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August 28th, 2020

Liberal government must act quickly to protect Canadians and support Hong Kongers: NDP

OTTAWA— New Democrats are calling on the government to make changes that will protect Canadians and help Hong Kongers facing persecution under the new National Security Law. This comes after the Liberals shut down parliament and abruptly ended the work of the Canada-China Committee.

“People are facing persecution and arbitrary imprisonment for defending human rights and the democracy promised to Hong Kong. The Canadian federal government has a responsibility to help them,” said NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, Jack Harris. “People here and in Hong Kong are suffering as a result of this law but the Liberals stopped the discussion on how we can help them when they walked off the job and shut down the committee. Instead of stopping the important work of the Canada-China Committee, the Liberals need to take a leadership role to bring like-minded nations together to stand up to China on Hong Kong and Human Rights.”

Based on witness testimony heard at committee, New Democrats are calling on the Liberal Government to protect and support Canadians targeted for speaking out against China by having a single point of contact and a hotline to report harassment and intimidation by Chinese nationals and agencies; to change immigration rules to help Hong Kongers and their families facing persecution; and to work with like-minded nations to impose Magnitsky sanctions on Chinese officials.

NDP Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Jenny Kwan, made urgent calls for special immigration measures for the people of Hong Kong to Minister Mendicino in June during an emergency committee meeting. She further urged the minister to implement special measures in a July 7 letter.

"It's unacceptable that the Liberals are ignoring these calls to action and failing those facing persecution. In the latest of a series of very concerning events requiring urgent attention, at least ten activists were reportedly arrested while they were trying to flee to Taiwan," said Kwan. "The federal government must immediately expedite and expand family sponsorships, extend student and working visas, and offer more pathways to citizenship."

Kwan has also asked that the government expedite work permits for asylum seekers and remove the travel restrictions they face.