Advocates say Ottawa’s new route to permanent residency excludes many migrant groups

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Syed Hussan, Executive Director of the Migrant Workers Alliance.

Christopher Katsarov / Canadian Press

A Cross-Canada coalition of migrant groups is criticizing a federal program aimed at creating a permanent residence route for 90,000 people, noting that ensuring proper opportunities for people to apply to implement it Needed.

The Migrant Rights Network, representing organizations in Canada, said action is urgently needed as the program begins accepting applications on Thursday.

“Current requirements for this [permanent residency] A report released by the network on Tuesday said that programs, short deadlines and arbitrary caps ensure that only those who are in the best conditions will be able to apply – who have the most money, flexibility and access.

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In the report, the group argues that program exclusions and requirements have laid off many refugees, unspecified people and thousands of migrants, with the cap in application streams meaning that some will be able to receive their applications before they fill the spots.

“The program does not open until this weekend, and has already been scheduled to book language tests as chaos migrants and gather the necessary documents in hopes of getting a spot on the first-come, first-served program, “The report notes.

During a virtual news conference on Tuesday, Syed Hussan, executive director of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, said the federal government has created a short-term program that excludes many. “We need to turn to equality and fairness,” he said.

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The program was announced in mid-April by Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino and billed as the frontline of 90,000 temporary employees employed in hospitals and long-term care homes during the epidemic and the frontline of other core areas, as well as international graduates. Was sent. .

To apply, workers must have had at least one year of Canadian work experience in a health care profession or any other pre-approved required occupation, while international graduates must have completed a qualified Canadian post-secondary program within the last four years Was.

Mr Huson said his organization and other groups are promising “nationwide action” to oppose the program, including a large-scale event in July when migrants and unspecified people a week from Montreal to Ottawa It is planned to march during.

Alexander Cohen, press secretary to the Minister of Immigration, said that the program is an unprecedented and inclusive effort. “We are keeping an open mind on this,” he said in an interview, stating that the immigration department is open to adjusting for the program because it is income.

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NDP immigration critic Jenny Kavan countered that the new route to permanent residency excludes those who need help the most. “Leaving them behind, the government is only putting them at risk, and reinforces the stigma [and] He said that exploitation has to be faced.

Ms Kavan said the NDP would prioritize a more inclusive approach. “This is something that we will do very differently – we will allow laborers working without conditions and without work to apply for permanent residency,” he said.

The leader of the federal Green Party challenged liberals to create a process to bring thousands of undivided people living in Canada on the path to permanent residency.

Aname Paul said that given his work during the epidemic, it was a disservice to people without status and for the government to implement a new short-term immigration program to migrant workers in which many significant barriers to the participation of those individuals Are included.

Ms. Paul said in a statement, “We hope that the government will respond to the response to Canada’s new short-term immigration route, and revise the system immediately.”

The Conservatives and The Bloc Québécois declined to comment on the issue.

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