STATEMENT: Liberals reject call to remove red tape for Ukrainians seeking refuge

NDP critic for immigration, refugees and citizenship, Jenny Kwan, made the following statement:

"Since 2018, the NDP has been calling for the visa requirements to be dropped for Ukrainians who wish to come to Canada. With the unprovoked Russian invasion, the need to expedite the process for Ukrainians looking for refuge in Canada has never been more urgent.

I have heard from constituents who have family members back in Ukraine that have had their visa applications rejected. Canadians are feeling helpless and frustrated because they can't get their family members to safety. By failing to remove all the bureaucratic red tape the government is leaving people stranded in a terrifying situation. Today at the Parliamentary committee on Immigration, all parties voted to allow Ukrainians to come to Canada without a visa – only the Liberals said 'no' to the final motion.

Ukrainians need an obstacle-free path to come to Canada expeditiously. Lives hang in the balance. It's inexcusable that the government isn't taking this crucial step to help innocent people in Ukraine under threat of violence.

Furthermore, to ensure action to support Ukraine at this time of crisis, all parties also voted to increase resources at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to undertake this work so that the existing backlog for all immigration streams is not further impacted by this humanitarian crisis. The government cannot repeat the mistakes they made with Afghanistan by simply moving resources around. It is very unfortunate that the Liberals voted 'no' to the final motion today."

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