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CCPA Manitoba recently published “Our City’s Undocumented: A Case for Access Without Fear” by two MWSN members, Karen Hamilton and Krista Johnston. From that Fast Facts:

Reports about refugees walking across the Canada-US border beginning in the spring of 2017 renewed concerns about immigration policy and undocumented migrants in Winnipeg. In fact, the vast majority of migrants to Canada enter legally, through official ports of entry, and with documentation that is presented to and checked by border officials. Although walking across an international border is irregular, those who did so in 2017 were met by RCMP or Canada Border Services Agency officials, and their status as refugee claimants was both verified and documented. In short, these migrants did not enter illegally, their status as refugee claimants is legal, they are documented and their movement in Canada is tracked by border officials. But this does not mean that they have walked into all of the rights and entitlements of full Canadian citizenship. On the contrary: their status is legal but precarious, just as is the case for many of those who enter through Canada’s temporary work, student, and other immigration avenues.

You can find the entire report here.

From the Canadian Council for Refugees / Conseil canadien pour les réfugiés:

Federal government must act for migrant workers

The Canadian Council for Refugees published today its recommendations for next steps to protect the rights of migrant workers in Canada, in the wake of the parliamentary committee report on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) recently concluded a review of the program and released its report on 19 September 2016.

“Now that the committee has tabled its recommendations, the government needs to act quickly to address the abuse of migrant workers in Canada by making fundamental changes, guided by the principle of protection of migrant workers’ rights,” said CCR president Loly Rico.

The CCR is calling for action on the following:

  • Open work permits without restrictions
  • Access to permanent residence for all migrant workers
  • End to the cumulative duration (four-in-four-out) rule
  • Access to settlement services
  • Family reunification
  • Increased and more effective monitoring and enforcement

For more information, please read their full news release here, or the CCR response to the HUMA report here.

poster_harvesting_freedom_J4MW_january2016_MWSN is proud to support Harvesting Freedom, a campaign from Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW). It includes a call on the Canadian government to finally allow migrant farm workers in Canada to access Permanent Immigration Status. From the campaign’s website:

The Campaign starts in January of the 50th year of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers program and will include a Pilgrimage from Leamington to Ottawa in time for Thanksgiving season on October 2nd and 3rd, 2016. The Pilgrimage will highlight the reliance on farm workers across its route as it crosses Southern Ontario and will culminate with a clear message to the Federal Government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: Justice is 50 years overdue.

The campaign was launched January 25, 2016 in Ottawa with a group of farmworkers hand-delivering Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a giant 50th Anniversary party invitation. The Prime Minister is hereby invited to RSVP and bring justice to the thousands of farmworkers who have put food on Canada’s tables for the last 50 years without any chance to lay roots in the country. Justicia for Migrant Workers and the Harvesting Freedom Campaign will be organizing a series of actions throughout the year to raise awareness and put pressure for the government of Canada to do what’s right.

They are calling for support via a petition and donations; we encourage you to check out their website and support this important campaign.


December 18 was International Migrants Day – the Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada (CMWRC) posted this message in commemoration of the day:

The whole world celebrates International Migrants Day today. 25 years ago, on December 18, 1990, the United Nations General Assembly signed and adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Today, exactly 25 years later Canada, an active recruiter of migrant workers, has still not signed this covenant. As of 2013, there were over 176, 613 temporary foreign workers; 284, 050 international mobility program workers, and hundreds of thousands of migrants on other work permits living and working here precariously. On this day, and every day, we call upon the new Federal government to address the core issues that migrant workers face. It is time for Mobility, Voice and Equality for Migrant Workers.

You can read their entire statement here.

The Migrant Worker Solidarity Network and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Manitoba are proud to release Migrant Voices: Stories of Seasonal Agricultural Workers in Manitoba. The report was released today, May 15th, at an event at the Manitoba Legislative building.

Migrant Voices is based on interviews conducted with migrant farm workers in Manitoba during the summer of 2011. About 400 workers come to Manitoba every year, mostly from Mexico, to plant and harvest much of the produce grown in Manitoba.

You can download a copy of the report here.


Mexican Migrant Farm Workers – Their Role in the Manitoba Economy

A presentation by:

Lynne Fernandez
Errol Black Chair in Labour Issues

Jodi Read
Migrant Worker Solidarity Network

Tuesday March 5
1PM – 2.15PM Tier 307

Organized by:
The Dept. of French, Spanish & Italian
Labour Studies Program

For more information:
204-474-9313 or


Welcome to the website of the Migrant Worker Solidarity Network!

We’ve spruced up the website- you can now find above more information about the MWSN, see what we’ve published on the issue of migrant workers in the province, and see how you can get involved to support migrant workers in the province.

We would also love to hear from you: you can contact us at info@mwsn.ca.

-the MWSN

As you may have heard, on November 9 the Federal Government will be making major changes in the regulations covering migrant workers in Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker program.  Under the guise of better protecting these vulnerable men and women, the proposed regulations will actually negatively impact them in a very serious way.

Please consider downloading and printing this letter and sending it to Minister Kenny.  You might also send a copy to your local MP. Make sure you print your name and address and date at the top of the letter, and sign your name at the end of the letter. Read the rest of this entry »

The Migrant Worker Solidarity Network of Manitoba will have a table and some informational material available at the Global Justice Film Festival, including a petition letter on gaining provincial health coverage for migrant workers in Manitoba through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program.

Hope to see you there!