Halifax/K’jipuktuk (October 17, 2019) – On Tuesday, October 15th, in lead up to Monday’s federal elections, Justin Trudeau spoke at Halifax’s Brewery Market. He was joined by Halifax MP Andy Fillmore. That evening, No One Is Illegal-Halifax/K’jipuktuk (NOII-Hfx) member Stacey Gomez was barred from participating in the event by the Liberal party. NOII-Hfx stands with Ms. Gomez and denounces this undemocratic move by the Liberals.
“Since the Liberal party refused to provide me with an explanation for their decision, I can only assume that it’s based on the migrant justice work I’ve been engaged in locally with NOII-Hfx. I am deeply troubled that simply trying to hold the Liberal government accountable on migrant and refugee rights would lead me to be blacklisted from this event and possibly future Liberal events. I recall that Harper was highly criticized by Canadians for engaging in similar undemocratic tactics during his campaigning,” said Ms. Gomez.
Ms. Gomez has been involved in NOII-Hfx actions such as an open letter signed by 13 local groups urging Fillmore to say no to anti-refugee measures put forward in the Liberal omnibus budget bill, C-97. She as well as other NOII-Hfx members and supporters recently delivered a mailbox to Fillmore filled with letters from community members calling for an end to immigrant detention. They’ve also been attending all-candidates debates to pose questions on migrant justice issues.
Ms Gomez added: “Frankly, as a woman of colour, I find such treatment by the Liberal party to be discriminatory. It appears to be part of a broader pattern. I am reminded of the ejection of Jody Wilson-Raybould from the Liberal caucus, for daring to stand up to Trudeau.”
Last month, Trudeau came under fire for photos which surfaced of him wearing black and brownface. According to NOII-Hfx, these incidents are a reflection of deep-seated systemic racism, which have been perpetuated by the Liberal government. They point to Trudeau policies like increasing deportation rates by up to 35% annually, upholding and seeking to expand the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement and severely limiting asylum claims through C-97. Such anti-refugee and anti-migrant policies disproportionately impact racialized people.
NOII-Hfx continues to call for an end to such harmful policies, as well as an end to immigration detention and deportations. Moreover, NOII-Hfx demands status and services for all.
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Stacey Gomez, No One Is Illegal – Halifax / K’jipuktuk