Loading articles...

Vancouver MP calls for expansion of immigration policies in wake of latest Hong Kong crackdown

Last Updated Jan 10, 2021 at 1:20 pm PDT

NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan prepares for an emergency meeting of the Citizenship and Immigration Committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, July 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — A leading voice for Hong Kong in the Canadian parliament is calling on the federal government to do more to try to help people escape Beijing’s growing crackdown in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Vancouver New Democrat MP Jenny Kwan is suggesting Ottawa take a much harsher line, suggesting the Trudeau government should implement Canada’s version of the Magnitsky Act, which would target the holdings of Chinese officials abroad.

At the same time, Kwan says immigration policies for Hong Kong residents need to be loosened even further.

“What we need to do is to extend asylum to support the people of Hong Kong. These human rights violations are happening. And the mass arrests, really shows the urgency that needs to be taken. So the NDP is calling for the government to bring in special measures to support the people of Hong Kong, and by extending asylum measures to them.”

RELATED: Canada joins allies in condemning latest Hong Kong arrests by China

Kwan — herself born in Hong Kong — is also calling for an expansion of the sponsorship program which allowed her family to immigrate to Canada in the ’70s.

“I think that the government should extend our current family unification sponsorship program, and to allow for extended family to be sponsored to come to Canada, and to apply that to the people of Hong Kong. I think that is of utmost urgency. And so that we should open as many immigration streams, as possible, so that people can interact with safety.

The opposition call comes as Canada’s Foreign Minister joins his counterparts from Australia, Britain and other allies in condemning last week’s crackdown in Hong Kong.

That included the arrest of 55 pro-democracy politicians and advocates under Beijing’s expanded National Security laws.