Canada still thinks Mexico belongs on its ‘safe country’ list for refugees

by mexicoinstitute
06/20/16 Vice News
As the number of refugees and displaced people worldwide reaches a record 65 million, debate continues over whether asylum seekers — especially LGBT people — from countries deemed to be safe, should be granted refugee status abroad.
Several countries in Europe have compiled "safe country of origin" lists, whereby anyone from those countries will likely to be sent home if they try to seek asylum in another country.
In North America, Canada has been relying heavily since 2013 on its safe country list to guide who should be blocked from obtaining refuge, a process the government argues is meant to ensure "genuine" refugees are resettled. And now, Canada is facing fresh criticisms for listing Mexico among its 42 "safe" nations, especially as the LGBT community there and people living with HIV continue to face rampant violence and discrimination
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Justin Trudeau said last month he would remove the visa requirement for Mexicans

Mexico News Daily | Tuesday, October 20, 2015
President Enrique Peña Nieto made a telephone call to Canada last night to congratulate the winner of yesterday’s federal election, one of whose campaign promises was to remove the controversial visa requirement for Mexican visitors.
Peña Nieto spoke with Prime Minister-elect Justin Trudeau shortly after the Canadian politician and leader of the Liberal Party gave a victory speech in Montreal.
 

Report questions legitimacy of memorandum between Barrick Gold and Diaguita Indigenous communities

Tuesday, September 15, 2015, Source: Latin American Observatory of Environmental Conflicts (OLCA) - MiningWatch Canada
(Santiago/Ottawa) While Barrick has been offloading assets and reducing operational costs in order to improve its standing with shareholders, the social costs of the Pascua Lama project in Chile’s Huasco Valley continue to grow.

Despite company statements that community relations around Pascua Lama have improved with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Diaguita Indigenous communities in 2014, a report published by MiningWatch Canada and the Latin American Observatory of Environmental Conflicts (OLCA) indicates that Barrick’s MOU undermined the ongoing resistance of Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations to this project.  
 

U.S. announces new 'trusted traveler' agreement with Canada and Mexico

By Elizabeth WaltonCONNECT
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now): The Department of Homeland Security is partnering with Public Safety Canada and the Secretariat of Governance of Mexico to outline the first steps in the creation of a North American Trusted Traveler network, according to a recent DHS release. To help make it easier for eligible travelers in all three countries to apply for expedited screening programs. 
Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security and his counterparts in Canada and Mexico signed the agreement for this new program on July 10.  The hope is to promote legitimate travel across the continent.
"Trusted Traveler programs are a vital tool to facilitate international travel and trade," said Secretary Johnson, in the release. "I am pleased to work together with Canada and Mexico to lay the groundwork for expedited arrival screening for pre-approved travelers from all three countries.  We are committed to enhancing the travel experience through our risk-based approach to aviation security, and this expanded partnership will benefit travelers all across North America."

Sex abuse case highlights vulnerability of workers on visas

Singled out by employer, Mexican woman was forced into sex acts under threat of being sent home
By Susan Noakes, CBC News Posted: Jun 30, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 30, 2015 12:21 PM ET
OPT meets with Cathy Kolar of Legal Assistance of Windsor. A human rights tribunal awarded her $150,000 in a case involving sexual abuse and discrimination. (Joan Leishman/CBC) 
The experience of a Mexican woman, known as OPT, is a poster case for the terrible situation women face when confronted by abuse and the built-in limitations of Canada's temporary foreign workers program.
Brought in from Mexico to work in a fish-packing plant in Wheatley, Ont., she soon was singled out by her employer for special attention, separating her from the other women.
First there were inappropriate remarks, then touching, then he threatened to send her home unless she performed sex acts. He had taken her passport away and she was afraid. Another woman working for the same employer was sent back to Mexico after refusing his advances.
A human rights tribunal would find both women were exposed to sexual solicitation, sexual harassment and discrimination in employment.

Canadá: “Histórico” fallo a favor de dos mexicanas

El Proceso
MÉXICO, D.F. (apro).- Dos mujeres mexicanas obtuvieron un fallo favorable por parte del Tribunal de Derechos Humanos de Ontario, el cual determinó que fueron víctimas de insinuaciones, acoso sexual, y sufrieron de un ambiente laboral nocivo y discriminación cuando fueron parte del Programa de Trabajadores Extranjeros Temporales (TFWP, por sus siglas en inglés) en Canadá.  
Una de ellas obtuvo la indemnización por daños más alta en la historia del tribunal: 160 mil dólares canadienses.
En el fallo de 90 páginas, el tribunal inculpa a José Pratas, dueño de la empresa Presteve Foods (una planta procesadora de pescado), quien tendrá que pagar todo el monto también por amenazar a las dos mexicanas con despedirlas si no cedían.

