CONTACT YOUR M.P.
Connect directly with those who can bring change!
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3. Add your MP address or email
- Add your MP email (click the button below to find your MP contact information).
- Add also the emails of The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Marc.Miller@parl.gc.ca and The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister firstname.lastname@example.org
- Add your MP address. Note: It is free to send mail to any Member of Parliament. You do not need to pay for postage.
4. Spread the word!
Talk with your friends and family about the open work permit issue and urge them to contact their MP.
Suggested Text of your
Dear Ms./Mr. (surname):
Canada is failing to uphold its long-standing commitment to ensure that the fundamental labour and human rights of migrant workers are respected. Closed work permits must be abolished.
The UN Rapporteur is the latest to condemn Canada’s closed work permit system for making migrant workers vulnerable to contemporary forms of slavery. The widespread abuse and mistreatment experienced by migrant workers in Canada have been extensively documented and well-established for decades now. Human rights tribunals, labour boards, courts, and parliamentary committees have all recognized that legal restrictions, such as closed work permits, contribute significantly to their vulnerability.
Successive Canadian governments continue to refuse to address the root of the problem. Superficial reforms, like the Open Work Permit for Vulnerable Workers Program, have failed to protect migrant workers from systemic abuse.
While the federal Immigration Minister has discussed replacing closed work permits with sector or regional-restricted permits, these are not acceptable alternatives to unrestricted open work permits. Any permit that ties the worker to a specific employer or group of employers places them in a condition of servitude. The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, plagued with abuse and exploitation, is, in essence, a sectoral work permit.
The problem extends beyond just closed work permits. Workers with temporary and precarious immigration status will consistently face obstacles in asserting their rights unless they have barrier-free access to permanent residence.
Migrant workers spoke loud and clear at a recent worker-led event in Edmonton: “The closed work permit system set us up for exploitation the moment we sign the work contract. It restricts our freedom of movement and takes away our freedom of choice. We are reclaiming our dignity and calling on the government for unconditional open work permits with realistic and straightforward pathways to permanent residency.”
It is time for Parliament to act decisively and adopt transformative and lasting solutions.
We therefore request the adoption of the following legislative changes:
Replace closed work permits with unconditional open work permits.
Open barrier-free pathways to permanent residency for all low-skilled migrant workers.
The injustices faced by migrant workers tarnish Canada’s human rights record. As a Parliamentarian, you have a chance to make history by ensuring justice for migrant workers and a stronger economy and society for all in Canada.