TFWs: Voting on Issues That We Care About

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  • Tinig Migrante
    By E Maestro

    As of this writing, there are only less than two weeks to go before the provincial election day on May 9. Citizens of Canada in BC will be using their right to vote, that one particular right that distinguishes citizens from permanent residents in Canada. We all learned this fact when we took the citizenship classes in preparation to becoming Canadian citizens.

    Political parties and candidates are out on the road, shaking hands, talking to their communities, making promises and defining their positions on issues that affect the communities they serve.

    As citizens and as voters, we have a lot at stake in the process and the outcomes of the May 9 elections. We vote on issues and on track record.

    As individuals, we take sides at election times. And show this in our votes.  As an advocate for  the rights and interests of temporary foreign workers (TFWs), one quickly learns that the BC NDP stands out because it has the only party platform that includes TFWs and the issues of worker recruitment. Under the section on “Welcoming and supporting newcomers, ” the NDP platform declares:

    The Temporary Foreign Worker Program must ensure the interests of BC workers have priority, while considering the needs of employers facing legitimate worker shortages. For that to happen we need to know how many Temporary Foreign Workers are employed in the province and in what sectors they are working.

    • We will bring in a Temporary Foreign Worker registry similar to Manitoba’s to give government the information it needs to protect workers.   
    • We will end the collection of illegal recruitment fees from Temporary Foreign Workers by requiring recruiters and employers to register to recruit Temporary Foreign Workers, using legislation similar to the Manitoba “Worker Recruitment and Protection Act” and the Saskatchewan “Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act.”

    The provincial NDP has the strongest advocate for TFWs rights and welfare in Mable Elmore who is running for re-election in her riding of Vancouver-Kensington. Mable Elmore has been involved in issues like the Project Guardian targeting caregivers for possible deportation and in past campaigns like that of the  class action suit filed by the Denny’s workers against their employer Denny’s Restaurant and in current campaigns like the Rising Up Campaign against Unjust Recruitment. She has been consistent and strong in her stand for TFWs and the demand for landed status, as well as her commitment to accreditation of credentials of foreign-trained professionals and her fight against closure of the high-schools in her catchment area.

    There is still time to go out and volunteer in whatever way and whatever time we have to support the causes and issues we believe in.

    Let it not be said that May 9th came and went and we did nothing.

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