81 Prince Street
Charlottetown, PEI C1A 4R3
Phone: (902) 894-4573

The Reverend Vincent Murnaghan Memorial Scholarship

Equal in Dignity - Equal in Rights - a great success!

Forum on Migrant Worker Rights Attracts over 60 People

Posted: Friday 29th April 2016 13:08

Speakers at the April 16 event included migrant workers, activists, and members of unions and of faith communities. The panels and group discussions provoked many questions as we explored the challenges faced by migrant workers, and the global, national and local aspects of migration. Specific policy issues were identified, as were actions to affect necessary change. Participants said they left feeling enlightened, curious, challenged, energized and ready to act for justice! Some of the recommendations coming out of the day centred on: a) connecting local, national and global migration issues, building solidarity; b)the need to look at migration through lenses of gender and cultural diversity; c)making sure the voices of migrant workers are at the forefront; d) building relationships in communities and identifying roles for faith communities, community groups and others and take collective action. It was decided to form a Prince Edward Island Task Force, which has met once already and will meet again on May 5 at 4pm at 81 Prince St, Charlottetown.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Read the whole report here!

Over the course of the day, participants heard from migrant workers, activists, and members of unions and of faith communities. The panels and group discussions provoked many questions as we explored the challenges faced by migrant workers, and the global, national and local aspects of migration. Specific policy issues were identified, as were actions to affect necessary change. Participants said they left feeling enlightened, curious, challenged, energized and ready to act for justice!

 

What we heard & discussed – recommendations:

a) Connect local, national and global migration issues, build solidarity and explore root causes – people leaving their home countries and communities due to conflict, poverty, often related to the plundering of natural resources by large multinational corporations. Migration is used as a source of disposable labour for free market capitalism.

b) There is a need to look at migration through lenses of gender and cultural diversity.

c) Make sure the voices of migrant workers are at the forefront.

d) Identify paths to collective action and build solidarity within and among unions.

e) Build relationships in communities; identify roles for faith communities, community groups and others and take collective action.

f) Get more information about numbers of workers, and where they are in PEI.

g) Form a Prince Edward Island Task Force.

h) Organize a solidarity event with people walking across Ontario in the fall of 2016.

i) Join a nation-wide conference call on May 5.

j) Use a human rights approach!  Create more awareness in groups, unions and in the media. Highlight the contributions of migrant workers to our economy and our communities.

k) Take advantage of the upcoming review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Organize and advocate for policy changes and a program that says more than, “Your work is done here. Now you can go home.” (Zenaida Angeles)

 

Policy Recommendations – Federal:

·         Reduction or Elimination of the $1,000.00 LMIA fee

·         Removal of 4 year in/4 year out rule

·         Permanent Residency (PR) status on arrival

·         Open work permits

·         CPP (Canada Pension Plan) to be carried over to different countries

·         Language requirements for PR – reduce the fee for taking the test, reduce proficiency requirements

 

Policy Recommendations – Provincial:

·         Healthcare coverage all year-round, not tied to permit

·         Routine Health and Safety inspections

·         Enhanced Employment Standards

·         Regulation and licensing of recruitment agencies