CUPE condemns attack at Quebec City mosque and calls for unity against hate SHARE THIS PAGE IN YOUR ONLINE SOCIAL CIRCLESShare this Jan 30, 2017CUPE National President Mark Hancock condemned a mass shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City on Sunday, January 29, that left six dead and eight wounded, calling on CUPE members and Canadians to unite in opposition to hate and oppression.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones, as well as the first responders who helped victims on the scene,” said Hancock. “While the authorities have not yet determined the motive for this heinous attack, whether islamophobia or an act of terror, the root cause is hate and ignorance. Together we must increase our vigilance against hate and all forms of oppression in society, and do our part to foster peace and solidarity.” Following the US election campaign and election of Donald Trump there has been an increase in reported incidents of racism, hate crimes against mosques and synagogues and other community places of worship in many Canadian cities. This latest and deadliest attack comes at the end of a weekend in which the Trump administration decreed a ban on travel to the US from seven countries where Muslims are in the majority. While a link has not been revealed between the US executive order and Sunday’s attack in Quebec City, hate and ignorance are the underlying cause. “Hate hurts, hate divides, and hate kills,” said National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury. “This attack in my home province is an attack on all Quebeckers and Canadians. As CUPE members we will come together to combat hate and islamophobia in all its forms, and call out governments that use fear and hatred as tools to divide people and oppress communities.”
CUPE President calls for suspension of Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement DHARE THIS PAGE IN YOUR ONLINE SOCIAL CIRCLES Jan 31, 2017CUPE National President Mark Hancock sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau today, calling on him to suspend the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement. Under Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, refugee claimants are required to request refuge in the first safe country they arrive in. The United States is the only country that has been designated as a safe country under this agreement. MPs will hold an emergency debate in the House of Commons today on the impact of a travel and immigration crackdown in the U.S. You can help put pressure on the Trudeau government by contacting your local Membeand by signing petitions at Leadnow or the Broadbent Institute. The full text of Mark Hancock’s letter follows.
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau: Safe Third Country Agreement On behalf of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, I am writing to express our deep concern about the consequences of the Executive Order issued by United States President Donald Trump on January 27, 2017 (“Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals”). I was pleased to read your recent comments that reiterated Canada’s support for individuals fleeing persecution, terror, and war. But without concrete action, those words are meaningless. I urge you to take all measures necessary to ensure the safety and security of refugees unfairly targeted by this Order. Specifically, CUPE calls on the Government of Canada to suspend the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement. Temporarily halting the resettlement of refugees to the U.S., and discriminating against refugees of Muslim faith or background, has already had a devastating impact on those fleeing violence and war. Under these circumstances, the U.S. can no longer be considered a “safe third country” as per the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement. Your government must show leadership, and can do so by putting in place procedures to process refugee applications from those affected by this Order who may seek refuge in Canada. In addition, your government must increase the number of refugees accepted into Canada in 2017. The government’s plan to bring only 7,500 Government-Assisted Refugees and 16,000 Privately Sponsored Refugees into the country in 2017 must now be revised, and the policy allowing individuals from select countries to be considered for sponsorship without a UNHCR refugee certificate or equivalent must be reinstated. I want to take this opportunity to express CUPE’s unequivocal support for those individuals and families, rendered vulnerable by unjust war and conflict, who seek safety and security in Canada. This is a critical opportunity for the Canadian Government to express leadership on the world stage, and I sincerely hope you meet this challenge by welcoming more refugees into our country. Sincerely, Mark Hancock National President
Here is something you can do: sign and circulate this petition Dear Friends,
I just signed the petition: Tell Trudeau: Welcome Those Fleeing Violence and Deportation Under Trump
It would mean a lot to me if you took a moment to add your name because:
After just a few days in office, President Trump is already beginning to implement his racist, anti-immigrant agenda. He’s about to launch a major effort to hunt down and deport millions of undocumented people and asylum seekers in the US. Many went to the US to escape violence, and they could be persecuted or killed if they’re sent back to their countries of origin.
Shockingly, if an asylum seeker currently in the US showed up at the Canadian border trying to escape deportation to an unsafe country -- Canada would turn them away.
Canada doesn’t accept any asylum seekers who come to Canada via the US, because of an outdated law called the “Safe Third Country Agreement”. This law prevents most people fleeing violence or persecution from seeking refuge in Canada if they land in the US -- deemed a “safe country” under the law -- first.
Except remaining in Trump’s America is unsafe -- particularly for poor and racialized people. For many people, deportation may also be a death sentence. The Safe Third Country Agreement is the reason refugees put their lives at risk trying to cross the US-Canada border secretly rather than going through official channels. Some people have lost fingers and toes to frostbite - just narrowly escaping death - by making this trek across the border in subzero winter temperatures. 
We demand that Trudeau repeal the “Safe Third Country” agreement in order to allow people fleeing violence and deportation in the US to seek safety and protection in Canada. Trump’s deportations could start any minute -- and with real people’s lives on the line, the stakes couldn’t be higher. It’s our ethical responsibility to act, and it cannot wait.
Sign the petition now to demand that Trudeau rescind the exclusionary “Safe Third Country” agreement.
Deportations are just one part of Trump’s racist immigration policies. In one day alone, he started the construction of US-Mexican border wall and committed to defund ‘Sanctuary Cities’ which protect undocumented people from deportation. He also tripled the number of immigration enforcement officers in an effort to ramp up deportations, and has either restricted or outright banned immigration from Muslim-majority countries. 
This is just a part of the larger fight for migrant justice. Immigrants on both sides of the border are routinely denied immigration status, forced into precarious work, and denied access to essential services. Stay tuned for upcoming actions to make our communities safe for all people, regardless of immigration status. Visit www.nooneisillegal.org to learn more and join our movement.
Real change happens when everyday people like you and I come together and stand up for what we believe in. Together we can reach heaps of people and help create change around this important issue.
After you've signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others. It's super easy – all you need to do is forward this email.
What we do
The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) is the hospital wing of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Our 34.000 members in 70 local unions at 120 facilities bargain a central collective agreeement with the Ontario Hospital Association and co-ordinate bargaining across the hospital and long term care sectors. OCHU is actively involved in patient and resident advocacy in many communities.