Jenny Kwan

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For the actress, see Jennie Kwan.
Jenny Kwan
MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant
Assumed office
Preceded by Mike Harcourt
Minister of Community Development, Cooperatives and Volunteers
of British Columbia
In office
February 29, 2000 – June 5, 2001
Premier Ujjal Dosanjh
Preceded by Jan Pullinger
Succeeded by George Abbott
Minister of Women's Equality
of British Columbia
In office
July 21, 1999 – February 24, 2000
Premier Glen Clark, Dan Miller
Preceded by Penny Priddy
Succeeded by Evelyn Gillespie
Minister of Municipal Affairs
of British Columbia
In office
February 18, 1998 – July 21, 1999
Premier Glen Clark
Preceded by Michael Farnworth
Succeeded by Jim Doyle
Personal details
Born Hong Kong
Political party New Democratic

Jenny Wai Ching Kwan (born in 1967) is a Hong Kong-born Canadian politician. She is a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of British Columbia for the riding of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, and a senior member of the provincial caucus of the New Democratic Party.

Personal life[edit]

Kwan emigrated to Canada at age nine from Hong Kong. She speaks both English and Cantonese. She graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and was a community legal advocate in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside before entering politics. Kwan is separated, and lives in Kitsilano with her children.[1]

Political career[edit]

Vancouver city councillor[edit]

In 1993, Kwan became the youngest-ever member of Vancouver City Council at only 26. She was the sole representative of the civic party known as COPE throughout her term on council.[2]

Provincial politics[edit]

In 1996, Kwan entered provincial politics. After being nominated, she was elected as the MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, in East Vancouver. She succeeded former Premier Mike Harcourt.

In 2001, Kwan, along with Joy MacPhail, was one of only two NDP MLAs to survive the party's electoral defeat.[3][4] She was also re-elected in 2005, 2009, and 2013.[5]

Leadership controversy, December 2010[edit]

In December 2010, Kwan released a statement to the media criticizing NDP party leader Carole James, and calling for an immediate leadership convention.[4][6][7] In response to Kwan's statement, James called an emergency caucus session to address opposition to her continued leadership.[8][9] Before the caucus meeting was held, however, James announced her resignation as party leader.[10][11] While Kwan was accused of self interest, at the time she claimed to have plans to run for the leadership of the party.[12]

Portland Hotel Society controversy, March 2014[edit]

In March 2014, an audit of the Portland Hotel Society showed that Kwan's ex-husband, Dan Small, had improperly expensed the cost of a family Disneyland trip to the Society.[13][14] At the time of the trip, Kwan had still been married to Small and had attended the trip with their children.[15] When the audit became public, Kwan held a press conference where she denied any knowledge that the Society had paid for the trip, and said she would reimburse the Society.[16] Following the conference, Kwan took a brief leave of absence.[17]

Wins Federal NDP Nomination for 2015 Election[edit]

In January 2015, Kwan announced that she would be seeking the New Democratic Party of Canada nomination in Vancouver East for the upcoming federal election.[18] Mable Elmore was also seeking the party's nomination in the riding.[19] Kwan was nominated on March 22,and will seek to replace Libby Davies as the Member of Parliament for the riding.[20][21] She said she expects to resign from the provincial legislature to focus on the federal election.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shaw, Rob (10 April 2014). "MLA Jenny Kwan, who represents one of Canada’s poorest neighbourhoods, scoops up $1.9M Kitsilano home". Vancouver Sun. 
  2. ^ LABC. "Official Biography: Jenny Wai Ching Kwan (39th Parliament)". Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. 
  3. ^ McMartin, Will (2005-09-14). "Budget Battlers Ready to Rumble". The Tyee. 
  4. ^ a b MacLeod, Andrew (2010-12-02). "James Allies Scramble to Defend Against Kwan's Attack". The Tyee. 
  5. ^ LABC. "Official Biography: Jenny Wai Ching Kwan (40th Parliament)". Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. 
  6. ^ MacLeod, Andrew (2010-12-01). "'Carole James is dividing the party': NDP MLA Kwan". The Tyee. 
  7. ^ Fowlie, Jonathan (2010-12-02). "NDP leader Carole James will convene emergency meeting over revolt". Vancouver Sun. 
  8. ^ Thomson, Stephen (2010-12-03). "Jenny Kwan says she will "wait and see" outcome of emergency NDP caucus session". Georgia Straight. 
  9. ^ MacLeod, Andrew (2010-12-03). "'Every MLA Will Be Held Accountable': James". The Tyee. 
  10. ^ Fowlie, Jonathan and Rob Shaw (2010-12-06). "Carole James quits as NDP leader". Vancouver Sun. 
  11. ^ Tieleman, Bill (2010-12-07). "She Had to Go: Carole James' resignation was inevitable after NDP's 2009 election defeat". The Tyee. 
  12. ^ Smith, Charlie (2010-12-01). "Jenny Kwan doesn't want to become NDP leader, so who will it be?". Georgia Straight. 
  13. ^ Rob Shaw; Tiffany Crawford (20 March 2014). "Portland Hotel Society audit finds hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable expenses". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Laanela, Mike (21 March 2014). "NDP MLA Jenny Kwan repaying $35K for Europe, Disney trips". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 
  15. ^ Bains, Camille (21 March 2014). "NDP MLA and family took Disney trip cited in scathing audit". CTV / Canadian Press. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  16. ^ The Canadian Press (24 March 2014). "Jenny Kwan Unpaid Leave Still Being Worked Out: Adrian Dix". Huffington Post. 
  17. ^ Hunter, Justine and Ian Bailey (24 March 2014). "Jenny Kwan takes temporary leave amid questions about social-services provider". Globe and Mail. 
  18. ^ The Canadian Press (25 January 2015). "Jenny Kwan to run for federal NDP seat in Vancouver East". Vancouver Sun. 
  19. ^ The Province (18 January 2015). "Elmore officially launches NDP nomination bid for Vancouver East". The Province. 
  20. ^ Smith, Charlie (16 December 2014). "NDP can hold Vancouver East if the party chooses the right candidate". The Georgia Straight. 
  21. ^ Nuttall, Jeremy (4 February 2015). "Game On For Coveted East Van Riding". The Tyee. 
  22. ^ CBC News (22 March 2015). "Jenny Kwan wins federal NDP nomination for Vancouver East". CBC News. 

External links[edit]