Migrant worker activists and allies came together across the country calling for status and regular pathways to permanent residency and Canadian citizenship which would effectively end the vulnerability experienced by nearly 500,000 undocumented people in the country.
In Toronto, activists convened at Christie Pits Park to hear from undocumented migrant workers who shared stories of how their precarious immigration status leaves them vulnerable at work to unscrupulous employers, managers and clients. Others shared stories about in-access to healthcare, social services and employment rights due to their temporary or undocumented status.
According to the Migrant Rights Network, nearly 1 in 23 people living in Canada are undocumented leaving them wanting for free and equal participation in Canadian society. The call for regularized and exclusion free pathways to permanent residency will not only bring 1.2 million migrants out from the fringes of Canadian society it will also see over $1 billion a year collected from employers who escape payroll taxes and other statutory entitlements that should go to funding universal programs.
The rally ended outside the constituency office of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on Bloor St. West and Spadina Ave. in Toronto where activists erected a stage for musical performances to cap off a sun-filled afternoon after a rainy start to the day’s events.