The Honourable Ahmed Hussen
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
House of Commons
Subject: Please reconsider the closure of the Vegreville Immigration Centre
Dear Minister Hussen,
I am writing to urge you to reconsider the closure of the
Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Case Processing Centre in Vegreville,
October 19, 2017 will be the second anniversary of your
government’s election. In the campaign, Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal
Party of Canada campaigned on a promise to listen to public service workers,
and to ensure the vibrancy of all communities, urban and rural, throughout this
Two years is too long to live up to this simple promise.
On the same day you and your caucus is celebrating your two-year
anniversary, employees of the Immigration Processing Centre in Vegreville will
have to choose to move to Edmonton, accept a three-hour commute, or leave the federal
public service and the job they love.
That’s not right. It’s not respectful of public service workers or
the rural communities they live in.
The Vegreville closure will have a devastating impact on workers,
their families, the Vegreville community, and all other surrounding
lt will kill jobs in the community, close businesses, devastate
property values, and undermine the tax base—making it harder to operate
hospitals, schools and other essential community services.
The case processing centre in Vegreville has been a cornerstone
of the community for over 20 years. With 250 workers—about five percent of the
town’s population—it is one of the town’s largest employers.
It is not realistic to expect workers to sell their homes (some
at a loss because the Relocation Directive if not reflective of the reality in
rural communities) and leave their communities, or commute over 100 kilometres
away to Edmonton to be able to keep the jobs they have held for years.
And we now know that the cost of this unnecessary exercise will
be far higher than initially anticipated and taxpayers are on the hook for this
decision. Clearly, it is time to rethink this entire process.
I stand in solidarity with the affected workers in Vegreville
and condemn this ill-advised decision.
I encourage you to
work with Public Service Alliance of Canada, the employees at the CPC and the
local community to come up with a solution that will meet the government's
goals in a way that will also benefit the workers and the community.
Your message will be automatically copied to Prime Minister Trudeau and PSAC's National President, Robyn Benson