Letter to the Editor: Granting residency to migrant workers would demonstrate genuine appreciation for their services
(April 30): The COVID-19 outbreak at two beef-processing plants in southern Alberta highlights vulnerabilities faced by foreign migrant workers in Canada. It also reveals how much they contribute to the economy and society by doing jobs too few Canadians want. Despite this, they are neither protected nor given access to services and benefits available to Canadians affected by the pandemic.
Recently, Portugal took unprecedented steps to grant foreigners, including migrants, resident status and full access to health care and social services during the pandemic. Canada should do the same. In fact, Canada should go further and grant overseas workers permanent-resident status, as it did more than 50 years ago.
Granting residency to migrant workers would demonstrate genuine appreciation for their services, while creating a pathway to citizenship and eliminating the systemic barriers in Canada’s temporary foreign worker programs.
Connie Sorio, Migrant Justice Program Coordinator, KAIROS
Published in The Globe and Mail, May 2, 2020