Jenny Kwan, MP

Member of Parliament, Vancouver East

Updates

National Response Needed to Protect Canadians from Losing Housing during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Many constituents have written to me with very urgent concerns and requests about keeping safely and stably housed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people in Canada are facing a debilitating loss of income during COVID-19, and those who already were facing financial stability or who were already at risk of becoming homeless even prior to the emergence of this pandemic are experiencing heightened fear and anxiety. I have even heard from constituents who have received a notice of rent increase who are extremely distressed.

Given these factors, and the existing crisis in homelessness in our community and across the country: We need to immediately house homeless persons. We must prevent any increase in people becoming homeless. I am calling on all levels of government as they must work together for a national approach to protect Canadians.

To protect renters, we need a nation wide moratorium on all evictions, and a temporary rent freeze period to protect renters during this precarious time.

For landlords who face trouble paying their mortgage or who aren’t able to collect rents, Canada’s big banks and VanCity Credit Union have offered mortgage deferral payments for up to six months. The federal government needs to ensure that the banks make good on this commitment.

Below is the text of the open letter that I sent on March 21 to bring these urgent issues and calls to the federal government, and to urge that they work with all levels of government for a national approach to making sure that – especially in this time of COVID-19 pandemic - everyone has a safe place to call home.

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Jenny in QP: Dental care for millions of Canadians can happen!

On January 27, 2020, I stood in Question Period to ask my first question of the 43rd Parliament:

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Jenny responds to the new Liberal minority government's Throne Speech

On December 9, 2019, I gave my reply to the Speech from the Throne. Vancouver East is one of Canada's most diverse and progressive communities in the country. I am so very proud of our record here in Van East. We fight hard for what we believe in, and we have so much to celebrate. Yet, unfortunately, like me, the people of Vancouver East were left wanting after this throne speech. From affordable housing, to lasting justice for Indigenous people; from pharmacare and dental care to the urgent need for safe supply; from electoral reform to averting climate crisis - there is so much more that needs to be done and done now for the people of Vancouver East and indeed the entire country. I put forward these suggestions in the spirit of co-operation and saying to the government it is a minority government and New Democrats are here to work with it. Let us work for the people and act now make the changes.

 

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Federal General Election - October 21, 2019

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 jenny.kwan@parl.gc.ca as this email account will be monitored throughout the election writ period.

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Open Letter: People Deserve Urgent Action On The Affordable Housing Crisis in Vancouver

Tents line the edges of Oppenheimer park

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

Minister Duclos,

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.

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Jenny Kwan Statement: World Refugee Day 2019

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.

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Jenny in QP: Justice for Golden Eagle Farms migrant workers!

On June 6, 2019, I stood to ask the following in Question Period: 

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2019 Budget Speech

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.

 

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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: 

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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.​

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