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
Another day, another bit of evidence that the Prime Minister’s #RefugeesWelcome rhetoric is just that: rhetoric. Tweets aside, this Liberal government has taken no action on improving Designated Countries of Origin policy and refuses to give the Immigration Refugee Board the resources it has requested—and desperately needs. Nice words aren’t enough to solve these issues. Will the Liberal government protect the integrity of the IRB and Canada’s immigration system, and take action now?Read more
Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the opioid crisis unfolding right now in our communities, big and small, right across Canada, is nothing short of a national emergency. The suffering and damage this crisis is causing, not just in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, the epicentre of the crisis, but in Vancouver East and cities across British Columbia and Canada, is absolutely devastating.Read more
On Friday, January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from the United States for at least the next 90 days. The countries included in this ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Also included in the executive order are an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees and a four-month ban on the admission of any refugee or refugee claimant.Read more