Take Mexico off the ‘safe list,’ immigration protesters urge; Refugee claimants have fewer appeal options in an already challenging process, advocates say

BY TARA CARMAN, VANCOUVER SUN NOVEMBER 19, 2014
  
Raul Gatica-Bautista joins protesters outside of the Immigration and Refugee Board in downtown Vancouver Wednesday morning hoping to remove Mexico from Canada’s ‘safe list’ and restore justice for Mexican human rights defenders.

Raul Gatica Bautista fled Mexico for Canada in 2005 with a bullet wound in his stomach and scarring on his face, grim testaments to the abuse the indigenous rights activist says he suffered at the hands of the Mexican police.
Canada accepted him as a refugee then, but Gatica Bautista says this country would turn him away today because of changes last year that placed Mexico on a list of 42 countries deemed safe by the federal government. Asylum seekers from these countries have fewer appeal options and are deported faster than refugee claimants from other countries.

Canadá, hogar de migrantes del campo nacional |

Darinka Rodríguez, El Financiero, 06.04.2014

CANADÁ.- Ataviado con traje y corbata, Crisanto Pedroza arriba al Aeropuerto Internacional de Toronto acompañado por otros dieciocho trabajadores. Son las seis y media de la mañana y la temperatura, es menos cinco grados centígrados. Nacido en Aguascalientes, lleva 25 años en un constante viaje entre dos hogares: 2 años en una granja en Montreal y 23 en Dutch Master Nurseries, una granja especializada en viveros y plantas de ornamento.

Cris es uno de entre más de 18 mil 463 trabajadores que año tras año viaja a las granjas canadienses como parte del Programa de Trabajadores Agrícolas Temporales (PTAT). Cifras de la Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social (STPS), indican que 80 por ciento de los trabajadores mexicanos en Canadá son solicitados año con año por el mismo empleador. En promedio, un ocupado regresa siete años al país de la hoja de Maple; pero, hay trabajadores que llevan viajando más de 30 años cada temporada.

Canadian International Council – Canada's hub for international affairs » Canada’s Central American Connection

Interview with Maria Cristina Garcia on Canada’s Central American Connection, August 27, 2014

 

Central Americans have been migrating to the United States and to Canada for decades now. The wars in Central America displaced a significant percentage of the population from Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and also Honduras, and many of those were uprooted to temporary refuge in neighbouring countries like Costa Rica and Honduras but others travelled further north to Mexico, the United States and Canada. An estimated 2 million of those who fled from Central American from 1974 to 1996 settled in one of these three countries.

Since the 1996 peace accord, the migration of Central Americans has continued, not diminished as was hoped, and it has continued because of the ongoing criminal and political violence in these countries as well as natural disasters like Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and the Salvadoran earthquake in 2001. These disrupted the economy, exacerbated the poverty in the region and in countries that were just barely recovering from civil war.

Gender discrimination alleged in Canada-Mexico migrant farm-labour program - Times Colonist


Colin Perkel / The Canadian Press, July 31, 2014 01:38 PM

TORONTO - Allowing Canadian farmers to choose whether they want men or women from Mexico to work for them as seasonal agricultural workers amounts to gender discrimination, a prominent union is arguing.

In a complaint this week, the United Food and Commercial Workers union is calling on Ontario's Human Rights Tribunal to investigate the situation.

According to the union, women comprise on average less than four per cent of the thousands of migrant agriculture workers who come to Canada each year under the seasonal agricultural workers program.

 

 

 

Union alleges migrant farm worker program discriminates against women

Colin Perkel,  The Canadian Press, Global News

TORONTO – Allowing Canadian farmers to choose whether they want men or women from Mexico to work for them as seasonal agricultural workers amounts to gender discrimination, a prominent union is arguing.

In a complaint this week, the United Food and Commercial Workers union is calling on the Ontario Human Rights Commission to investigate the situation.

According to the union, women comprise on average less than four per cent of the thousands of migrant agriculture workers who come to Canada each year under the seasonal agricultural workers program.

