MEDIA ADVISORY: Migrants & civil society organizations to advocate on changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program 

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Migrant rights spotlighted at upcoming forum in PEI

(Charlottetown, PEI) – A plan on how to work with the federal government to change the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is the anticipated outcome of the Equal in Dignity – Equal in Rights Migrant Workers Rights Forum on April 9 at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown.

Hosted in partnership with KAIROS Canada, the Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Cooper Institute, the Latin American Mission Program, the United Church of Canada and UFCW Canada, the forum will bring together 70 labour, community sector and migrant workers in Prince Edward Island to discuss how to work with government to facilitate policy changes that will impact the country.

On February 17, MaryAnn Mihychuk, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour announced a federal review of the TFWP. The forum’s organizers are seeking a review process that involves migrant workers, and that ensures that changes to the TFWP will create a clear path to permanent residency, open work permits and access to community support services for migrant workers in Canada.

“It’s a critical time for the voices of migrant workers to be heard. PEI’s migrant workers are key because of their role in sustaining the multi-billion dollar Maritime fishing industry,” says Connie Sorio, KAIROS’ Migrant Justice and Partnerships Coordinator. KAIROS is a co-organizer of the forum.

The TFWP has come under fire for undermining the rights of migrant workers in Canada. Temporary workers are often tied to specific employers, have no means to protect themselves from workplace abuse and have little access to community support services. Those who qualify to apply for permanent residency undergo a lengthy process that separates them from their families for extended periods.

WHAT:  Equal in Dignity – Equal in Rights Migrant Workers Rights Forum

WHEN:  Saturday, April 9, 2016; 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR MEDIA INTERVIEWS: 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m.; 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.; 5 p.m.

WHERE:  McMillan Hall, W.A. Murphy Student Centre, University of Prince Edward Island (550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, PE)

WHO:  Connie Sorio, Migrant Justice and Partnerships Coordinator, KAIROS Canada and Josie Baker, Migrant Worker Liason, Cooper Institute


Jesson Reyes, Migrante Canada
Marie Antoinette Pangan, former fishplant worker, now permanent resident and nursing student
Chris Ramsaroop, Justicia for Migrant Workers

About KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

KAIROS is a faith-based social justice organization of eleven Canadian churches and religious organizations. It focuses on Indigenous rights, international human rights and ecological justice. We deliberate on issues of common concern, advocate for social change and join with people of faith and goodwill in action for social transformation. To learn more, visit

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Media Contact:

Cheryl McNamara
Media Coordinator
877-403-8933 x 246
416-875-0097 (mobile)

Connie Sorio
Migrant Justice and Partnership Coordinator
877-403-8933 x 240
416-459-2557 (mobile – Charlottetown)

Filed in: Media Releases, Migrant Justice


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