For Immediate Release

14 March 2013

The Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) is outraged by reports that the Canadian Border Services Agency, accompanied by a “reality television” film crew, rounded-up, intimidated, arrested, and detained Vancouver construction workers of varying immigration status.

COPE believes that the City of Vancouver should not issue permits for film productions which involve targeting residents and workers on the basis of immigration status.

At COPE’s recent policy conference, the party membership voted to approve the policy direction that Vancouver should become a Sanctuary City, where residents and workers are guaranteed access to city services irrespective of immigration status and can live without fear of persecution. COPE’s Tim Louis said: “Last month, Toronto City Council voted 37-3 in favour of making Toronto a Sanctuary City. There are 36 sanctuary cities in the United States, and Toronto is the first in Canada. A progressive city council would make Vancouver a Sanctuary City too.”

“We should never allow people who live or work in Vancouver to be persecuted based on citizenship status, and in particular the city should not issue permits for creating entertainment out of such persecution,” said COPE’s Ellen Woodsworth. “As the Harper government tries to further demonize and criminalize migrants, we should do everything in our power to fight back against that agenda, and make Vancouver a safe and welcoming city for everyone.”

For information contact:

Tim Louis

Ellen Woodsworth


COPE would make Vancouver a Sanctuary City, would ban the filming of “reality television” shows that harass residents or workers based on citizenship status