FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 12, 2016
PSAC launches online action aimed at Immigration Minister John McCallum
Vegreville, AB – The largest union representing federal public service workers has launched a letter campaign urging Immigration Minister John McCallum to reconsider the closure of the Immigration Centre in Vegreville.
The online action is hosted on the PSAC's national website.
PSAC members working at the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta were shocked when the federal government announced the plan to move the centre to Edmonton—over 100 kilometres away. The move will have a devastating impact on workers and their families, and the entire Vegreville community.
“We’ve received dozens of emotional emails from members worried about what the closure will mean for the future of their careers, their families, and their community,” said Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President of PSAC Prairie Region. “We created this online action so Minister McCallum could see first-hand the distress this has caused for workers and their families, and the support they’re receiving throughout Canada.”
The case processing centre has been a cornerstone of the community for over 20 years. With 280 workers—about five percent of the town’s population—it is one of the largest employers in Vegreville. The closure will kill other jobs in the community, close businesses, devastate property values, and undermine the tax base.
“The community has really rallied around this issue because this will have far reaching impacts, not just for Vegreville, but the surrounding communities that rely on Vegreville for services,” said Mike Brecht, CEIU Prairies Representative. “There’s still time to reverse the decision.”
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) represents more than 170,000 workers across Canada, including 280 employees at the Vegreville Immigration Centre. The Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU) is a component of PSAC, which represents the majority of workers at Service Canada, Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).