Migrant workers and allies call on Canada to use permanent immigration as a nation-building strategy at National Forum on Migrant Workers in Saskatoon
“We really appreciate and value the work that KAIROS is doing to promote migrant justice,” said KAIROS network member Thomas Novak. “The KAIROS Human Rights workshop in Winnipeg six years ago led to the formation of migrant workers’ organizations and solidarity groups, including the Migrant Workers Solidarity Network.”
Thomas was attending the National Forum on Migrant Workers in Saskatoon on June 5. A migrant justice advocate and member of the Oblates, Thomas was one of about 70 people from across Canada who came together to discuss the challenges and barriers facing migrant workers under the federal Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP). Participants included migrant workers, human rights and migrant justice advocates, and representatives from migrant workers’ organizations, immigration and settlement agencies, churches, unions and academia. They explored strategies to strengthen public awareness and education campaigns, and called on the Government of Canada to move away from its increasing reliance on temporary labor migration programs that are fraught with abuse and return to using permanent immigration as a strategy for nation building and meeting labour market demands.
The national forum was organized by the Canadian Council for Refugees in collaboration with KAIROS, Migrante Canada, and the University of Saskatchewan, with financial support from the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).
KAIROS also helped to organize a migrant workers information session on June 4 that provided space for migrant workers from across Canada to collaborate on collective actions towards the shared vision of enjoying the same benefits and rights as local workers.