National Union writes Minister Kenney on behalf of Nigerian students Victoria Ordu and Favour Amadi who were given the toughest possible punishment for working at Walmart – deportation orders – while apparently Walmart faces no penalty.
Ottawa (09 May 2013) - James Clancy, National President of the 340,000 member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), has written to Jason Kenney, Federal Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, urging action to assist two Nigerian students currently living in sanctuary at a Regina church.
Victoria Ordu and Favour Amadi, two University of Regina students, have been sitting in sanctuary since June 2012.
Severe penalty for an honest mistake
According to Clancy "their biggest error was working for two weeks at a Walmart to provide for themselves during their studies. Unfortunately, this violated their student visas."
"Now Victoria Ordu and Favour Amadi are currently under Canada-wide warrants for deportation."
Students punished while Walmart given free pass
While Victoria Ordu and Favour Amadi were given the toughest possible punishment for their crime – deportation orders – no one can confirm that Walmart was punished in the slightest.
The Canadian Border Service Agency officer that dealt with their case used discretionary power to pursue the ultimate sanction, he could have applied fees and fines.
The National Union has joined a wide range of labour and human rights organizations in calling on Minister Kenney to reinstate their visas and for the Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews, to stay their deportation orders. They will then be able to return to classes and return to Nigeria with degrees in hand.
Conservatives already propose changes that would have helped two students
The good news is that the Conservative government has already recognized the shortcomings of the International Student Program and is making legislative changes that will allow international students to work on and off campus with a single work permit. Groups are now asking that this new legislation be extended to pending cases such as this one.
Clancy points out to Kenney that "this is a serious matter for Victoria and Favour but also for other international students in Canada. It would serve to demonstrate to these students, and the world, the Canadian values of fairness and just treatment of international visitors."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE