Last Wednesday, the federal government announced a new time-limited program for a limited number of international students and migrant workers to apply for permanent residency. The details are here.
Our full responses is here.
We strongly condemn Canada’s announced ‘reforms’ to its immigration system. A one-time only, short-term access to permanent residency for 90,000 people is a smokescreen that fails to address Canada’s racist and exclusionary immigration system.
These reforms do nothing to address how the current point system discriminates against both undocumented communities and migrants deemed ‘low skill’ and ‘low wage.’ More troublingly, the reforms do nothing to change the indentureship of thousands of migrant workers in Canada.
In particular, migrant agricultural workers who work under a system of indentured labour will once again see no improvements to their working and living conditions as a result of the continuation of a closed work permit system that binds workers to one employer. Instead, migrant farm workers are put into competition with over 90 other occupations for a measly 30,000 spots, when over 50,000 farm workers have entered Canada on tied work permits during the pandemic alone.
Please sign and share our response here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdUbS4Mw86-tYitr7SZgo–3Fs1ewr8TIazhaLq8lZLqkDuvA/viewform
Hundreds of Black and Brown migrant farm workers are contracting COVID-19 in Canada because of conditions like this. The following video was shared with us by a worker and shows how twelve men are currently crammed into a room separated by flimsy pieces of cardboard. Stay tuned — we’ll be naming this employer soon.
Meanwhile, seasonal agricultural workers coming to Canada from Jamaica have been required to sign a waiver releasing the Jamaican government from liability if they’re exposed to COVID-19.
How many more exposés are needed before the government takes real action? It’s time for the federal government, Ministry of Labour and public health to show that they value the lives of people of colour from the Global South. They need to take action stop the spread of this pandemic.
Migrant workers are demanding permanent status on arrival in Canada. It’s time to end the differential treatment farm workers face in Canada, including exemptions from employment protections that other workers can access.
Please sign our petition here.
Join Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) in visiting the office of Immigration Minister John McCallum to demand the right for migrant farmworkers to be with their families this Family Day. We will go to the Immigration Minister’s office this Friday to demand that migrant farm workers be able to receive Permanent Immigration status when they arrive to Canada. Help us ensure that not one more Family Day passes where migrant workers cannot be with their partners and kids.
We will be meeting at Minister McCallum’s constituency office (7750 Birchmount Road Unit 21-22, Markham, Ontario) at 10 am on February 12th, 2016. Rides will be departing from 720 Spadina Ave in Toronto at 9 am. If you need a ride, or you can drive people, please RSVP to at email@example.com
J4MW’s action at Minister McCallum’s office is part of the Harvesting Freedom Campaign, which marks 2016 as the 50th anniversary of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). The campaign will include actions throughout the year to call for Permanent Residence status for migrant farm workers and will culminate in a historic Pilgrimage on to the nation’s capital in October.
Hope to see you on Friday,
The Harvesting Freedom Campaign by
Justicia For Migrant Workers
‘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.