Among all immigrant deaths in Canada due to covid-19, 19 percent were from Central and South America

Upon the death of another migrant worker in Ontario, the Latin American Covid Task Force calls upon the Government of Canada to protect farmer workers and all immigrant workers from Latin-America across the Country. .

Our Task Force supports Justice for Migrant Workers in their call for action after a father of two from Guatemala succumbed to Covid-19 while in the two weeks mandatory quarantine, in a hotel room in Sarnia, Ontario. The man in his 30’s is the fifth migrant worker to die while in quarantine.

This devastating news follows a recent release from Statistic Canada of a new data set indicating that Latin American immigrants have the second highest mortality rate among immigrant communities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Canada. Among all immigrant deaths in the country, 19 percent were from Central and South America, a group that comprises only 1.3 percent of the national population.

The Latin American Covid Task Force receives this data with great sadness and expresses its condolences to the families and communities affected by these devastating circumstances. The data highlights the inequities experienced by the Latin American Communities.

Throughout the pandemic, this Task Force has continuously voiced that the Latin-American communities are experiencing a marked disadvantage on the social determinants of health, which place them in a more vulnerable position during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The social determinants of health affecting the community include lack of financial and economic opportunities, lack of social and civic participation, and persistent inequities in term of access to care and support.

Members of the Latin-American communities make significant contributions to essential services as frontline workers in industries such as food and packaging, transportation, construction, cleaning services, and retail, among others. Although this workforce contributes to the growth of the economy and the provision of care to sustain the country in the midst of multiple lockdowns, they have not necessarily shared the benefit of that growth or been recognized and compensated as essential workers.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, farm workers from across Latin America, including Mexico, Central, South American and the Caribbean, have been among the most fatally impacted. In the past year, over 2,230 farm workers contracted covid-19 and five have died while in quarantine, the latest was this Monday June 15th. **It is also well known that there is an overrepresentation of Latin Americans, among other immigrants, in the nursing and health care aide occupation.

The Pandemic has significantly worsened already precarious working conditions, which puts this population at higher risks of contracting Covid-19. Barriers to accessing services like not speaking English/French, the precarious immigration status, the lack of medical insurance and paid sick days, in addition to the dangerous housing conditions many are force to live in, like crowded settings, which makes these essential workers even more vulnerable.

The Latin American Task Force is following closely the impact of Covid-19 in our communities and asks the pertinent authorities to look at the circumstances surrounding these tragedies, and the treatment of Latin-American workers and the community at large. We must ensure health care organizations and workplaces are accountable for protecting the rights of all immigrants and the access health care without barriers is warranty.

The Latin American Task Force asks all level of Government, the Ministry of Health and Public Health Units to work alongside racialized communities, the health care system, community Task Forces and leaders to remove barriers to health care and emergency services for the non-insured. We must guarantee universal health care for everyone in Ontario, regardless of their immigration status or country of origin, and must ensure cultural and language specific services are available.

Latin American Covid Task Force


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