Sanctuary Health Community Forum - Access to Health Care Without Fear Tuesday February 23 from 7-9 pm

Sanctuary Health Community Forum-Access to Health Care Without Fear
Tuesday February 23rd 7-9 pm
Broadway Youth Resource Centre, 2455 Fraser St, Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories

Invite to friends and community members!

Hospitals should not be border check-points! Join us for a Community Forum on the topic Access to Services without Fear.

In light of information we have received that indicates that Fraser Health has been releasing patient information to CBSA - we would like to bring our friends and allies together to strategize on how to pressure health authorities to end their collaboration with CBSA and ensure access to health care without fear.

At the meeting we will:
1) Go through the information released through our Freedom of infomration request to FHA
2) Ask you to share your experiences accessing health care for individuals with precarious status. What are your concerns? Have you had interactions with CBSA in this context?
2) Discuss a strategy for promoting awareness of this issue and putting pressure on the Health Authorities to change their practices to ensure access to health care without fear.

More information on Fraser health's collaboration with CBSA see this article:

Transportation not Deportation Community Meeting, January 28, 2014, 6 pm

Transportation not Deportation Community Meeting
Wednesday January 28th from 6:00-8:00
YWCA 733 Beatty St, Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories

We’re calling on members of our communities to come together for a discussion about the collaboration of Translink and Transit Police with CBSA. At the meeting, we hope to share experiences and develop ideas, strategies and solutions on how we can collectively reach our goals. Possible strategic actions could include flooding the Transit Police Public Board Meeting and creating canvassing teams for major transit hubs.

If you are unable to attend please see how you can get involved here:

Every day in the Greater Vancouver area – Coast Salish territories, at various skytrain stations and bus stops, Transit Police racially profile people of colour and subsequently turn migrants over to Canada Border Services Agency. Transit Police reported three hundred and twenty eight people to Canada Border Services Agency in 2013, one in five of whom faced a subsequent immigration investigation including deportation.

One of these people was Mexican migrant and hotel worker Lucia Vega Jiménez, who later committed suicide in a detention centre. At the coroner’s inquest into her death, a Transit Police officer testified that he turned Lucia over to Canada Border Services Agency, in part, because Lucia had an accent and that he believed “she wasn’t originally from Canada.”

We want all residents of the Lower Mainland to access public transit without fear of immigration detention and we want Translink to stop turning people over to CBSA.

Specifically, we call on Metro Vancouver’s TransLink, the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, and the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service (Transit Police) to:

1) End the race and class based profiling of people on our public transit system and ensure access without fear of criminalization or deportation to all residents.

2) Stop turning people over to CBSA and stop enforcing federal immigration law, particularly given that most Transit Police referrals to CBSA are for situations where no warrant even exists.

3) Terminate the existing Memorandum of Understanding between Transit Police and Canada Border Services Agency and not enter into any such future collaborations with CBSA.

4) Ensure that a range of identification is accepted as sufficient to verify identity. This can range from passport, birth certificate or photo ID from country of origin; valid or expired immigration or visa documents; community center, public library, or food bank identification; bank card or tax forms; lease or any bill with place of residence; or a notarized letter.

5) Remove the CBSA Enforcement and Intelligence Division, CBSA Investigations Tip Line, and Immigration Warrant Response Center phone numbers as well as all immigration-related databases such as Immigration Detainees Management System from Translink and Transit Police databases.

We will have snacks and bus tickets.
We will also have childcare on-site.

The YWCA Hotel is wheelchair accessible. The building has about 10 stairs to the front entrance and a side ramp to the front entrance. The room is on the ground level with double doors. There are two wheelchair accessible bathrooms.For a look at the room and what seating looks like visit:

Transportation not Deportation!, December 14, 2014, 4 pm

Calling for access to transportation without fear! Stop transit police collaboration with CBSA!

This vigil marks the one-year anniversary of Lucia Vega Jiménez's detention. Please join us at Main Street Skytrain Station where Lucia was first stopped because she did not have fare.


Every day in the Greater Vancouver area, at various skytrain stations and bus stops, transit police racially profile migrants. In total, three hundred and twenty eight people were reported to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) by Transit Police last year, one in five of whom faced a subsequent immigration investigation, which suggests that the other four were simply racially profiled.

One of these people was Lucia Vega Jiménez, who later committed suicide in a detention center. At the coroner's inquest into her death, a transit police officer testified that he turned Lucia over to CBSA, in part, because Lucia had an accent and that he believed “she wasn’t originally from Canada.”

Rather than regret this trend, a Translink press release brags about how "Transit Police have a strong relationship with CBSA and annually investigate a significant number of over-stays and other immigration violations in partnership with CBSA." Transit Police’s own report similarly notes that “Transit Police represented a significant proportion of the Police Agency referrals to the CBSA offices.”

