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 June 6, 2019, I stood to ask the following in Question Period:Read more
Mr. Speaker, people in Vancouver East expect their government to make life affordable, sustainable and fair for all Canadians. They expect their government to be on their side.
In Vancouver East, I have heard from my constituents time and time again that we need real measures to make life affordable for Canadians, that we need immediate and urgent action to protect our climate and environment.
On behalf of the constituents of Vancouver East, I have been strongly advocating for measures such as affordable housing, public universal pharmacare, environmental protections, climate action and tax fairness. Instead, we now have a country faced with many crises.
Jenny in QP: Will the PM end the sex-based discrimination against First Nations women & their descendants today?
On June 5, 2019, I asked the following during Question Period:Read more
MP Jenny Kwan Statement on the Federal Government Quietly Offering Settlement to Halt Lawsuits Over Parent Immigration Program
On January 28, the IRCC website opened to accept Interest to Sponsor applications from family members wishing to apply for family reunification under the Parents/Grandparents Program. Within 7 minutes, the application process was shut down. 11 minutes after the application opened, IRCC announced via Twitter that the annual limit had been reached and the application was closed.
The media revealed that a number of individuals who were not able to submit an application to reunite with their loved ones under the parents/grandparents reunification process filled a lawsuit against the government. The Federal Liberal government then quietly settled with the litigants by offering them 70 coveted spots in the parents/grandparents sponsorship program.
The fact that the government quietly offered a side deal to 70 families who threatened to sue the Liberal government is indicative that the process is inherently flawed and unfair. With this side deal, the Minister is effectively telling Canadians that you have to take the government to court to be treated fairly. It should not have come to this. All families want to do is be reunited with their loved ones. They should not have to go through such pain and anguish to be with their parents or grandparents. They certainly should not have to threaten to sue the government. Our process should be one that is open, accountable and fair.
Sadly the Liberal government’s handling of this file has been deplorable from the beginning – whether it’s following the Conservative’s process that allowed people with resources to get in front of the line, or the Liberal’s process based on the luck of the draw lottery system, or this flawed and unfair online system, all have been a miserable failure.
It is time for the Liberals to do what is right: allow families to make their applications in a fair and orderly fashion by lifting the arbitrary cap on family reunification.
On May 13, 2019 I give a Member Statement in honour of the real climate leaders of our time: young people, like the Grade 6&7 students of Hastings Elementary, and everyone who took part in the May 3 climate strike.Read more
On May 7, 2019, I rose in Question Period to ask:Read more
Van East students: "I want you to panic. The climate is changing, why aren't we?"Read more
On March 18, 2019, I rose in the House to ask a question about the Safe Third Country Agreement.
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.”