More than 400 people crowded into the Vegreville Social Centre on Monday to show their support and voice their concerns over the closure of the Vegreville Immigration Centre.
Attendees asked questions, shared their concerns, and added their voice to the call for the government to Respect Vegreville and reverse their decision. Hundreds of letters were signed to be delivered to Minister McCallum and local MPs, as well as petitions from local politicians.
One local school teacher stood up and pledged to stand beside the 280 affected workers and their families. “You’ve been here for us, and we’ll be here for you," he said. It's a sentiment overwhelmingly shared by the community and surrounding areas.
"We are all here because we believe in our community, a community that supports each other and is stronger when we are together," said Vegreville Mayor Myron Hayduk. "And now more than ever – we must stand together!"
The community forum, sponsored by the Public Service Alliance of Canada, featured a panel discussion with local politicians and union representatives, including: Myron Hayduk, Mayor, Vegreville; Shannon Stubbs, Conservative MP, Lakeland; Jessica Littlewood, NDP MLA, Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville; Chris Aylward, National Vice-President, PSAC; and Michelle Henderson, Campaign Lead, CEIU.
“Every person who attended made a difference,” said Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President, PSAC Prairies. “The Town of Vegreville, surrounding communities, federal and provincial elected officials and the employee union all stood together with the same message to Minister McCallum: the decision to close the Vegreville CPC needs to be reversed.”
Watch the news story from Global News Edmonton.