B.C. migrant community response an ‘inspiring’ lesson from COVID-19 year: advocate

Byron Cruz speaks at a microphone in front of a row of protesters with signs
Byron Cruz, with Sanctuary Health Coalition. File photo by David P. Ball.
Laurence Gatinel - CFRO - VancouverBC | 11-03-2021
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By David P. Ball
Despite a "lack of action" to seriously protect migrant workers and undocumented people in the country, says a Downtown Eastside (DTES) nurse and advocate, one shining light from a year of pandemic is how the community mobilized to support struggling families.

That's according to Byron Cruz, an organizer with Sanctuary Health Coalition and a DTES street nurse with Watari Health Centre in the neighbourhood.

Early outbreaks of COVID-19 in densely crowded farmworkers' housing and workplaces in greenhouses contributed to a major climate of fear and uncertainty, Cruz told The Pulse on CFRO, and as many got sick — thousands of others lost their jobs and were sent to their home countries.

Cruz reflected on what he and other migrant rights advocates have learned over one year of the pandemic, speaking to The Pulse on CFRO about the year past as part of a weekly series going back to the show's original guests and what they've learned from a year that will never be forgotten.