UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada

February 13, 2009 18:13 ET

Stop scapegoating immigrants for the economic crisis

UFCW Canada calls for Less Blame and demands More Solutions

Attention: Agriculture Editor, Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 13, 2009) -

Only a few months into the economic crisis in Canada and Liberal and Conservative leaders are already using the economy to push for more restrictive immigration policies.

"Shutting the door on immigration is not a solution. Canada's diversity has always been one of our countries most valuable assets. Immigration has been a source of prosperity in our country," says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley.

On Tuesday New Brunswick Liberal Senator Pierrette Ringuette called to bring back a "Canadians First" jobs policy, stating that temporary foreign workers should be restricted from coming to Canada and taking jobs away from Canadians.

The Conservative Minister of Immigration Jason Kenny in his statements to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration implied that his government is open to the possibility of further curbing the number of immigration entering the country as permanent residents as a response to the economic crisis.

"Blaming immigrants and migrants for the economic crisis is not the answer. Now more than ever the Canadian government should stand up against the scapegoating of immigrants and migrants rather than allowing protectionism and extreme nationalism to degenerate into intolerance, xenophobia and outright racism," stated Hanley.

"Rather than simply closing the door on immigrants and migrants the Canadian government should work with immigrant communities and trade unions to rethink our current policies to ensure that all immigrant and migrants planning to come to Canada to work have access to good jobs and a path to permanent residency."

The Canadian workforce is aging, according to statistics Canada by 2011 the growth of the elderly population will increase with the first baby-boomers turning 65. Immigration and migration have been the main sources of population growth in this country.

"Responding to the economic downturn with the knee-jerk reaction of closing down our borders is short sighted. We know that for Canada's workforce to continue to be responsive to our labour market needs means maintaining our commitment to sustained immigration levels at the least. Limiting immigration will result in a Canadian workforce that is ill equipped to respond to labour market needs once the economy is growing once again," explained Hanley.

UFCW Canada is the country's largest private sector union and long time champion of Canada's diverse domestic, immigrant and migrant working communities. Through the "Less Blame - More Solutions" campaign (www.ufcw.ca/lessblame) UFCW Canada and our community allies will continue to mobilize to ensure that our political leaders clearly understand that they must concentrate their efforts on helping working people and families out of this economic crisis and not on treating immigrants as the cause of our current economic climate. They are part of the solution.

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For more information contact:
Naveen P. Mehta, Lawyer
Director, Human Rights, Equity and Diversity
United Food and Commercial Workers Canada
Tel: (416) 675-1104
Cell: (416) 708-4724
E-mail/Courriel: naveen.mehta@ufcw.ca

/For further information:

www.ufcw.ca/lessblame

/ IN: ECONOMY, JUSTICE, LABOUR, SOCIAL, TRADE

Contact Information

  • Naveen Mehta, Director, Human Rights, Equity and Diversity, UFCW Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-675-1104
    Secondary Phone: 416-708-4724
    E-mail: naveen.mehta@ufcw.ca