Immigrants & refugees

Digital equity and community solidarity during and after COVID-19

Apr 21, 2020
As many have noted, COVID-19 is an efficient illuminator of our society’s strengths and weaknesses; its progress accelerates in spaces of inequality and injustice. There is a race among public health agencies at all levels to provide timely, accurate information about COVID-19 that is essential to support physical distancing policies and to maintain quarantine and… View Article

Protecting the health and rights of migrant agricultural workers during the COVID-19 outbreak should be a priority

Apr 1, 2020
Manually skilled migrant workers contribute vitally to the Canadian food chain, including to agricultural and seafood industries. But food security cannot be achieved on the backs of workers who are denied equal access to social protections and benefits, and made uniquely vulnerable to coronavirus transmission. With news about this week’s community outbreak among migrant agricultural workers… View Article

This Labour Day, fruit pickers in BC may have been denied minimum wage

Sep 3, 2019
While many British Columbians and visitors may have enjoyed late summer produce like apples, peaches and plums this Labour Day weekend, the workers who pick these crops generally do not receive statutory holiday pay and many work for less than minimum wage. The laws that govern conditions for agricultural workers make them vulnerable and exploitable,… View Article

Refugees are bringing new attention to the gaps in our social safety net

Jan 27, 2016
As we welcome refugees in larger numbers this year, the spotlight is turned on our disintegrating social infrastructure. For example, Government Assisted Refugees (GAR) receive a monthly allowance equivalent to the provincial social assistance rates. A family of two adults and two children receives a maximum monthly shelter allowance of $700; families with four children… View Article

#BoycottTims? It’s about time.

Jun 9, 2015
Twitter was raging against Tim Hortons last Thursday. According to the Ottawa Sun, for much of the day the hottest trending topic in Canada was #BoycottTims. It’s about time, I thought to myself, these allegations have been in the news for at least a couple of years. Back in 2013, a group of Tims employees… View Article

BC’s workers need a human rights commission

Dec 10, 2014
Let me explain BC’s strategy for addressing discrimination. First, we ask someone to experience it. Then we ask that person to understand a complex area of law, investigate the facts and engage in a legal proceeding against their employer / landlord / service provider to enforce their rights. We ask many people to do this… View Article

Temporary Foreign Worker Program changes – who do they help?

Jul 10, 2014
The Conservative Government’s Minister of Employment and Social Development, Jason Kenney, announced on June 20th 2014 a draft of changes to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The program has attracted controversy since at least 2006, most recently when the CBC reported that MacDonald’s outlets in Victoria were favouring temporary foreign workers over Canadians… View Article