My Winter 2017 newsletter is now available!
In this newsletter, I discuss the housing crisis, the future of Chinatown and the work I have been doing as Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, among 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.
The call to mark December 17 as the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers began in 2003 as a memorial for the victims of the Green River killer in Seattle.
This annual day of remembrance serves to raise awareness about the high level of violence sex workers face on a regular basis. The fact is sex workers face assault, battery, rape, and murder on a regular basis, and yet, there is this general attitude that violence against sex workers is somehow expected and therefore accepted.
Surely, we must agree that violence against anyone is not acceptable. Our current laws put sex workers at great risk of violence, and deny them equal access to justice and police protection when they are the victims of crime.
As we honour and remember the victims, we must also renew our commitment to end the violence by taking action to end the perpetuation of the stigmas associated with sex workers.
On Dec. 13, events will be held in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and B.C. to mark the Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day.
Eighty years ago, Imperial Japanese army forces raped an estimated 20,000 to 80,000 Chinese women and girls, and some 300,000 people were killed. Western eye-witnesses in Nanjing described the atrocities as “hell on earth”.
After the Nanjing massacre, the military sexual slavery system for the Japanese military expanded rapidly. Some 200,000 women from Korea, the Philippines, China, Burma, Indonesia, and other Japanese occupied territories were tricked, kidnapped or coerced into working in brothels to serve as “comfort women” to the Imperial Japanese Army.
Documents of the Nanjing massacre were included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
Thekla Lit, from BC ALPHA, worked with the B.C. NDP government to develop a resource guide, including The Rape of Nanking.
I thank Canada ALPHA for its dedication to ensuring that Canadians remember and learn from this history.
On Tuesday, me and my team got out of the office with my Mobile Office at the Hastings Community Centre. I had the good fortune to meet a number of you to talk about the messages I can bring to Ottawa, and what we can do to make Ottawa work for East Van.
I'd like to take the opportunity to thank Hastings Community Centre for providing the space and promoting my visit, you made me feel at home. Your hard work and dedication to the community of Hastings-Sunrise are truly appreciated.
My next Mobile Office will be at the Mount Pleasant Community Centre on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 2 pm. I would love to see you there.
Strong families build strong communities, and strong communities build a strong economy. In order for families and communities to thrive, the local economy must be sustainable. Motion M-39 was tabled in part to identify ways to increase newcomer retention to Atlantic Canada. It was quickly identified that just increasing immigration isn’t enough – substantial work needs to be done to increase the sustainability of the region so that those born there and newcomers alike wish to stay and can thrive in the region.Read more
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
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