Immigrants, advocates maintain pressure to expand residency program for front line workers
MONTREAL -- A group of advocates and refugee claimants continued to put pressure on the federal government on Sunday, calling for a residency program to be expanded to more front line workers.
The demonstration was part of a Canada-wide day of action and followed Saturday's protest in front of Montreal's immigration offices.
Though Canada has announced a path to residency for healthcare workers such as orderlies who have worked with COVID-19 patients during the pandemic, that program does not apply to positions such as security guards, food workers and maintenance staff in Canada's hospitals and long-term care facilities. The regulations were tightened following demands by the Quebec government.
Only 1,000 workers in Quebec would be eligible for residency under the current rules.
“Everyone who was working during the pandemic is essential because their work was deemed essential,” said Solidarity Across Borders spokesperson Mohamed Barry.
“Immigrants are not enemies of Canada,” added Hady Anne, also of Solidarity Across Borders. “They're here to participate in Canada's economy. They want to be on the front lines like everybody.”