As of September 11, 2019, Canada Elections act, Parliament was dissolved and a Writ of Election was issued for a general federal election.
Election Day has been set as Monday, October 21, 2019.
If you have questions about the general election, or if you need to register to vote, please visit the Elections Canada website at: https://www.elections.ca/ or telephone Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868.
During the election period, the riding office will remain staffed, on reduced hours:
Monday 11 am – 3 pm
Tuesday 11 am – 3 pm
Wednesday 11 am – 3 pm
Friday 11 am – 3 pm
Constituents of Vancouver East who face very urgent cases or requests for emergency assistance with a federal service or program will still receive priority reply by staff. Please ensure your email message includes your full name, phone number, street address, and postal code.
You may also call the Vancouver East riding office at 604-775-5800 with urgent inquiries, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org as this email account will be monitored throughout the election writ period.
August 27, 2019
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Open Letter: An Urgent Response to Housing and Homelessness Crisis and Overdose Crisis Is Needed
The situation for the over 2200 people who do not have a home in Vancouver is severe. Many people have no access to daytime shelter, and hundreds of people have no overnight shelter option and are forced to sleep on the street. The situation becomes even more alarming when you consider that many of these individuals face serious health conditions, a mental illness or must manage a chronic disease; and are trying to survive with no income, or on a fixed income that does not meet basic daily needs like food and medicine. Some people who are trying to maintain family unity find that as a couple it can be even more difficult to access shelter that does not force them to separate. Those with children are not exempted from the impact of homelessness. I have met with people whose children are in the care because they are cannot secure safe, secure affordable housing. Even seniors can find themselves without a home. This is the kind of reality that hundreds of people in Vancouver East face every single day.
For some of the people, the dire situations of homelessness and insecure housing have led them to seek relative safety by residing in an encampment in Oppenheimer Park. For months, community members and volunteers have worked hard to provide some level of support to those at the encampment. With their best effort, people residing in the Park can access basic sanitation services, some food security, peer support, and a VCH-sanctioned, peer-run Overdose Prevention Site.
The people at the encampment now face an order of eviction from Oppenheimer Park. At the time of the Order, encampment residents and spokespeople estimated that there were approximately 300 people residing in the encampment.
With respect to the situation in Oppenheimer Park, it is so severe that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, Leilani Farha, has taken notice, and is concerned that governments are not meeting their obligations under international human rights law in violating the right to housing.
While BC Housing has attempted to set aside units through a “unit freeze” on other buildings in order to house the people at Oppenheimer Park, what that means is that other people who are homeless and in need of housing are displaced. The community feels very strongly that making people in dire need feel that they are being pitted against each other is no solution.
There is an urgent, urgent need for additional affordable housing units. In 1993, the federal government’s cancellation of the National Affordable Housing Program resulted in the loss of more than 500,000 units of affordable housing that would have otherwise been built by the non-profit and co-operative sectors. Having those units at that time, and building from that point moving forward would have put Canada in a dramatically different position today than we currently are. Equally important is the fact that there is a desperate need for government subsidies to ensure individuals and families are not paying over 30% of their total income for rent. In order to ensure that people are successful in their housing, support also needs to be made available to those individuals. Until all these are in place, further displacing people living on the streets from where they have found relative safety and support only increases their vulnerability and does nothing to address the homelessness problem in Vancouver.
Minister, I hope you will agree that each and every one of these individuals requires a safe place to call home. Yet, as I have raised with you and with those in your Cabinet, time and time again, much of the monies that are supposed to aid those without a home will not flow immediately. In fact, over 90% of the money first promised in 2017 for housing will not begin to flow until after this next federal election, and much of that not until after 2024. That is too long to wait. And worse, as noted by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, targeted assistance for those in the deep core of need and spending on Indigenous housing is actually reduced from that of the Harper Conservative years. I find this incredible and incompatible with the evidence of clear need in communities across the country, and mostly certainly in Vancouver East.Read more
July 25, 2019
Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Open Letter: People Deserve Urgent Action On The Affordable Housing Crisis in Vancouver
I wish to draw your attention most urgently to the effects of the lack of affordable housing in Vancouver East, which most recently has brought a number of people together to seek shelter and relative safety residing in an encampment in Oppenheimer Park.
