Position Papers & Backgrounders
In June 2017, the Ontario government proposed changes to Ontario employment and labour laws. The government introduced Bill 148 (2017), An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995.
OCASI welcomes Bill 148 and its potential to strengthen existing protections for immigrant, refugee and migrant workers as well as all other Ontario workers who are disadvantaged and excluded from basic protections.
June 21, 2017/ Toronto
OCASI - Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants acknowledges the traditional territories of the peoples of Turtle Island and thanks Indigenous peoples for allowing us to settle on these lands. We affirm our commitment to the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as the collective voice for Ontario’s immigrant and refugee-serving sector, and within our organization and in our governance.
OCASI is deeply disturbed by the rise in hate crimes in 2015, particularly the rise in Islamophobia and targeting of Muslim and Arab residents. The findings on "Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2015" confirm how much work there still is to be done to counter the prevailing and pervasive anti Black Racism, Islamophobia and anti- Semitism, and that as Canadians we can't be complacent about these realities.
OCASI wrote to the Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General of Ontario, to express profound concern about Legal Aid Ontario's plans to cut funding to Immigration and Refugee law (IRL) services in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. We encourage you to send your own letter to the Attorney General and send a copy to your MPP. Click here to find your MPP and contact information. Keep OCASI informed by sending an email to [email protected].
OCASI collaborated with Colour of Poverty Campaign/Colour of Change Network (COP-COC), Metro Toronto Chinese & South East Asian Legal Clinic (MTCSALC) and South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO) on a Joint Submission to the Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The submission was prepared with respect to the Committee's upcoming review of Canada at its 65th Session (24 Oct 2016 - 18 Nov 2016).
The Joint Submission highlighted the following concerns:
Colour of Poverty - Colour of Change ( July 11, 2016 ) - The Government of Ontario has committed to creating an Anti-Racism Directorate (ARD). It is now engaging in a series of community dialogues with the public to provide feedback on the ARD’s mandate, and identify priority areas of the directorate’s work, to apply an anti-racism perspective to all government policies, practices, programs and services.
Colour of Poverty - Colour of Change on Tuesday October 4, 2016, launched a legislative framework that it has proposed to the Ontario Government, in order to support and strengthen the mandate of the Anti-Racism Directorate (ARD). Read below for the proposed draft legislation, or scroll down for the document in PDF format.
An Act respecting Anti-Racism in Ontario
Strengthening our Canadian fabric
- How many newcomers should we welcome to Canada in 2017 and beyond?
- How can we best support newcomers to ensure they become successful members of our communities?
- Do we have the balance right among the immigration programs or streams? If not, what priorities should form the foundation of Canada's immigration planning?