 

 

Gender discrimination alleged in Canada-Mexico migrant farm-labour program

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press, Published on Thu Jul 31 2014

Allowing Canadian farmers to choose whether they want men or women from Mexico to work for them as seasonal agricultural workers amounts to gender discrimination, a prominent union argues

In a complaint this week, the United Food and Commercial Workers union is calling on the Ontario Human Rights Commission to investigate the situation.

According to the union, women comprise on average less than four per cent of the thousands of migrant agriculture workers who come to Canada each year under the seasonal agricultural workers program.

A similar complaint was made in Quebec earlier this month, and another one will be filed in British Columbia in a few weeks, said union spokesman Stan Raper.

The union wants the rights bodies to review the program’s recruitment and selection process, which allows employers to request workers based on gender

 

 

Labour program for migrant workers faces gender discrimination claim

Colin Perkel, Jul. 31 2014, The Globe and Mail

Allowing Canadian farmers to choose whether they want men or women from Mexico to work for them as seasonal agricultural workers amounts to gender discrimination, a prominent union is arguing.

In a complaint this week, the United Food and Commercial Workers union is calling on Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal to investigate the situation.

Regiones: Migrantes mexicanos en Canadá 51

Regiones, suplemento de antropología... es una publicación trimestral electrónica, editada de manera independiente y sin finalidad de lucro desde el 14 de septiembre de 2004, en Cuernavaca, Morelos, México. Difunde antropología, humanidades, ciencias sociales y disciplinas afines. Publica ediciones monotemáticas sobre temas de relevancia actual, trabajados por investigadores consolidados y en formación. Incluye reseñas de libros. El contenido de los artículos es responsabilidad de sus autores. Se publicó en el periódico El Regional del Sur de septiembre de 2004 a enero de 2007, en ediciones impresas bimestrales y mensuales. Se autoriza la reproducción de los contenidos para su difusión sin fines de lucro, siempre y cuando se cite la fuente. 

Ottawa speeds up visa process for Mexicans entering Canada

KIM MACKRAEL, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, Monday, May. 12 2014

Ottawa is taking steps to ease travel for some Mexican visitors to Canada, while keeping a controversial visa requirement in place that has contributed to strained relations between the two countries in recent years.

The move comes as Canada prepares to lift a separate visa restriction for travellers from Chile, according to a government source, a decision that is expected to add to Mexican officials’ frustrations. The Mexican government has been pressing Canada to remove its visa requirement for years, saying it could stand in the way of efforts to strengthen economic ties.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced on Monday that Mexicans who have travelled to Canada or the United States during the past 10 years will be allowed to apply for expedited visa processing. The government said a pilot of the new program, called CAN+, had an approval rate of more than 95 per cent, with visas issued in a week or less.

David Goldstein, president of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, said he would like to see the government allow Mexicans to travel to Canada without a visa, but called the decision to expedite the application process “the next best thing.”

 

Recruiters charging foreign workers in Ontario illegal fees as high as $12,000 for jobs that might not exist, report finds

By Rachel Browne, Financial Post, 10 April 2014

Recruiters are charging fees as high as $12,000 for jobs that might not exist and seizing workers’ passports, the report, published Tuesday by the Metcalf Foundation, says.

Such practices persist among live-in caregivers, who are theoretically protected against these practices by Ontario law, as well as migrant workers, who aren’t protected, in other “lower skill” industries such as agriculture, food processing, and cleaning.

Visas Harper

by Jesús Reyes Heroles G.G., El Universal, 27 February 2014

Pocas decisiones han recibido tanto repudio como el establecimiento por parte del gobierno de Canadá de visas para los mexicanos.  Dicho requisito se inició en julio de 2009, por decisión del primer ministro Stephen Harper, del Partido Conservador, y en ese puesto desde febrero de 2006.  Además, el procedimiento para obtener una visa es absurdo, innecesariamente complejo, y denigrante.

Temporary foreign worker program abuse to bring heavy fines

The Canadian Press, 28 March 2014

The federal government says it will bring in legislation to allow it to impose heavy penalties on firms that abuse the temporary foreign worker program.  A government source says the measure will be contained in the budget implementation bill being tabled in Parliament later today.  The new measures will be in place starting in early 2015.

Mexico found guilty of blacklisting Mexican migrant workers in Canada suspected of being pro-union

UFCW Canada, March 21, 2014

The BC Labour Relations Board (BCLRB) has ruled that Mexican government and consular officials blacklisted Mexican seasonal migrant workers from returning to Canada who were suspected of being union sympathizers. The board also found that Mexico had altered documents in an attempt to cover up its union-busting activities.