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Labour, Climate, Faith & Indigenous Leaders Representing 270 Organizations Call for Immigration Status for All in COVID-19 Recovery

Migrant Rights Network

Migrant Rights Network
Media Advisory

TORONTO, Sept. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- National civil society organizations from across the country will join together on Monday, September 14, 2020 to call for full and permanent immigration status for all migrants, refugees, students, workers and undocumented people in Canada. A letter by 270 organizations that include 8 million people will also be released in time for the Liberal cabinet meeting on Monday, which will be finalizing plans for the upcoming throne speech and a COVID-19 recovery. Some of the worst effects of the pandemic have been experienced by low-waged, racialized migrant and undocumented people, exposing the urgent need for permanent immigration status for all to ensure equal rights in a fair society.

WHEN: 9am EST, September 14, 2020

WHERE: Zoom Press Conference, register for access: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_q6wknrFrR2OPx8_sxhu0ZA

SPEAKERS:

  • Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network. Climate Action Network Canada – Réseau action climat Canada (CAN-Rac Canada) is Canada’s largest climate coalition representing over 100 organizations.

  • Jennifer Henry, Executive Director, KAIROS. KAIROS is Canada’s faith based coalition of 10 churches and religious organizations.

  • Patty Coates, President, Ontario Federation of Labour. OFL is Canada’s largest provincial labour federation, representing over one million Ontario workers belonging to more than 1,500 locals from 54 affiliated unions.

  • Lindsey Bacigal, Director of Communications, Indigenous Climate Action. Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) is the only national Indigenous-led climate organization guided by Indigenous knowledge keepers, water protectors and land defenders from across the country. 

  • Syed Hussan, Migrant Rights Network Secretariat. Migrant Rights Network is Canada’s only migrant led national coalition with members in 10 provinces.

BACKGROUND

  • There are 1.6 million people without permanent resident status in Canada - 1 in 23 people. This includes temporary foreign workers, international mobility program workers, current and former study permit holders, and refugees.

  • Many migrants are in essential work producing food, cleaning homes, taking care of children, working in construction, doing delivery and in retail. The majority work for low wages and were forced to keep working during COVID-19. They were unable to protect themselves because speaking up can mean termination, homelessness and deportation. This includes migrant workers on farms, in meat processing and in long term care homes. Thousands got sick.

  • Many migrants lost work and wages during COVID-19 but did not receive emergency income support. As a result, many thousands have fallen deeper into poverty. StatsCan reports that 42.9% of non-permanent residents are low-income (as compared to 12.5% of non-immigrants, and 17.9% of immigrants). The current unemployment rate for many racialized people is over 17%.

  • Members of Migrant Rights Network have organized over 27 protests across Canada in the last six months demanding status for all. Read more on status for all here: www.MigrantRights.ca/StatusforAll.

Media Contact:
Syed Hussan
416-453-3632, hussan@migrantworkersalliance.org
Migrant Rights Network Secretariat