Photo: Joel Saget Agence France-Presse
Ottawa and Quebec were committed, there are now nearly two months, to regularise the status of asylum seekers who are fighting the COVID-19 in NURSING homes.
Isabelle Wear and
respectively in Quebec and in Ottawa
20 July 2020
The “guardian angels” who are to the front to fight the COVID-19 in the CHSLD du Québec since the spring are still waiting on Ottawa and Quebec regulate their status, as had been promised. The two governments were still committed to doing it there are now nearly two months. But the negotiations are still not trussed, leaving the uncertainty that thousands of asylum seekers in precarious status.
Rachelle (fictitious name) works the night shift in a seniors ‘ residence in Montreal, where more than thirty patients died of the COVID-19 this spring. A native of Haiti, she started to work as an attendant to the beneficiaries in 2019, two years after his arrival at the border.
On the phone, she says she likes “a lot” of his work, repeats that she wants to ” stay in Canada “. “I love working with the elderly,” she said, assuring that ” it is not too hard “.
She wanted to conceal her identity in order to avoid causing prejudice to his case before the Commission of immigration and refugee status.
Marcelin François and the others
Since the month of may, groups of assistance to migrants is urging the government to regularise the status of asylum seekers, who have worked hard to take care of the elderly in NURSING homes, leaving even sometimes their life, as Marcelin François, a father, a man of 40 years died the 14 of April.
“At what time will they be perceived as true guardian angels ? While they are the ones who have travaillépendant any pandemic salaries-wrenching hunger ? “asked Frantz André, of the Committee of non-status people.
Among the asylum seekers, originally from haiti, Mr. Andre estimates that about 1500 of them work as servants at the present time.
In may, Justin Trudeau had ended by acquiescing to their requests, saying open to bend to the federal rules of immigration to thank these workers who do not have legal status in the country. The federal prime minister had hailed, on the 26th of may last, the work of ” extraordinary people who are doing heroic work “. “We devonsregarder how we can help. We are watching this situation closely, ” he said.
Gold two months later, nothing has been announced. “I was expecting that it moves more quickly,” said the immigration lawyer Stéphane Handfield. “After the announcement of the prime minister [Trudeau], we had received several messages from customers who were delighted. “
According to what has been able to learn , The Duty, the office of the ministers of Immigration, federal and Quebec have not yet come to an agreement.
The discussions are continuing. On one side or the other, it has refused to comment publicly on the negotiations, but it is reported that they are going well.
The two levels of government are trying, however, always agree on the categories of workers who might be eligible for the program allowing them to get a permanent residence as a thank you for their services, and work experience that will be necessary to qualify, according to the sources of the Duty.
Discussion on the criteria
According to one of these people, after the middle of the immigration, the federal government would like to provide its program to all precarious workers in health care facilities — either nursing staff, housekeeping, or security. The government of quebec would prefer to be limited to the orderlies.
The prime minister of quebec, François Legault, had initially resisted, just as Justin Trudeau, calls of groups of assistance to asylum seekers. Mr. Legault had come to accept the principle of their support, roughly at the same time as its federal counterpart, but only on a case-by-case basis.
Pending the advent of a possible program, it is the immigration and refugee board who will decide the fate of these people. His work, which had been suspended because of the COVID-19, are set to resume in the month of August.
Gold times are usually very long. Rachelle, for example, has been waiting for 2017 as his asylum request is processed.
What will happen to the guardian angels of which the application has been heard and refused ? This is the big question, according to Me Handfield. “My fear is that they may be excluded from this program is hypothetical,” he said. “The problem is that we do not know the program, we do not know the criteria and we don’t even know if there will be truly a program. “