Status for all means permanent residency for all temporary migrant workers and their families who live in Canada with precarious legal status. Temporary migrant workers include international students, refugee claimants, temporary foreign workers in low-wage occupations and migrants classified as high-skilled in the International Mobility Program. It also includes non-status migrants.

An open letter to Minister Zach Churchill of Health and Wellness asks that the province remove barriers that may stop migrant workers with temporary status, refugee claimants, and others with precarious legal status from accessing a COVID-19 vaccine. We speak with two of the letter’s authors. They’re not asking for much, but small changes would make a huge difference, they say.

Local organizations that advocate for migrants are worried that undocumented residents will miss out on vaccination in Nova Scotia. “We have heard that the vaccine roll out is going to be done through MSI. And this would exclude undocumented people, and others who don’t have access to MSI, people who might fall through the cracks as a result of this,” says Stacey Gomez, a spokesperson for No One Is Illegal Halifax / Kjipuktuk.

Shavan is a father of three from Jamaica who’s been coming to Nova Scotia as a migrant farm worker for eight years. This past year, his bunkhouse was overrun with large rats. He says, “I know that’s not part of Canada’s standards.” Even during the heatwave over the summer, Shavan and other migrant workers were working 10-hour days in the blistering sun for minimum wage.

As we brace for the second wave of COVID-19, Stacey Gomez, Asaf Rashid, Jessica Tellez and Wanda Thomas call for uregnt action to end systemic racism faced by migrant workers.

A new study seeks to interview migrant workers in the Maritimes about their experiences working in the agri-food sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 2,000 migrant workers come to Nova Scotia each year to plant, harvest, and process agricultural crops and seafood products.