Friday 15 September 2023

Vancouver to Join Thousands of Migrants & Supporters Marching in 15 Cities on Eve of Parliament’s Return For Equal Rights

Permanent resident status for all migrants will ensure a fair society and help everyone in Canada thrive. 

WHEN: September 17, 4pm
WHERE: Outside the Canada Border Services Agency office at 300 West Georgia Street
WHAT/VISUALS: Rally including signs, speeches, banners and a piñata

Vancouver, September 17- The eve of Parliament’s return will be marked by a weekend of massive demonstrations and actions in 8 provinces to call on Prime Minister Trudeau to implement his promise of equality and fairness in the upcoming Parliamentary session. All migrants, including undocumented people, migrant workers, students, refugees, and families, must have permanent resident status. These actions are coming shortly after the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery called Canada’s temporary migration streams a “breeding ground” for exploitation. 

Hundreds of thousands of people in Canada suffer from poverty, fear, and exploitation because they are denied permanent resident status. Migrants care for parents and children, work in factories, keep our hospitals running, and build homes, but they are excluded from the same rights that others in Canada take for granted. Prime Minister Trudeau promised change when he mandated permanent resident status for migrant students and workers; as well as undocumented people (termed regularization) in December 2021. No program has been implemented in the 20 months since. 

Permanent resident status for all will add billions of dollars to the public purse per year through contributions by employers who currently don’t pay taxes when they hire undocumented people; improve overall health outcomes as hundreds of thousands of people will access primary care and not end up in emergency rooms; and end the downward pressure on wages and working conditions caused by employer exploitation of migrants. It will also allow migrants to lay down deeper roots, participate more fully in society, and gain labour mobility to fill jobs in industries and regions where workers are needed. 

Details of Migrant Rights Network Actions in Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Montreal, Ottawa, St Catharines, St Johns, Sudbury, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Whitehorse and Winnipeg: 


  • Migrant Rights Network’s proposal for a comprehensive regularization program that is uncapped will grant permanent resident status (not temporary permits) and will not exclude anyone: 
  • All migrant-led organizations in Canada, as well as over 500 civil society, labour and environmental organizations, are calling for full and permanent immigration status for all migrants in the country and permanent resident status for all on arrival in the future.
  • Over 33,000 people have sent messages to the Cabinet in support of permanent resident status for all:
  • These actions are endorsed by over 200 organizations including major labour bodies like Unifor and Ontario Federation of Labour; environmental groups like Climate Action Network and David Suzuki Foundation, faith bodies like the United Church of Canada and civil society groups like Oxfam Canada.