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As Parliament Returns, Organizations Across the Maritimes Call for Regularization and Permanent Residence Status for All 1.7 Million Migrants

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WHEN: Thursday, September 15, 2022 (1pm ADT)

WHERE: Online via Zoom – Pre-registration required, please click here.

WHO: Ryan McRae (Cooper Institute, Prince Edward Island), Kalum Ng (Madhu Centre, New Brunswick) and Stacey Gomez (No one is illegal – Halifax/Kjipuktuk Migrant Workers Program, Nova Scotia)

 

Maritime-based organizations will host a press conference to call on Prime Minister Trudeau and the next parliamentary session to implement a comprehensive regularization program without delay that ensures permanent residency for all 500,000 undocumented residents, as well as full and permanent immigration status for all 1.2 million migrant workers, students, refugees and families in the country. The organizations are members of the Migrant Rights Network, Canada’s largest migrant-led coalition.

 

The press conference is taking place in advance of massive protests where thousands of people are expected to take to the streets in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton, Charlottetown, Fredericton, Halifax, Guelph, Sudbury, Miramichi, St. John’s and Clarksburg on Sunday, September 18 in the lead up to Parliament’s return. Off-the-record sources have confirmed that Canada is developing a regularization program but no timelines have been announced or guarantees provided that this program will be inclusive. Regularization is an historic opportunity for Prime Minister Trudeau to correct unfairness in the immigration system and change the lives of half a million undocumented people which will ensure increased healthcare, climate and global justice and improve working conditions. Over 480 civil society organizations have already endorsed this call for immigration justice.

 

Actions in Atlantic Canada and Media Contacts for Sunday, September 18, 2022

 

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE: Status for All: Reimagining PEI

Sep 18, 1pm, Victoria Park Pavilion, 36 Victoria Park Driveway

Media Contact: Ryan MacRae, ryan@cooperinstitute.ca, Cooper Institute

 

FREDERICTON, NB: Status for All Day of Action Fredericton – Madhu Centre Organization Launch

Sep 18, 1pm, 577 Hillcrest Drive

Media Contact: Kalum Ng,  info@madhucentre.ca, Madhu Centre

 

ANTIGONISH, NS: “United We Call: Status for All!” at Antigonight: Art After Dark Festival

Sept 17, 7-11pm, Main Street Grounds (Scotiabank)

Media Contact: Stacey Gomez, noii.hfx@gmail.com, No one is illegal – Halifax/Kjipuktuk, Migrant Workers Program

 

MIRAMICHI, NB: Rights, Regularization, Status for All

Sep 18, 2pm, Queen Elizabeth Park Town Square. 141 rue Henry Street

Media Contact: Sonia Aviles, 289 990 1349, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change

 

ST. JOHN’S, NL: Status for All Picnic

Sep 18, 1pm, Bannerman Park

Media Contact: Adi Khaitan, 709-693-6032

 

Background

  • There are at least 1.2 million people in Canada on temporary work, study or refugee claimant permits issued in Canada each year. Most migrants in low-waged work do not have access to permanent residency so eventually they are forced to either leave Canada or stay in the country undocumented. Migrant farm workers recently testified that these temporary migration schemes are “systematic slavery”.

  • Many are unable to return to sending countries because of war, discrimination, lack of economic opportunities and/or because they have built relationships in Canada. Today, there are over 500,000 undocumented people in the country.

  • As a result, there are at least 1.7 million migrants – 1 in 23 residents in Canada – who do not have equal rights.

  • Migrants are excluded from healthcare and social services and cannot unite with their families. Lack of permanent resident status makes it difficult, and often impossible, for migrants to speak up for their rights at work or access services, including those they may be eligible for, because of a well-founded fear of reprisals, termination, eviction and deportation.

  • Migrants – mostly low-waged, racialized, working class people – are deemed essential but are excluded from rights. Thousands of migrants lost their lives and livelihoods in COVID-19 while working in farms, long-term care homes, construction, cleaning, and delivery work.

  • Comprehensive regularization (a program that includes all 500,000 undocumented people) will address a historic wrong; improve working conditions by giving migrants the power to protects themselves; guarantee public health; and add at least $1.1 billion dollars to the public purse per year through contributions by employers who currently don’t pay taxes.

  • Canada created the “Guardian Angels” program for some refugee and undocumented healthcare workers, which expired in August 2020. The Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (TR to PR) program was created in May 2021, and expired in November. These programs excluded the vast majority of racialized, low-waged migrants. No permanent changes have been made to ensure immigration justice.

