VANCOUVER – Migrant workers and advocates called for a “fair recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic during a digital rally on Saturday.
Chit Arma, who chairs the Center for Migrant Workers in Vancouver, says the pandemic has shown how heavily Canada depends on migrant and undocumented workers to perform essential jobs.
However, he says he has also revealed how those same workers do not enjoy essential rights and have been placed in precarious situations through the temporary foreign worker program.
The demonstration is part of the Amnesty Campaign for Undocumented Workers led by the Center for Migrant Workers.
The campaign calls on the federal government to create a new permanent residency program for all essential migrant and undocumented workers, and to allow workers to apply for an open work permit while they wait for their applications to be processed.
No one at Canada’s Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship could be immediately reached for comment.
Arma says migrant and undocumented workers play key roles as healthcare workers, supermarket clerks, cleaners, care workers, truck drivers and farm workers.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 19, 2020.
The Canadian Press