Immigration Related Resolutions at the NDP Convention

In 2011 I wrote about a resolution at the Conservative Party Convention to strip the citizenship of people who take up arms against Canadian soldiers or other types of treason.  Fast forward to 2013, and it seems like the government may adopt a similar policy.

So with the New Democratic Party, the Official Opposition in Canada, about to have their Policy Convention in Montreal, I thought it would be prudent to state the resolutions of theirs directly related to immigration (as opposed to resolutions which would indirectly influence immigration by impacting Canada’s standard of living).

3-16-13 Resolution on Equal Access to Employment Insurance Benefits for Temporary Foreign Workers

Submitted by UFCW Canada, UFCW Canada Local 1518, UFCW Canada Local 1000A

WHEREAS An estimated 800,000 temporary foreign workers in Canada pay full premiums with employers into the Employment Insurance (EI) program but are not eligible for the primary benefit when laid off and return home due to residency regulations implemented by the federal government; and

WHEREAS Temporary foreign workers were eligible for the secondary benefits under the EI program for Parental and Maternal benefit;

and THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED That the NDP call on the Harper Government to repeal this regulation and restore access to these secondary benefits for all foreign workers; and

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That an NDP Government would repeal the residency requirement and allow full universal access to EI benefits to all those who contribute into the system.

4-13-13 Resolution on Temporary Foreign Workers

Submitted by Toronto—Danforth

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the following clause be added to Section 4.3 of the policy book:

Resolutions // 72

i. Working with foreign embassies of sending countries to ensure temporary foreign workers coming to Canada are informed of their rights; working with the provinces to institute a licensing system for foreign recruiters (as is done in Manitoba) and a registration system for employers of temporary foreign workers; and providing access to federal hearings for temporary foreign workers who face deportation.

6-02-13 Resolution on Healthcare for Refugees
Submitted by Newton-North Delta

WHEREAS Conservative cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program excluded many refugees and asylum claimants from temporary health benefits;

WHEREAS the Conservative cuts are demonstrably impacting on refugees with legitimate health concerns, including vulnerable groups like children, pregnant women, cancer patients and the elderly;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the New Democratic Party of Canada condemns the Conservative cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program and the impact that it has had on the health of those seeking refugee protection in Canada.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the New Democratic Party of Canada will work to restore temporary health benefits to all refugees making asylum claims in Canada.

6-23-13 Resolution on Citizenship and Immigration
Submitted by York South-Weston

BE IT RESOLVED that a New Democratic government would take the necessary steps to implement a case-processing service standard of 15 months from the initial date of submission for all citizenship and immigration files.

6-27-13 Resolution on Temporary Foreign Workers
Submitted by Newton-North Delta

WHEREAS under the Conservative government admissions of Temporary Foreign Workers to Canada now outpace admissions of economic immigrants as permanent residents;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the NDP pledges to fix the Temporary Foreign Workers Program to bring longterm economic sustainability to our communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that central to this fix will be investing in and supporting workers in Canada to develop the skills needed to match them to the present and future needs of employers and by protecting Temporary Foreign Workers from abuse and rights violations.

6-29-13 Resolution on Attacks on Immigrants; Cuts and Citizenship

Submitted by the Toronto Young New Democrats

WHEREAS there has been a concerted effort by the Conservative government to cut services and enact immigration reform that further marginalizes migrants who come to Canada,

BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP oppose the cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP),

BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP will stand for universal free healthcare, pharmacare, dental and optical, regardless of citizenship status

BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP reject all forms of discrimination on the basis of citizenship,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP assist in building a united labour movement, that stands for workers regardless of ethnicity and citizenship status, and therefore to support and encourage the efforts of trade unions to organize migrant workers.

6-30-13 Resolution on Refugees

Submitted by Kitchener—Waterloo

WHEREAS New Democrats are committed to protecting the rights of immigrants and refugees (Montreal Convention Policy Book, section 4.4); and

WHEREAS the Minister, in December 2012, designated 27 countries as “safe”; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that: 1) A New Democratic Party government will repeal Bill C-31, the “Protecting Canada’s Immigration and

Refugee System Act”; and 2) While the Act remains in force, New Democrats will advocate for the rights of refugee claimants, including claimants from DCO “safe” countries, and of those Canadians who provide sanctuary to them.

5-58-13 Resolution on Fair and Democratic Trade
Submitted by Richmond
Resolutions // 95

WHEREAS the so-called ‘free trade’ agreements of the FTA, NAFTA, GATS, FTAA and the WTO are undemocratic and driven by the corporations and banks to maximize private profits and make the worldwide movement of money easier; and

BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP is committed to actively campaign for abrogation and withdrawal of Canada from NAFTA, FTAA, FTA, GATS and the WTO; and

Be it further resolved that the NDP is committed to developing and promoting a democratic and participatory system of trade that supports and protects the rights, freedoms and interests of working people, trade unions, women, aboriginal people, farmers and peasants, seniors and the poor, dispossessed and marginalized peoples.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

(I included that last one because NAFTA contains labour mobility provisions which would presumably disappear if NAFTA were repealed.)


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