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e-2600 (Citizenship and immigration)

Initiated by Arcelle Appolon from Montreal, Quebec

Original language of petition: French

Petition to the Prime Minister

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation for all residents of Canada and requires a war-level effort to face down this merciless enemy;
  • We are fighting to protect ourselves and, above all, the most vulnerable, namely, seniors, people with a chronic illness and less fortunate neighbourhoods;
  • Despite the chronic insecurity of their precarious status in Canada, asylum seekers play a key role in essential services and, more specifically, in Quebec’s Long Term Care Homes (CHSLD) and seniors’ homes hit hard by COVID-19;
  • In exceptional circumstances, these individuals are contributing their skills, dedication and dignity to help us fight this pandemic while risking their own health and that of their family; and
  • Expelling these guardian angels from the country as soon as the battle is won would run counter to our values as Quebeckers and Canadians.
We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada and members of the Concertation haïtienne pour les, call upon the Prime Minister to show leadership by implementing a special program to regularize the status of asylum seekers working to fight COVID-19, and therefore supporting the health and safety of all Canadians, for humanitarian reasons.

Response by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Marco Mendicino

The Government of Canada is aware of calls to provide a pathway to Permanent Residency for asylum claimants across the country who work in the health care sector in recognition of their exceptional service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Front-line healthcare workers play a critical role in keeping Canadians healthy. We are all deeply grateful for their dedication, commitment and bravery.

We recognize that this is a unique situation and are currently examining how we can recognize those who are working hard on the front-lines to keep Canadians safe and healthy.

Asylum claimants in Canada continue to have access to the Interim Federal Health Program and temporary work permits. In addition they have access to interim housing, social assistance, education and legal aid through the provincial and territorial governments.

Open for signature
May 12, 2020, at 5:23 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
June 11, 2020, at 5:23 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie)
June 17, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00276)
Government response tabled
September 24, 2020
Photo - Alexandre Boulerice
Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie
New Democratic Party Caucus
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