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September 27th 2022

News

December 2022

In Solidarity with Ontario's Drag Performers

November 2022

City of Toronto, The 519, and Homes First Society announce Toronto’s first dedicated shelter for 2SLGBTQ+ adults

In Solidarity; A Community Vigil Honouring Colorado Victims and Survivors 

In Solidarity with Club Q

Public Statement on Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) 2022

September 2022

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Status For All: Letter to PM Justin Trudeau and Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Sean Fraser

The 519 Board of Management Candidates 2022/23

August 2022

Notice of The 519 Annual General Meeting 2022-23

[Press Release] 2SLGBTQ+ communities release Media Reference Guide as a tool for more inclusive journalism

June 2022

Call for Nominations – The 519 Annual General Meeting 2022-23

World Refugee Day: Support LGBTQ+ Refugees Every Day

Green Space Festival 2022: Neighbourhood Information

Green Space Festival announces 2022 lineup: a Pride-weekend party in support of 2SLGBTQ+ communities

Pride 2022 at The 519: Upcoming Programs and Events

April 2022

Lifting the Blood Ban: A Step in the Right Direction

March 2022

Trans Day of Visibility: Affirmations and Calls to Action

Online Dating Safety 101

International Women's Day: Our History, Our Reality, Out Future

February 2022

The 519 Black Collective – Black History Month 2022: ‘Black Health & Wellness’

November 2021

Public Statement on Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) 2021

October 2021

PRESS RELEASE: The 519 Annual Gala 2021

The 519 Annual Gala 2021 – Meet the Artists

September 2021

September 30: The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

The 519 Board of Management Candidates 2021/22

August 2021

The 519 Annual General Meeting 2021-22

Shattered Hearts, Healing Together

Do you want to vote at The 519 Annual General Meeting 2021-22?

Status For All: Letter to PM Justin Trudeau and Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Sean Fraser

The 519 joins Migrant Rights Network in advocating for permanent residence for all. Read our letter of support calling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Sean Fraser to action.


Download the Letter of Support

September 26, 2022

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau 
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street,
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca 

Hon. Sean Fraser 
Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship
Confederation Building, Suite 110,
House of Commons,
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
sean.fraser@parl.gc.ca 

Cc: Migrant Rights Network (info@migrantrights.ca)

RE: We Support Permanent Residence for All

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Fraser,

The 519 – Canada’s most prominent 2SLGBTQ+ community centre and service provider – is committed to the health, happiness, and full participation of our communities. A City of Toronto agency with an innovative model of service, space, and leadership, we strive to make a real difference in people’s lives, while working to promote inclusion, understanding, and respect.

Our New to Canada team supports LGBTQ+ refugee settlements including helping people navigate the legal systems and build community. Last year alone, we had over 1,000 newcomers participate in our programs, with 530 refugee claimants receiving direct settlement support. We know that we can build stronger communities by opening more doors to new immigrants.

Permanent resident status is the mechanism through which all other rights are accessed. Undocumented people, migrant workers, and refugees are being exploited in substandard working conditions, because regressive immigration and labour laws restrict their agency and leave them open to abuse. Lack or absence of permanent resident status makes it difficult, and often impossible, for migrants to speak up for their rights or access services, including those they may be eligible for, because of a well-founded fear of reprisals, termination, eviction, and deportation. Migrants experience insecure housing, abuse at work, poverty, and fear. Uncertainty about the future, constant stress about making ends meet, and the risk of detention and deportation negatively impact their physical and mental wellbeing.

Canada, like most of North ​​America and Europe, has not seen a real inclusive regularization program for undocumented people in decades. Moreover, migrants on work and study permits in low-waged industries, like care workers, farmworkers, and gig-workers, have only a few tiny and difficult-to-access immigration programs to apply for permanent residency. The vast majority of undocumented and temporary status migrants living and working in the country are excluded from permanent residence.

Now is the time for Canada to take a strong stance on inclusion and equity by extending permanent residence to 1.7 million migrants and 500,000 undocumented migrants. It is time for Canada to immediately implement a regularization program granting permanent resident status to all undocumented people without exception; in addition, permanent residence for all migrants, particularly those in low-wage jobs.

We know that there have been positive steps in the right direction. The Prime Minister’s mandate letter asking the Immigration Minister to create a “regularization program” for undocumented migrants, and unanimous parliamentary motion asking the Immigration Minister to create a plan to give permanent residency to workers of all skill levels will be a critical step. Migrant Rights Network has created a set of proposals to guide the development of a regularization program. These principles will help develop an equitable framework that will support new Canadians.

Prime Minister, you and your government have repeatedly committed to upholding values of equity, fighting racism, and welcoming immigrants and refugees. Now is the time to fix historic injustices by implementing a comprehensive program instead of a partial or exclusionary one.

The 519 sees thousands of refugees come through our doors annually. We see their challenges and know what a deep impact this program would have on our communities. By providing more jobs and job security, we can truly take steps towards equity and inclusion.

The time to act is now.

Sincerely,

 

Maura Lawless Signature

Maura Lawless
Executive Director, The 519

StatusForAll by The519


Across acts and policies including the 1910 Immigration Act, anti-Black protection decisions for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, who is held in immigration detention, and labour exploitation through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, the government attempts to dissuade Black and Brown migration while encouraging White migration, forcing racialized persons into punishing immigration experiences, and perpetuating racial disparities.

Status For All is a step towards redressing these historic and ongoing inequities.

– The 519 staff member

How you can show your support:

Add your name to the petition. Let’s insist that no one is left behind.

Visit StatusForAll.ca

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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation