- Open permits and expedited visa and LMIA process so that laid off or terminated migrant workers can seek other work in agriculture or other industries;
- The implementation of action teams to assist vulnerable workers in accessing EI, including services in their own language;
- Removing barriers to access to learning and educational opportunities provided by the EI fund;
- Ensuring that all migrants with 900 series social insurance numbers have access to both regular and special benefits both here in Canada and their home country.
- For workers who have been employed in Canada but are being denied the ability to return to work, EI funds should be made available to provide income support.
Over the past month, we’ve brought the caravan to over 20 communities across Ontario. We’ve connected with more than 1000 migrant agricultural workers from Mexico, the Caribbean, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Guatemala and Peru. We’ve witnessed the will for political change across a surprising range of everyday people in Canada.
To get a taste of the impact Harvesting Freedom has had on the public conversation about migrant justice in Canada and internationally, check out some of the media coverage from the past month.
This weekend, we’re pumped for the caravan’s grand finale in Ottawa. Please join us in the caravan’s final push to demand STATUS NOW from the federal government.
- Saturday, Oct 1: Migrant Dreams screening at One World Film Fest. Doors: 11:30am. Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St., Ottawa. Tickets here.
- Sunday, Oct 2: Flyering Ottawa Farmers markets. Email us for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monday, Oct 3: CARAVAN BIG FINALE. It will happen from 12noon-1:30pm, 365 Laurier Ave West. This will include a demonstration in front of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to demand justice for the tens of thousands of farmworkers who have put food on Canadian tables for the last 50 years without any chance to lay roots in the country. RSVP on the Facebook event.
As we detail in this latest press release, in a 2014 open letter published by the Toronto Star, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged that in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, “Abuse is not rare. It is far too common, and it must end immediately.” He underscored Canada’s historical commitment to providing a path to citizenship for all those who come to Canada to work and emphasized that Canada should not “follow the path of other countries who exploit large numbers of guest workers”. For 50 years, seasonal agricultural workers have been the bulwark of agricultural food production, and yet they have no access to secure, permanent immigration status.
Justice for Migrant Workers is holding Prime Minister Trudeau to account and is demanding an end to this unjust and discriminatory policy.
Here are a few shots from our visit to Kingston earlier this week, where we had critical conversations with Queens University students about racism in Canada and worker resistance, and delivered migrant workers’ demands for status now to Liberal MP Mark Gerretsen.
Onward to Ottawa!
‘Justice is 50 years overdue’, migrant farmworkers call for real change in 2016
WHAT: Media Briefing to launch historic ‘Harvesting Freedom’ caravan to Ottawa
WHEN: 10 am, Monday, January 25, 2016.
WHERE: Charles Lynch Room, Centre Block of Parliament, Ottawa
WHO: Justice for Migrant Workers (J4MW) is a grassroots advocacy group composed of migrant workers and allies, based in Toronto, Vancouver, and Mexico City
J4MW will held a press conference at 10 am in the Charles Lynch room in the Centre block of Parliament. Following the press conference, migrant workers visited the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to urge him to grant migrant farm workers Permanent Residence Status on Landing.