NORDAL LeBlanc Law Office Event: The Migrant Worker Experience – THE FEAR IS REAL

 

On April 13, 2017, the Nordal LeBlanc Law Office held its inaugural social justice awareness event. 

The goal of the firm’s events is to bring attention to a variety of social justice issues in our community – not by hearing from “talking heads” but rather by hearing from the very people who are living the experience.

We were lucky to have University of Regina faculty member and Regina City Councillor, Andrew Stevens start off the evening and then to hear from the eloquent and passionate Fartun Mohamud.  Fartun shared her own personal stories with us and helped those of us who haven’t lived the experience gain a better understanding of the effect precarious immigration status can have on an individual.

Many people are scared to call the police, scared to seek medical attention, and scared to file any sort of report with an authority where a record will be kept.  They are hesitant to access these services, as to do so may leave them vulnerable to deportation.

While some might say the fear of deportation is not real, consider the real stories shared by a family physician in attendance. She spoke of women on temporary work permits feeling they have no choice but to terminate unplanned pregnancies, as carrying to term would impede their ability to work, and therefore their ability to stay in Saskatchewan.

Attendees discussed ongoing work to have Regina declared a “Sanctuary City”.  Thanks to Albert, for reminding us that being declared a “Sanctuary City” does nothing unless there is true meaning and action associated to the words.  A “Sanctuary City” means that residents are entitled to receive, and do receive, municipal services without any questions being asked regarding immigration status and without any fear of negative consequences relating to their status.

Many migrant workers live in fear of deportation and thus are extremely hesitant to speak up against mistreatment in the workplace.  Many others do not know their rights as workers.  Without knowing their rights, they cannot stand on their rights.   Dan LeBlanc, Ronni Nordal and Union leaders in attendance each spoke of their belief that all workers deserve to be treated fairly and equally, and have offered to assist in providing basic worker rights education.  Discussion turned to how to establish a safe space for this type of education to occur and many in attendance offered great ideas.

In holding Nordal LeBlanc Law Office events, Dan and Ronni’s goal is to encourage discussion.  Our thanks go out to all who attended at our inaugural event, for their role in the great discussion.

The next Nordal LeBlanc Law Office event will take place in either mid-June or mid-September and will be frank discussion on the opiod crisis and its impact on our community. 

Drug Addiction is a Public Health Crisis in Saskatchewan – yet the Province continues to underfund addiction treatment and to ignore the fact that treatment on demand is necessary.  With addiction they say “one time is too many and a thousand is never enough”.  Our City and Province are not immune to the fentanyl crisis that is killing people every day in Vancouver.  One death is too many!  Recovery is possible but only if proper treatment and support systems are in place.

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