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View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you very much.
I appreciate that spirit of collaboration. In that light I'd like to make these comments.
I hope we're going to have a subcommittee meeting on Thursday to talk about study topics and to prepare a schedule for the work of this committee. Some of the areas I'm interested in studying, which I'd like to share with committee members, not as a motion but as topics for people to start thinking about, and how we may find ways to work collaboratively to address these topics, are as follow.
I think the issue of the caregivers program is worth studying. We have the end of the previous program and the beginning of a new program, but there are many unanswered pieces with respect to the new program. That's one area I'd like to suggest we study.
Another area that I think is worth this committee's examination is the issue of the private sponsorships of refugees. We have different approaches, for example, with the groups of five sponsorship. People with groups of five have to go through a process of ensuring that the individuals receive certification from the UNHCR, which is also a very difficult process for many of them. I think we should be looking at this issue in the privately sponsored refugee process.
Another area I'd like our committee to take a look at would be the new program the government introduced not very long ago for vulnerable workers, and particularly the impact on temporary foreign workers. There were some concerns with that process and perhaps there are areas to consider for improvements. Therefore, I think it's worthwhile for our committee to take a look at those issues.
Although the motion did not pass today, the parents-grandparents issue that's been raised is worth looking at, not just the question around the lottery system, but the entire parents-grandparents programming, including the issue of the processing time prior to the lottery system and the system that was adopted, including the qualification for people to sponsor. I'll give an example, Madam Chair.
I know of one individual where, in the three-year period when they're supposed to show the income level they have acquired, one of the family members became pregnant and went on maternity leave. As a result of that, their family income dipped for that period only. After she had her baby, she went right back to work, but because she went on maternity leave, her income disqualified that family from sponsorship after almost three years of waiting. I think we should be more flexible in our approach to something like that.
Those are the kinds of things I would like us to thoroughly review, the parents-grandparents programming, and how to ensure that we come forward with an inclusive program and achieve the goals we all want.
Madam Chair, these are some of the things I would like us to entertain as we head into subcommittee to consider areas of study.
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