Historic opportunity to win status for all and paid sick days this summer!
We have a historic opportunity to win status for all this summer. Parliament has directed the Minister of Immigration to create a plan by September 8 to give permanent residency to low-waged migrant workers. At the same time, Prime Minister Trudeau asked the Minister of Immigration to create a “regularization program,” which means giving permanent resident status to undocumented people. Because the government is planning for both of these changes this summer, what we say and do now will have a real impact on their final decision.
There are an estimated 1.7 million temporary migrants in Canada. That means one in every 23 people in Canada is a non-permanent resident. Unfortunately, there are only a few difficult-to-access immigration programs for some low-waged caregivers and farmworkers. Most migrants are excluded. And there has been no mass regularization program for undocumented migrants in Canada for decades.
Because of their precarious immigration status, temporary migrants are forced to work in some of the country’s most dangerous jobs. Yet they are paid the lowest wages with the least protection and with almost no government support. As Mariana makes clear:
“I left my country to save my life. Since coming to Canada with my daughter, I have searched many places to get help and information on how to get status here or claim refugee status. My 16-year-old daughter and I had no option but for both of us to start work, accepting exploitative working conditions through agencies because I have no work permit. We have suffered bullying from supervisors in the factories where we have worked. They pressure us because they know we come from an agency that uses undocumented people. During the pandemic, we were not allowed to apply for any government benefit. So we have to risk our lives and carry on working.”
We can win status for all if we organize. Many forces don’t want migrants to have their rights. Bad bosses, landlords, private healthcare businesses and big colleges want to keep paying migrants less and making more money off of migrants. Anti-immigrant, racist groups also oppose positive changes. They will try to divide us and make us fight each other by pushing for small changes that exclude many and reward a few.
But we can win. Not just a partial, one-time TR to PR program, or a small regularization program but a transformation of the immigration system so that all migrants can have equal rights, well-paying jobs, and be with their families.
Will you sign and share the Migrant Rights Network petition?
The Migrant Rights Network is also hosting online organizing meetings. The first cross-country organizing meeting is on Tuesday, July 5 at 4 pm ET. These meetings will be a great opportunity for you to learn more and plan actions in your community.
Can you join the meeting? Click the button below to RSVP and get the link to join online.
Ontario needs 10 permanent paid sick days
There is growing pressure on Ford’s government to legislate ten permanent paid sick days for all workers. On Friday, June 24, as Ford announced his new cabinet, the Decent Work and Health Network (DWHN) released an open letter now signed by more than 240 health care workers in support of ten permanent paid sick days.
Rather than ensuring that workers have adequate protections, Ontario’s Labour Minister Monte McNaughton committed to extending the Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB) – for as long as COVID is in the province. But the WIPB falls short of what workers need:
- The WIPB is temporary and cannot be used for non-COVID-related illnesses;
- The WIPB is not renewable, offering only three paid sick days for 468 days (more if extended), meaning workers that used their three days in May 2021, have no paid sick days left
- The WIPB could cost the public as much as $43.7 million to administer through Deloitte (a private consulting firm)
We need the government to immediately legislate at least 10 paid sick days. To be effective, paid sick days must be universally available, immediately accessible without barriers, fully-paid by employers, adequate in number, and permanent.
On Tuesday, July 12 at 5:30 pm ET, we’re organizing an Emergency Phone Action to call on Premier Doug Ford, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones, Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton and your MPPs to immediately legislate: 10 permanent paid sick days for all workers.
Will you join the Emergency Phone Action on Tuesday, July 12?
Help spread the word about the expiration of the Worker Income Protection Benefit in your community by printing our new leaflets and posters. Click here to download the poster and click here to download the leaflet.
Walk with Grassy Narrows for Mercury Justice!
The devastating mercury crisis in Grassy Narrows First Nation has persisted for decades, ever since nine tonnes of mercury was dumped upstream in the 1960s, with little government action to help the people.
To this day, 86% of Grassy Narrows members got no compensation for the impacts of the ongoing mercury crisis on their health, culture, and livelihoods. To make matters worse, Ontario is now proposing mining exploration and industrial logging on Grassy Narrows lands against Grassy Narrows’ will.
At noon on Thursday, July 21 at Queens Park, walk with Grassy Narrows youth and community members to show that we are with them on their path to achieving mercury justice and freedom.
Check out FreeGrassy.net for more details as the event approaches.
Next Ontario organizing meeting
We are skipping our July organizing meeting to give everyone a chance to organize local events over the summer. Our next Ontario organizing meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 23 at 7 pm ET.
Can we count on you to bring new folks to our next provincial meeting?