Labour, Climate, Faith & Indigenous Leaders Call for Immigration Status for All in COVID-19 Recovery During Liberal Cabinet Retreat

Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This morning, as the federal Liberal cabinet meets to set their priorities for the Throne Speech, over 280 organizations that include 8 million people are calling for a fair society with equal rights for migrants. Faith, labour, climate and Indigenous leaders are sending a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau stating, “We call for a single-tier immigration system, where everyone in the country has the same rights. All migrants, refugees and undocumented people in the country must be regularized and given full immigration status now without exception. All migrants arriving in the future must do so with full and permanent immigration status.” The full letter and list of signatories will be released during the press conference.

WHEN: 9am EST, September 14, 2020

WHERE: Zoom Press Conference, register for access:


  • Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network. Climate Action Network Canada – Réseau action climat Canada (CAN-Rac Canada) is Canada’s largest climate coalition representing over 100 organizations.
  • Jennifer Henry, Executive Director, KAIROS. KAIROS is Canada’s faith based coalition of 10 churches and religious organizations.
  • Patty Coates, President, Ontario Federation of Labour. OFL is Canada’s largest provincial labour federation, representing over one million Ontario workers belonging to more than 1,500 locals from 54 affiliated unions.
  • Lindsey Bacigal, Director of Communications, Indigenous Climate Action. Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) is the only national Indigenous-led climate organization guided by Indigenous knowledge keepers, water protectors and land defenders from across the country. 
  • Syed Hussan, Migrant Rights Network Secretariat. Migrant Rights Network is Canada’s only migrant led national coalition with members in 10 provinces.


  • There are 1.6 million people without permanent resident status in Canada - 1 in 23 people. This includes temporary foreign workers, international mobility program workers, current and former study permit holders, and refugees.
  • Many migrants are in essential work producing food, cleaning homes, taking care of children, working in construction, doing delivery and in retail. The majority work for low wages and were forced to keep working during COVID-19. They were unable to protect themselves because speaking up can mean termination, homelessness and deportation. This includes migrant workers on farms, in meat processing and in long term care homes. Thousands got sick.
  • Many migrants lost work and wages during COVID-19 but did not receive emergency income support. As a result, many thousands have fallen deeper into poverty. StatsCan reports that 42.9% of non-permanent residents are low-income (as compared to 12.5% of non-immigrants, and 17.9% of immigrants). The current unemployment rate for many racialized people is over 17%.
  • Members of Migrant Rights Network have organized over 27 protests across Canada in the last six months demanding status for all.

Media Contact:
Syed Hussan
Migrant Rights Network Secretariat