  • Over 10,000 people have signed a petition in support of these demands: www.StatusforAll.ca

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Iran protests: Canada sanctioning 'morality police' – CTV News

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Canada will be imposing new sanctions on Iran as a result of a continuing violent crackdown on protesters, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

The sanctions will be levelled on “dozens of individuals and entities, including Iran’s so-called morality police,” the prime minister said.

“We’ve seen Iran disregarding human rights time and time again, and now we see with the death of Mahsa Amini and the crackdown on protests,” Trudeau said, referencing the death of a 22-year-old who was detained for allegedly violating the country’s forced veiling laws. Her death has sparked outrage and has prompted a wave of international demonstrations, seeing some women cut their hair or burn their hijabs in revolt.

“To the women in Iran who are protesting and to those who are supporting you, we stand with you. We join our voices, the voices of all Canadians, to the millions of people around the world demanding that the Iranian government listen to their people, end their repression of freedoms and rights, and let women and all Iranians live their lives and express themselves peacefully,” Trudeau said.

While no official notice of the new sanctions has been published by Global Affairs Canada, the prime minister noted they come in addition to outstanding measures Canada has taken against Iran.

In an email to CTV News, Adrien Blanchard, press secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said that Trudeau “announced Canada’s intention” to issue these sanctions, pledging more details “in due course.” 

Joly, as well as MPs from all parties, have spoken out about the escalating tensions and use of force against civilians in Iran, with the House of Commons unanimously passing a motion last week offering “solidarity to the women of Iran who are fighting for their rights and freedoms.”

With files from CTV News’ Michael Lee 

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Maine power workers cross border without incident to help in Nova Scotia

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OTTAWA — Nova Scotia Power says there were no issues delaying American power crews from crossing the border to help repair the electrical grid from the devastation of hurricane Fiona.

On Sunday, the utility company and Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston had both said an issue related to the controversial ArriveCan app was delaying power crews from crossing into Canada.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said this morning that the order making the app mandatory and requiring that foreign citizens be vaccinated to come to Canada will expire on Friday.

Power crews helping to restore electricity are considered essential workers and are exempt from the border measures.

In a new statement Monday afternoon, Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman Jacqueline Foster says there was some confusion about the app but it is now confirmed there were no problems.

Versant Power says 15 line workers and two mechanics left Bangor, Maine, for Canada early Monday morning without issue, and Central Maine Power reports more than a dozen two-person crews and 10 support workers crossed the border without incident at around 7 a.m. Monday.

“We now know there were not any issues with ArriveCan,” said Foster. “Our contractor crews have made their way over the border and we are grateful to have them as part of our restoration efforts here in Nova Scotia.”

The Canada Border Services Agency reported that it cleared 19 power trucks at the Third Bridge border crossing in St. Stephen, N.B., just after 7 a.m. Monday. The CBSA said the average processing time was between 30 and 60 seconds per vehicle.

The ArriveCan app has been fodder for heated political debates for months and Conservatives have repeatedly demanded that the government shut it down.

During question period on Monday, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre cited the allegations that ArriveCan delayed power crews to demand that the app be scrapped ahead of schedule.

He asked, “Will the prime minister suspend the ArriveCan app today, not Saturday, so that no more holdups happen at the border for those who are trying to help those in desperate need?”

Trudeau said he can “confirm that there were no delays at any border because of ArriveCan or otherwise.”

The utility company had said Sunday that crews were physically stuck at the border, but confirmed a few hours after question period on Monday that this had never been the case.

Foster suggested the error was a result of “confusion” after a concern arose Friday — before the storm actually hit — that crews from Maine might not be able to cross the border because of ArriveCan.

No New Brunswick border crossings reported issues over the weekend.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2022.

 

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

 

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Former top civil servant, medical association president appointed as senators

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OTTAWA — Ian Shugart, a longtime bureaucrat and the country’s top civil servant during the first part of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been tapped for a seat in the Senate.

Dr. Gigi Osler, a Winnipeg surgeon, University of Manitoba professor and president of the Federation of Medical Women in Canada, is also set to become a senator.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the picks today after the two were recommended to him by the independent advisory board for appointments to the upper chamber.

Shugart, who will represent Ontario, stepped down as the clerk of the Privy Council in early 2021 to undergo cancer treatments and formally retired in May after a long public service career.

Trudeau also appointed him to the King’s Privy Council today, adding his name to a list that includes past and present cabinet ministers and people “honoured for their contributions to Canada,” according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Osler, who will represent Manitoba, became the first female surgeon and the first racialized woman to hold the presidency at the Canadian Medical Association in 2018.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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