Affordable, quality housing is one of the most important issues facing Canadians from coast to coast to coast, and the issue is even more acute in Vancouver East. An average one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver rents for $2,100 a month. Vacancy rates are under 1%. Home ownership is but a dream, with the average detached home in greater Vancouver over $1.5 million.
Time and time and time again, I have spoken in the House in an attempt to bring the voices and utmost concerns of my constituents to the attention of the government, in hopes of spurring action on the lack of affordable housing. I raised attention to how the affordable crisis has consequences for people’s lives. It affects people’s health. It has impacts on the opioid crisis. Lack of affordable housing affects family stability. It forces people to make impossible choices between life necessities, like food and rent. It affects settlement and community integration for newcomers. And the lack of affordable housing has left thousands of people with no home at all. In desperation, but also in a search for mutual support and community, that has led people to join the encampment in Oppenheimer Park.
MP Jenny Kwan Statement on World Refugee Day 2019
Canadians will remember the image of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea during the Syrian refugee crisis. That initiated a call from Canadians to show compassion in the midst of a global forced displacement crisis. But since 2015, the Liberals have gone from #WelcomeToCanada to ramming through significant changes hidden in an omnibus budget bill to try and stop refugees from making a claim in Canada.
On this, World Refugee Day, we learn that the US has now detained thousands of children in concentration camps. Children are now being denied access to even so much as a toothbrush while in these facilities. At least 7 children have died. There have been reports of sexual violence. LGBTQ2+ asylum claimants are being held indefinitely in solitary confinement. Canada, and the international community, recognize that as an act of torture. The US is now re-opening the very sites that the US once used to detain Japanese-Americans during WWII on the basis of racist assumptions. Yet the Liberals and Conservatives continue to pretend that the US is somehow still a safe country for asylum seekers.Read more
On March 15, in response to reports of new information about the Safe Third Country Agreement and Canada, I made the following statement:
“In January 2018, internal memos and briefings provided to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, informed that, ‘with the recent influx of asylum seekers to Canada, the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) is no longer working as intended.’ Of course the STCA is not working ‘as intended’.
As I’ve been saying since January 2017, the United States under President Donald Trump is not a safe country for asylum seekers. The entire agreement is predicated upon the notion that Canada and the United States have at least comparable, if not equal, policies and procedures around refugee determination.
Migrant children continue to be taken from their parents and placed in detention. We saw videos of children as young as 3 years old being ordered into court, alone, for their own deportation hearings. There are children that are still lost in the system that might never see their parents again. This is inhumane treatment that flies in the face of Canadian and International Law on the rights of the child.
Gang/Cartel violence and Gender Based Violence are no longer considered grounds for making an asylum claim in the United States. This move intentionally targets Central and South American asylum seekers and again goes against Canadian and International law.
The only change that can be made to the STCA that respects the humanity of asylum seekers and allows Canada to live up to its domestic and international obligations is to suspend the agreement.
Suspending the STCA will allow asylum claimants to make safe, orderly entries into Canada at authorized ports of entry to make an asylum claim. This will improve safety, security, and efficiency throughout Canada’s border communities while providing the respect and dignity that human beings fleeing violence are entitled to under Canadian and International Law.”
My March Mobile Office is on 14th Thursday, 2-4 pm at Ray Cam Community Centre. Please swing by and say hi!
I’d love to chat about issues facing our community and answer your questions about federal government services and programs. No appointment necessary.
關慧貞流動辦公室面見市民，3月14日下午2-4時在Ray Cam社區中心， 920 E Hastings St。
My Winter 2018 newsletter is now available!
In this newsletter, I discuss new bills promoting Canada's diversity, Parent/Grandparent Reunification Efforts, the Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day, and other issues. If you have anything that you would like to let me know about these or any other subjects, please don't hesitate to contact me.Read more
My Fall 2018 newsletter is now available!
In this newsletter, I discuss the Safe Third Country Agreement, the new zoning of Chinatown, Kinder Morgan, rail noise complaints, and other issues. If you have anything that you would like to let me know about these or any other subjects, please don't hesitate to contact me.Read more
On January 29th, one year ago, this country was shaken by a senseless act of violence. A young man radicalized by white nationalist ideology entered the Great Mosque of Quebec City and shot twenty-five people, killing six.Read more