Public transportation is increasingly militarized and privatized, disproportionately impacting racialized, Indigenous, poor, and undocumented communities. Bus riders face the humiliation of being singled out and berated, as well as the threat of violence. Vancouver's Transit police are the only armed transit police force in the country, with an annual budget of $31 million that is expected to grow 25% over the next few years.

Armed transit police should not be on our public transit system and transit should not be a border checkpoint. We want an immediate end to CBSA collaboration with Translink, Transit police and Translink security. Transit is a right and no one should be targeted or criminalised for accessing it.

Sanctuary City Community Forum, July 2, 2014, 6 pm

Friends and community members!

Join us for a light dinner and a Community Forum on the topic of building a Sanctuary City in the Lower Mainland. Based on consultations over the last few months, we will be:
1) Giving a brief overview of work that has happened so far and presenting a draft list of necessary principles for our campaign
2) Discussing proposals for creating a Sanctuary City (or Sanctuary Cities) here, including sector-specific proposals for service providers
3) Outlining and discussing ways for each of us to get involved in organizing towards a community where all members, regardless of status, can access services without fear

LOCATION: 215 West 2nd Ave, Vancouver, BC, Unceded Coast Salish Territories. We will be meeting on the east side of the building (entrance off of West 2nd Ave)

DATE/TIME: Wednesday July 2, 2014, 6-9pm

ACCESSIBILITY: West 2nd staff have confirmed that the washrooms and doors are wheelchair accessible. We are meeting on ground floor. For any other accessibility inquiries, please get in touch with us.

***Please note that while everyone is welcome to attend, we ask that attendees do not use this meeting to promote their interests in upcoming civic elections. Thank you. If you have any questions regarding the forum, please do not hesitate to contact us at

CHILDCARE (on site) also available upon request. Email us at

Rally to Stop Cuts to Refugee Healthcare - National Day of Action Monday, June 16th, 2014, 12 pm

Monday, June 16th 2014
12pm - 1pm
300 West Georgia (corner of Homer in front of Immigration building), Unceded Coast Salish Territories, Vancouver

Please join us Monday June 16th at noon @ 300 West Georgia St (in front of the immigration & refugee board offices) to stand up for health care for all people regardless of status! and tell our communities and government that we oppose the IFHP cuts.

Rally for Refugee Healthcare, June 17th, 2013, 12 pm  

We call on the federal government to reverse these costly, cruel, and reckless cuts and ensure refugees in Canada once again have access to necessary health care services.

When:            Noon, Monday, June 17th, 2013
Where:          Outside the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration office,
                      1148 Hornby Street Vancouver

Sanctuary Health and health care workers in Vancouver are participating in a second National Day of Action to protest the federal government’s failure to address our concerns regarding drastic cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) which has provided health care to refugees in Canada since 1959. The cuts have sown confusion throughout the health care system and have resulted in refugees being denied vital public health care services.  Similar demonstrations are being held in various cities from coast to coast.

Day of Action for Refugee Health: Vancouver, December  15, 2012, 1 pm

This Saturday, December 15, Bill C-31: The Refugee Exclusion Act, comes into full effect. Doctors for Refugee Health will be holding vigils across Canada to demand full restoration of funding to the Interim Federal Health Program that used to provide health care treatment for refugees. Doctors for Refugee Care has asked Sanctuary Health to help coordinate a vigil in Vancouver as part of this event. We know it's very last minute, but we'd love for Vancouver to come out and demand justice for refugees and migrants!

Please forward widely to your networks.

Time: Saturday December 15, 1pm
Location: CIC offices at 300 W Georgia St (near the library, corner of Georgia and Hamilton.)

Allied events!

Dia de los Muertos Thursday, November 1, 2012, 6 pm

Sanctuary Health: United for Refugee and Migrant Health is coordinating with our friends in the Latin American community to celebrate the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). This is an event open to all members of our communities to honour our friends and family who have died. We will also be noting the death of Interim Federal Health benefits for most refugees in Canada and recent changes in Canadian law and government policy that threaten the lives and wellbeing of refugees and migrants in our communities.  Please join us outside First United Church (Hastings and Gore) for  a procession through the neighbourhood.

Where: Meet near First United Church at Hastings and Gore, Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories
When: 6:00pm Thursday November 1 2012
Event Contact: 604-446-1823

Candlelight Vigil Thursday, August 2, 2012 from 6-8pm

Sanctuary Health will be holding a candlelight vigil in respect of migrants and refugees who can no longer access health care in Canada as a result of the recent Interim Federal Health Care Cuts that were implemented on July 1, 2012. 

Please join us to demonstrate to the Harper Government that these health care cuts are not representative of Canadian values and that we will not be silent while members of our communities cannot access basic health care.
Date: Thursday, August 2, 2012 
Time: 6-8pm
Place: St. Paul's Hospital- Burrard St. side- exact location to be announced.

More information about this event will be posted on July 25, 2012.