Today, I was honoured to attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Grandview Cenotaph and the Chinese Canadian War Memorial in remembrance of the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in answering the call to fight for our freedoms. It is heartwarming to see that despite the rain, many people attended the two ceremonies to honour the veterans. We shall remember them!
Tonight in Metro Vancouver, 3,605 people will be spending the night homeless. A substantial number of these individuals reside in my riding of Vancouver East.
The number of people, 3,605 is obtained from the 2017 homelessness count. Since 2014, the number of homeless people in Metro Vancouver has increased by 30%, and that number is constantly growing. To break that number down a little, half of them have been homeless for over a year; 16% are young people under 25; 21% are seniors; and, yes, 21% either have a part-time or full-time job.
In my riding, where the rental vacancy rate has been sitting at below 1% for years, even those who are currently housed live in constant fear that they may be the next victim of the rental evictions and demo evictions that have been dominating our local news cycles. Many are paying more than 30% of their total income on rent.
If this picture seems wrong to members, it is because the situation we have in my riding and indeed throughout the country is a human rights violation. Housing is declared as a basic right by the United Nations, and Canada has signed and ratified a number of international human rights treaties that identify the right to adequate housing as a fundamental basic human right.Read more
Canada has admitted more temporary foreign workers than immigrants since 2006. Migrant workers are desperate to seek opportunities to better their lives and that of their families. As a result, they are often subjected to abuse and exploitation.
Recently, four foreign temporary workers have won the right to a class action against Mac’s and three immigration consultants/services (Overseas Immigration Services, Overseas Career and Consulting and Trident Immigration, companies controlled by Surrey resident Kuldeep Bansal) who allegedly charged the workers money to obtain jobs with Mac’s, only to arrive in Canada to find that most of these jobs did not exist. An access to information request revealed that LMOs were issued for 486 positions with Mac’s through these immigration consultants companies between 2012 and early 2014.
Charles Gordon, one of the lawyers representing the workers said:“Victims of this scheme were recruited in job fairs held in Dubai. They paid around $8000 in fees in exchange for the promise of a job in Canada. Typically, they paid $2000 often in cash, in Dubai, to get the process started, and then once they received an employment offer and an LMO they had to wire another $6000 before Overseas would provide them the documents allowing them come to Canada.”
CBSA is aware of the situation and has investigated the case for years and is recommending that charges be laid. Yet to date, no charges have been laid.
My question to the Liberal Government is why?
The Minister's responded by waxing eloquent about what a great job her government is doing with the temporary foreign workers file.
Tell that to the migrant workers who were abused and taken advantage of by crooked immigration consultants.Read more
Canada’s immigration system can be very complex and difficult to navigate. Many people, both in Canada and abroad will seek the help of professionals to ensure their applications are filled out correctly and on time. Most often, that means people will hire an immigration lawyer or an immigration consultant. These services can be very expensive. While there an oversight body for registered immigration consultants in Canada, the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), Members of Parliament – myself included – far too often are told of stories of unregistered or ‘ghost consultants’ that charge incredibly high fees and provide bad services; including advice to break the law.Read more
The asylum seekers arrive about a dozen by the hour at the end of a quiet country road in upstate New York, hopping out of taxis, extended passenger vans and private vehicles. They appear to range in age from seven months to 70 years, but they count more very young people than old.Read more
My letter to Minister Joly calling for her to set aside the CRTC’s decisions on the renewal of French-language and English-language television licences so that the independent television sector—in both official languages—can prosper and contribute to Canada's economic and cultural growth.Read more
The mayor of Vegreville, Alta. says he's been given new energy in his battle with the Liberal government over the planned closure of an immigration and refugee processing centre.
Conservative and NDP MPs have pledged to unite in their efforts to aid Mayor Myron Hayduk's cause.
The federal government plans to move the centre from Vegreville to Edmonton in 2018 and take about 230 jobs with it.Read more
My Summer 2017 newsletter is now available!
It’s official: the dog days of summer are here. Telltale signs? Italian Days, Car Free Days, farmers’ markets, East Van brewery bike tours, patios spilling out onto the Drive, Little League baseball in Hastings Park… the list goes on and on! After a hectic Parliamentary session it is great being back for our community’s fabulous summer events. [...]Read more