Albertans Demand Status for All, Without Delay

Albertans Demand Status for All, Without Delay
Friends of Medicare helped to coordinate the day of action event outside of the office of federal cabinet minister Randy Boissonnault.

Photo credit: Paula Kirman

EDMONTON - On Sunday, October 16, the Migrants Rights Network and allies held actions at the offices of federal Cabinet Ministers across Canada, to call on them to keep their promise to ensure regularization for undocumented migrants and permanent resident status for all without delay.

“Far too many people living in Canada are without health care access due to their immigration status,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “People are living here, they are working here, they are an important part of our communities and our economy. We should ensure they have access to the health care they need.”

Ten months ago, Prime Minister Trudeau instructed the Minister of Immigration to create a regularization program. Parliament also unanimously called for a plan to be tabled by September 8, 2022 to “allow workers of all skill levels permanent residency.” 

“Prime Minister Trudeau promised action over ten months ago, yet still we have seen no changes, meaningful consultation, or a plan to move forward with a regularization program,” said Gallaway. “Commitments without timelines are just words. People need concrete action. They need access to life-saving health care without delay.”

In advance of the day of action, Friends of Medicare joined over 50 organizations, and more than 800 health care workers from across the country in signing on to a public open letter calling for Status for All. The letter, penned by the Health for All Network, calls on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister Sean Fraser to close systemic gaps in health care by ensuring equal rights and access for all migrants.

“Immigration status is a health care issue. We know that those without status experience systematic barriers to accessing the care they need, and experience poorer health outcomes for themselves, their children and their families,” said Gallaway. “Simply put, status saves lives. Governments must act without delay to ensure that everyone in this country has access to the public health care they need.”

Friends of Medicare encourages Albertans to join thousands of people across Canada in urging the Federal government to create a regularization program by adding your name to call for Status for All.

- 30 -