As oil prices drop, rumours in the Maritimes are on the rise: the region's migrant workers, who send money home from their jobs "out west," might be coming home for good.
In 2012, the Conservative government made deep cuts to the employment insurance (EI) program. The cuts were meant to encourage workers in high unemployment regions to relocate to low unemployment regions, like Alberta. Now, having heeded the call for mobility, workers will return home to stubbornly high unemployment rates and a hollowed-out EI program.
Welcome to Harper's flexibility fanaticism.
On Dec. 18, International Migrants Day, the Vancouver chapter of No One Is Illegal (NOII) demanded the federal government remove Mexico from its list of Designated Countries of Origin used to determine refugee status.
When the Conservatives passed Bill C-31, otherwise known Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act, NOII and the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) were quick to point out the bill's deficiencies, most notably hasty timelines and fewer rights for applicants who are from Designated Countries of Origin.
Related rabble.ca story:
"Migration is an expression of the human aspiration for dignity, safety and a better future. It is part of the social fabric, part of our very make-up as a human family." -- Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations
Today, on December 18, 2014, Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture (RAMA) will be joining countless groups around the world in commemorating the 14th annual International Migrants Day. Inaugurated in 2000, December 18 coincides with the United Nations' adoption of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which Canada has refused to ratify.
For the first time, the federal government has come down on an Alberta employer for misusing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Noralta Lodge is a hotel chain in northern Alberta that specializes in providing accommodations for oilfield workers. After a six month audit, the government found that Noralta provided "false, misleading or inaccurate information" in its request for a Labour Market Opinion, which permits an employer to hire staff through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
The resulting punishment landed Noralta on the blacklist and barred the lodge from using temporary foreign workers for two years.
Bill C-36, The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, was passed and received the royal assent to become law.
As many have stated, although the new law is supposedly about "protection" of sex workers, it will continue to endanger sex workers' lives and violate their human rights instead because of its continued criminalization of sex work.
Criminalizing services -- including purchasing sex, prohibiting communication in many public places and restricting advertising -- will largely recreate the same problems identified by the court in Bedford. It will force this work to go underground and will further restrict and stigmatize sex workers.
Heard a lot about Temporary Foreign Workers? Now hear from them!
Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers: Migrant Workers Speaking Tour featured discussion from thee migrant workers -- a live-in caregiver, a farmworker and a restaurant worker.