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P.E.I. hunger strikers enter second week of protesting changes to immigration rules

CHARLOTTETOWN — The 22-year-old leader of a group protesting changes to P.E.I.’s immigration rules says he has lost almost 15 pounds since he and other immigrants started a hunger strike outside the provincial legislature a week ago.

Rupinderpal Singh and a number of other protesters also stopped drinking water on Tuesday to draw attention to their cause, a desperate move that he says has yet to prompt a response from Premier Dennis King and his Progressive Conservative government.

Singh says he is challenging the government’s decision in February to slow down the Island’s population growth by reducing the number of immigrants who will be granted permanent residency, a change that has put a particularly tight limit on those who entered the province on permits to work in the sales and service industry.

Even though Singh has lived in P.E.I. for five years and now works as an internet sales representative, he’s convinced he will be forced to leave Canada once his work permit expires next month.

He and other protesters say the province’s move is unfair because the new restrictions should not apply to immigrants who already live and work on the Island.

The provincial government did not respond to requests for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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