March 16, 2020 / Toronto - OCASI wrote to Ontario Minister of Health -Christine Elliott, and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services - Todd Smith to ask the people with precarious immigration status are included in the Ontario government's actions to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
OCASI specifically asked the Ministers to ensure that all Ontario residents have access to free, universal and expanded healthcare, including testing, without regard to immigration status or length of residence in Ontario.
OCASI is concerned about healthcare access for people with precarious immigration status, migrant workers in the process of renewing work permits and healthcare coverage, and recently arrived immigrants (who cannot access OHIP until they have lived here for three months). Many of those affected are also low-income and unable to afford private healthcare. We are concerned that lack of public healthcare would leave these individuals as well as all Ontarians more vulnerable to a public health risk and exposure.
OCASI asked the Ontario government to work with public health agencies and community partners to provide accessible care for all residents, and to call on the government of Canada to suspend all waiting forms of medical repatriation (deportation).
Read the OCASI letter here.Migrant Rights Network call for migrant Justice as part of the COVID-19 response.