Filipino migrants group Migrante-Alberta is seeking support from the local community for shooting victim Jaysen Arancon Reyes through a fundraising event on Oct. 19 at The Hub on Ross.
The group will be showing ‘The End of Immigration’, a one-hour documentary about the lives of temporary foreign workers in Canada and the impact they make in Canadian societies. Filmmakers Malcolm Guy and Marie Boti’s documentary tackles how Canada’s Temporary Worker Program is creating what they described as ‘rent-a-workers’ trend in the workforce.
Reyes is the 26-year old victim of robbery and shooting at a Fas Gas station in Red Deer in mid-September. He came to Canada from the Philippines in May as a temporary foreign worker hoping to uplift the lives of his mother and siblings. He remains at Foothills Medical Center in Calgary recovering from serious injuries including loss of two fingers and damage to his right eye.
“Temporary foreign workers like Jaysen are the most vulnerable. While the Alberta government have instituted a better workplace safety policy, there was no machinery to ensure that this is being implemented by employers, surely most employers don’t,” said Marco Luciano, Migrante-Alberta spokesperson.
“Like any Filipino migrant worker who comes to Alberta, Jaysen is dreaming to have a better life for him and his family. For him we hope that his dreams won’t end with that horrific incident.”
Nellie Alcaraz, Migrante representative in Calgary spoke to Reyes on Sept. 25.
“He is a picture of resilience. He plans to recover and gain strength in time for the coming of his mother at the end of October. He is thankful to people and groups who are lending help in every way they can,” she said.
In a recent passport outreach mission in Red Deer by the Philippine Consular Office this Sept. 21-24, members of Migrante-Alberta asked Consul General Jose Ampeso whether the Philippine government office has known Reyes’ case. According to Ampeso, a representative had visited Reyes on Sept. 21 and had made report to the foreign affairs department in Manila. However, there was no mention of any form of support at present to Reyes or his family.
The group has partnered with settlement service agencies Central Alberta Refugee Effort (CARE), Catholic Social Services (CSS), and Central Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association (CAIWA) and The Hub on Ross for the film showing. A panel discussion will take place towards the end of the event.
Proceeds from the event will be forwarded to Reyes and his family through a trust fund established by Parkland Fuel Corporation, owners of Fas Gas. Tickets for the event, which will be held from 1-4 p.m. at The Hub on Ross on Oct. 19, are $10.