative, creative, progressive and compassionate people to make Van East the place to work, to create art, to look for community, and to call home. Van East is living proof that by working to create a place that is safe for, and inclusive of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in our community, we create an incredible place where so many people want to live.

MEDIA RELEASE: NDP MPs fighting against toxic drug related deaths, while Liberals ignore expert advice

MEDIA RELEASE: NDP MPs fighting against toxic drug related deaths, while Liberals ignore expert advice

"Families in Vancouver and across British Columbia have experienced the devastating toll of the toxic drug crisis. Thousands of families have lost loved ones – these are preventable deaths," said NDP MP Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East). "Successive Medical Health Officers in BC, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and family members have called out Canada's current drug laws. They are ineffective, do not give people the help they need and disproportionally harm marginalized communities. The cost of inaction is people's lives – we need to act now."  
 
"Over the last two years, we've seen a drastic increase in toxic drug-related deaths and hospitalizations across Canada," said NDP MP Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway). "The status quo is clearly not working. Substance use and addiction are health, not criminal matters. It’s critical that we follow the evidence and shift to the health-based approach that Bill C-216 is proposing."  
 
“I am proud to support Gord John’s Bill C-216 and thank him for putting it forward. The criminalization of drugs has had an unfathomably negative impact on the health and well-being of far too many people in this country,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “It unfairly targets those who are homeless, experiencing mental health issues, and racialized and Indigenous communities. This bill is a chance to take a more compassionate approach - ensuring drug users end up in health care, not handcuffs.”

MEDIA RELEASE: New Democrats fight for increased support for people living with disabilities

OTTAWA – Earlier this month, NDP Critic for Disability Inclusion, Bonita Zarrillo, secured support from all Members of Parliament to put in place a Canada Disability Benefit without delay. Thanks to Zarrillo’s motion, the federal government has finally committed to bringing legislation forward before the end of June, to make this benefit a reality.

"People living with a disability in Canada who have felt ignored by this government are rightly frustrated. For years they have heard empty promises with no real action from the government," said Zarrillo. "People living with a disability make up 41 per cent of all those living in poverty in Canada. The pandemic created even more financial challenges for them and now, due to the rising costs of essentials like groceries and housing, people living with a disability are finding it even harder to make ends meet."

MEDIA RELEASE - NDP statement on International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

“Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, a time to celebrate the progress that’s been made around the world to end discrimination against 2SLGBTQI+ people and embrace sexual and gender diversity.
Thanks to the tireless work of advocates and community leaders, we have come a long way in the fight for equal rights and against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. But there is a lot of work left to do in Canada and around the world to ensure we're always standing up against the hatred and discrimination.

MEDIA RELEASE - Liberals are failing to address police violence

“Today, the inquiry into the death of Chantel Moore, an Indigenous woman who was killed by police in New Brunswick during a routine wellness check is set to begin. We hope this investigation into her tragic death will finally give her family and community the answers they deserve.
A wellness check, carried out by a police officer, should never result in death. This cannot be allowed to continue. The government has a responsibility to ensure systemic change so that all communities are served by police forces in Canada.
Sadly, there are many examples of police violence against Indigenous and racialized people. The Feminist Alliance for International Action’s (FAFIA) recent report found that there is a pattern of discrimination, harassment and assault against Indigenous women by officers of the RCMP.

IN THE NEWS: Global News - Advocates rally in support of abortion rights in Vancouver

IN THE NEWS: Global News - Advocates rally in support of abortion rights in Vancouver

Vancouver-Mount Pleasant NDP MP Jenny Kwan also addressed the crowd.
She told Global News that while what is happening in the U.S. is “horrifying,” Canadians should remain focused on the right to access safe abortion here.
“While it is true that abortion is legal here in Canada, the reality is that many communities do not have access to abortion services, and sexual health services for the LGBTQ2+ community, for the trans community is also not available if you happen to live in a remote community, in a rural community,” she said.
Kwan argued the Liberal government is not doing enough to ensure abortion services are available to Canadians everywhere, pointing to the battle in New Brunswick over Clinic 554.
New Brunswick’s provincial government refuses to fund abortions at the clinic, the only facility in the province providing surgical abortions outside of a hospital.  In response, the federal government withheld some health transfers to the province, but the clinic’s operator was forced scale back services.
IN THE NEWS: National Observer - Rich keep getting richer while everyday Canadians suffer

IN THE NEWS: National Observer - Rich keep getting richer while everyday Canadians suffer

“I have had seniors come to my office in despair because their GIS (Guaranteed Income Support) has been cut and they don't know what to do. The rent is due and they have no other option,” said Kwan. “I've had seniors who've received eviction (notices) as a result of that … and been evicted and rendered homeless.”

The NDP has consistently pushed for a wealth tax, closing corporate tax loopholes, and providing a guaranteed livable basic income.

In the 2021 election, a one per cent tax on wealth over $10 million was a key plank of the NDP platform. Leader Jagmeet Singh also previously made an opposition day motion to implement a one per cent tax on wealth over $20 million.

IN THE NEWS: Georgia Straight - Indigenous identity, reconciliation, and why Canada Day festivities have fallen out of favour with some

Jenny Kwan, the NDP MP for Vancouver East, said the rising violence against Asian Canadians, as well as the terrorist attack on the Afzaal family, reflects deep-seated issues within the country.
“People always say when those incidents occur that, ‘This is not our Canada,’ ” Kwan told the Straight by phone. “Well, I’m sorry, this is our Canada. And this is not the first time the Muslim community has suffered such a violent and unspeakable attack for being who they are.”
The next bombshell raising questions about Canada’s commitment to equality came on June 15 when Nunavut NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq delivered a scathing farewell speech in Parliament.  The Inuk politician talked about everything from being racially profiled by House of Commons security staff to the lack of government action in response to the high rate of suicide among her people.
According to Kwan, Qaqqaq said out loud what many Indigenous peoples and Inuit have always felt.  Kwan suggested that every time the government brags about its work, it’s insulting to someone like Qaqqaq, who is watching members of her own community suffer immensely, including taking their own lives, because of Canada’s colonial history.
“I think this Canada Day, we need to reflect on, first and foremost, Canada’s colonization history and the ongoing impact for Indigenous peoples, especially with the finding of the mass graves in Kamloops,” the Vancouver NDP MP added.
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