Resolutions adopted November 2014
1. Expanding economic immigration to workers of all skill levels
- The rampant expansion and continuous demand for the low-skilled (now low-wage) streams of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) make it clear that the labour shortages being filled are long-term and not temporary;
- The 2011 rule limiting migrant workers in the low-wage stream of the TFWP (previously known as the low-skilled pilot project) to four years of work in Canada, was intended to reinforce the temporary nature of the program, despite the continuing nature of the demand;
- The above time limits, which only apply to workers in the low-wage stream, exacerbate existing vulnerabilities;
- Canada’s traditional immigration approach was focused on nation-building through permanent immigration that met the broad range of labour needs across the Canadian economy; all workers were part of the national project;
- Canada’s shift towards temporary labour migration promotes a two-tiered, stratified society;
that the CCR call for Canada’s economic immigration program to be expanded to reflect the broad social, cultural, linguistic and environmental needs of the Canadian labour market by including workers of all skill levels.
2. Right to unionize and to bargain collectively
- The freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are internationally recognized as fundamental principles and rights in the workplace;
- Some jurisdictions in Canada effectively prevent workers from unionizing or collectively bargaining based on their immigration status or sector of employment;
that the CCR advocate that all workers, regardless of sector of employment or immigration status in Canada, have the right to unionize and to bargain collectively.
3. Extending labour protections to all workers
- In Canada, some workers are excluded from labour protections such as labour standards and workers compensation, health and safety protections and effective anti-reprisals protections, based on their immigration status;
- Some jurisdictions in Canada explicitly exclude categories of workers such as domestic workers and agricultural workers, who are disproportionately migrant workers;
that the CCR advocate that all workers regardless of status in Canada and of type of work have access to the full range of labour rights and protections, including provincial labour and employment standards, health and safety standards, and workers compensation.
4. Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women
- The CCR is committed to ensuring protection for all persons experiencing gender based violence;
- There are more than 1,000 missing and murdered First Nations, Inuit and Metis women and girls;
- First Nations, Inuit and Metis women and girls experience high levels of violence throughout Canada;
- The affected communities are calling for a national inquiry;
that the CCR call on the Canadian government to:
- Commit to and implement a National Action Plan that addresses the discrimination and inequalities facing Aboriginal women and girls.
- Establish a national inquiry to ensure this action plan is well informed and accountable.
5. 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention
- The General Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted a new protocol to the Forced Labour Convention in June 2014 in order to address gaps in the implementation of the Convention, and to protect vulnerable workers from abuse;
- Canadian labour laws fail to adequately protect migrant workers, leaving them at risk of abuse, conditions of forced or compulsory labour, exploitation and human trafficking; this is a growing yet preventable problem;
that the CCR call upon the government of Canada to ratify the 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention, and to implement all of its provisions.
6. CIC documents for Trans Persons
- Gender identity is a fluid concept;
- Refugees may be persecuted because of their gender identity;
- Migrants’ gender identity may change before and after they arrive in Canada;
- Trans newcomers to Canada experience barriers in obtaining government documents which reflect their gender identity;
- CIC policies state that its documents cannot be changed to reflect persons’ lived gender identity;
- Provincial and Territorial Human Rights Codes protect the right to gender identity and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms prohibits discrimination;
that the CCR demand amendments to CIC policies such that immigration and citizenship documents reflect the gender of persons as they identify.