Migrant worker groups across Canada raise alarm bells about 4 and 4 rule

Edmonton, Alberta: March 5, Women’s Day march and speakers forum, 1PM at the Luther Centre 10014 81 Ave.; March 17, Flor@20, Strathcona library 2PM
Guelph, Ontario: Guelph City Hall, March 1, 11am. Community walk.
Hamilton, Ontario: February 28, 11am, various locations.
Okanagan Valley, BC: March 4, community awareness and flyering, various locations.
Toronto, Ontario: March 4, 1pm, Stop Mass Deportation Order to be issued to Finance Minister, Joe Oliver.

Actions in other cities to be announced.

WHY:    On April 01, 2015, the 4 & 4 rule (Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations s. 200(3)(g)) will come into effect. Under these rules, low-waged workers in the Temporary Foreign Worker program and Live-In Caregiver streams  who have been employed in Canada for one or more periods totaling four years will be denied continued status and forced to leave. They are barred from re-entering Canada as workers for four years. Over 62,000 workers currently in Canada, and many others entering the country will be affected. Workers that choose to stay past four will become undocumented. The fact that these workers have been able to maintain a job for four years proves that their work is permanent, not temporary.

As a response to these changes, front-line migrant worker groups across Canada have come together to launch the Campaign Against a 4-year Limit on Migrant Workers. Migrant workers should be granted permanent residence, not forced to cut their ties with friends, family and community and leave. These exclusions target workers that make less than the prevailing wage in their province or region (approximately $23/hour); and place an arbitrary limit on relationships and ties built over years.

WHAT: Migrant worker groups across Canada are coming together to demand:

  1. An immediate moratorium be placed on the 4 & 4 rule, so workers here may continue to work.

  2. That permanent residency be given to migrant workers already in Canada.

  3. That migrant workers receive access to all social benefits and entitlements

  4. That legislation be enacted providing permanent residency for all migrants upon arrival.

WHO:   Campaign Against the 4 Year Limit on Migrant Workers includes Fuerza Puwersa (Guelph), Migrant Workers Alliance for Change*, Migrante Alberta, Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture (Okanagan Valley) and Sanctuary City Hamilton.

*Migrant Workers Alliance for Change includes Alliance of South Asian Aid Prevention (Toronto), Asian Community Aids Services (Ontario), Caregivers Action Centre (Ontario), Industrial Accident Victims’ Group of Ontario, Justicia for Migrant Workers (Ontario), KAIROS Canada, Legal Assistance of Windsor, Migrante Ontario, No One Is Illegal – Toronto, Parkdale Community Legal Services, Social Planning Toronto, UNIFOR (Canada), United Food and Commercial Workers (Canada), Workers United and the Workers’ Action Centre (Toronto)

As of February 27th, campaign demands are endorsed by the Council of Canadians, OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, MigrantWorkerRights-Canada, MIGRANTE – BC and No One Is Illegal – Vancouver.

For more information: www.no4and4.tumblr.com