Migrant workers and other non-permanent residents, many of whom work on the front line COVID-19 pandemic took to the streets in cities across Canada on Saturday, urging Ottawa to grant them more rights and protection.
Temporary foreign workers, medical workers, students and illegal workers who worked for pandemic as “essential workers” say they are behind the canadian government.
“Our people are literally starving. People are dying, not even to grow food but to grow flowers and grapes for wine. Domestic workers are trapped in homes of employers who will no issue, because migrants are seen as carriers of disease,” said Syed Hussan of the Executive Director of the Union of migrant workers to change.
“COVID-19 exacerbates the existing crisis.”
Many migrant workers got sick and no medical treatment, others have not received wage supplements offered to other essential workers.
Meanwhile, migrant workers or illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic emergency are not subject to income supports such as the canadian emergency response use, which makes them even more vulnerable.
All of this stems from their status as a permanent resident of Canada.
Canadian laws on labor, social services, health care and education offer different levels of access for non-permanent residents — a reality that advocates have long decried essentially unfair. The pandemic is now exacerbated inequalities and placed migrant workers for considerable personal risk, said Hussan.
“What we didn’t plan it that absolute poverty and chaos that will be caused in the event of a pandemic the public health,” he said.
Demonstrations organised by the network for migrant rights took place on Saturday in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax in the offices of members of Parliament, including Federal Minister of immigration Marco Mendicino.
Demonstrators and activists are calling for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the granting of a permanent residence permit for all non-permanent residents in the country to provide them with the ability to protect and care for themselves and their families during a pandemic.
Participants in the Montreal event, which was attended by several hundred people Saturday morning, carried placards with inscriptions, “information for all” and “we are everything” among others.
Cross country action comes a week after the death of Juan lópez Chaparro, a 55-year-old father of four children, which is the third farm worker migrants die from COVID-19 in Canada.
The Federal liberals said that they are working on a program granting permanent residence permit specifically for asylum seekers working in health care for COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of their statements about asylum are in limbo due to the backlog of immigration and refugees, and the additional delays caused by the pandemic, that is, their status in Canada remains uncertain in the long term.
But Hussan says that the government must settle the status of all non-permanent residents, not just the elite.
“Everyone should have the same rights, the same protection. This is only possible if everyone has the same status,” said Hussan.
Payo Florian, the asylum seeker from Cameroon, who came to Canada last year, came to the rally in Montreal Saturday to claim the status for yourself and others who worked for COVID-19 pandemic, but not in healthcare.
Pajo worked in a call centre in Montreal in the midst of a pandemic in March and April, but the company temporarily closed in April, she said, after working a positive result on COVID-19.
It would be unfair for the government to organize health care workers only, she said.
“We also indispensable workers,” said scorch.
Files Jillian kestler-D Amours in Montreal and Jake Kivanç in Toronto.
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