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Migrant, worker rights groups call on gov’t to support migrant, informal workers

MEDIA RELEASE

Canada Emergency Response Benefit Must Support Migrant & Informal Workers

Migrant and worker rights organizations call on the Cabinet to ensure that comprehensive income supports are immediately accessible to everyone regardless of immigration or previous work status. While legislation is currently being debated in the Senate, the Cabinet is responsible for developing regulations to implement the law. 

The newly announced Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) must:

  • Not exclude workers based on active Social Insurance Numbers or immigration status;
  • Not require taxes filed or income earned in Canada in 2019 (many migrants just arriving in Canada are being laid off or seeing their hours reduced, other informal sector workers may not have paid taxes in 2019); 
  • Include workers who have seen hours of work or wages reduced but have not been laid off; 
  • Guarantee that no information is shared with immigration enforcement; 
  • Include migrant workers Shawho may choose not to travel to Canada because of health concerns; and
  • Provide a dedicated special delivery mechanism to ensure that workers who cannot or may not access funds delivered through CRA can receive income support.

Workers should not be pitted against each other – workers applying for Employment Insurance or this newly created CERB must get a minimum of $2,000/month.

Migrant Rights Network reiterates our calls for healthcare, worker protections and community supports for all; and an end to detentions and deportations and permanent resident status for all migrants. Migrant Rights Network is available to advise the federal government on how to ensure rights and protections for essential workers in Canada. This call has been endorsed by thousands of people as well the Canadian Labour Congress, Council of Canadians, and 350 Canada. 

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