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POSITION PAPER: PROTECTING THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF ALL WORKERS

January 24, 2021

Position Paper submitted to the Committee on Labour and the Economyas part of the consultations on Bill n . 59, Act to Modernize the Occupational Health and Safety Regime

This document was prepared by the Coalition Against Precarious Work, created in 2012 by organizations and associations working with precarious workers, particularly migrants, immigrants and racialized workers.

Coalition members welcome the willingness to “modernize” the occupational health-and-safety regime, an initiative that is all the more important as the crisis at COVID- 19 amplifies the shortcomings of the present regime. However, the draft bill remains too limited, in our view, in affording protect to workers, particularly those who are non- unionized or atypically employed. We deplore the fact that organizations representing non- unionized workers, with certain exceptions, were not invited to participate in the consultation process.


This brief begins by presenting some of the issues in the reform of the OHSA and the LATMP that are of particular concern to workers of recent immigration background. To this are three other issues of major importance to all workers.


The second section presents our proposals for the reform.


This brief concludes with testimonies from workers about their work experiences.

City of Montreal: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!

The city of Montréal has been talking the talk with community groups and activist networks fighting for regularization for years. It’s time to walk the walk!

For Immediate Release, Friday, February 5th

The Immigrant Workers Centre (IWC) and other groups have been in consultation with the Ville de Montréal since 2017, including a recent meeting last week surrounding the impacts of the curfew on undocumented people in the city. 

Today, the IWC is calling on the city to implement municipal ID cards for all residents regardless of status and to forbid police from enforcing arrest warrants for non-status asylum seekers, and to grant status to all people. Project Montréal must forbid the SPVM from carrying out arrest warrants linked to missed deportation dates for people without status.

The Projet Montreal administration is quick to announce that they have consulted with us, but far too slow to make concrete policy changes. This has to change!

It’s in this context that the IWC publicly expresses support for a resolution being submitted to city council on Friday, February 5th, by Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension mayor Giuliana Fumagalli seconded by City Councilor Marvin Rotrand. The motion calls on the city to:

  1. Demand that the government of Canada regularize the status of migrants and assure that they have access to the same resources as others
  2. Demand that Québec allow access to its special program for asylum seekers to all people without status
  3. Demand that Québec set up a special fund for emergency measures to support migrants without status and provide them with access to healthcare and social services

The IWC and other community groups appreciate the ongoing dialogue with the  Bureau d’intégration des nouveaux arrivants à Montréal (BINAM) about these issues. But it’s not enough. The mayor’s office and city council need to come to the table.

If passed, the IWC calls on the city to be transparent while implementing the resolution. The Centre also calls on the municipal government to allocate financial resources to support community groups who help municipal residents without status.

The IWC believes that Friday’s resolution is an excellent first step. Beyond the resolution, it is crucial that Projet Montréal publicly and directly direct the SPVM to diminish the harm it enacts on non-status people and asylum seekers in the city.

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02/02/12 , a photo by Thien V on Flickr.