Health Coalition supports permanent residence for all
This letter was delivered to Prime Minister Trudeau and Immigration Minister Sean Fraser on October 3, 2022, in concert with many other human rights organizations in Canada.
October 3, 2022
Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A2
Hon. Sean Fraser
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Confederation Building, Suite 110
House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Cc: Migrant Rights Network – firstname.lastname@example.org
RE: We support permanent residence for all
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Fraser,
The Canadian Health Coalition is encouraged by your government’s plan to grant permanent residency to those without status. We hope you will include everyone without status in the regularization plan, including workers of all skill-levels. Up until now, most low-waged (so-called low-skilled) workers have been excluded from a direct pathway to permanent residency. Those without status include those who are providing care for our loved ones.
Established in 1979, the Canadian Health Coalition is comprised of frontline health care worker unions, experts and community groups. Our national coalition advocates for the preservation and improvement of universal public health care across Canada. We are strong defenders of the five principles of the Canada Health Act; universality, accessibility, portability, comprehensiveness and public administration. This is why we support permanent residency for all people in Canada.
We believe health care should be accessible to everyone in Canada and we know precarious status is a barrier for people trying to access health care in Canada.
Media reports tell us migrant workers and others with precarious status are dying prematurely or suffering lifelong illnesses and injuries that could have been prevented if they had access to
timely and quality health care. Nell Toussaint is only one of many people in Canada whose rights to health care were violated. She lost her leg, her sight and her kidneys because she was not able to access timely health care–all because she did not hold the proper immigration permit to access health care. We know many migrant workers and others with precarious status go without the health care they need because they must wait months for a Medicare card, or they are afraid to ask their employer for the time off work to get treatment, or they have no means of transportation to get to a health care facility. By granting permanent residency to everyone, we make it so much easier for people to get the public health care they need and thus we more fully fulfill the principles of the Canada Health Act.
We are encouraged by the mandate letter and direction from your government to grant permanent residency to people in Canada. We hope it includes everyone: the estimated 500,000 people living in Canada without any valid immigration permit and the estimated 1.2 million people who are on work, study or refugee claimant permits without any direct pathway to permanent residency in Canada. We call on your government to, without further delay, implement a regularization program for all those without status so everyone in Canada can live a long, healthy and dignified life.
Pauline Worsfold, RN
Chairperson, Canadian Health Coalition