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P.E.I. hunger strikers hopeful after small meals and government meeting

CHARLOTTETOWN — Hunger strikers outside the Prince Edward Island legislature have begun drinking water and eating small amounts of food after a meeting with government officials left them with cautious hope.

Jaspreet Singh says although officials seem to be listening, there were still more than 25 people protesting outside the legislature Saturday afternoon who vowed not to leave until their demands were met.

The 23-year-old is one of approximately two dozen who have been at the legislature since May 23, challenging the government’s decision in February to slow the Island’s population growth by reducing the number of immigrants who will be granted permanent residency.

He says that when he arrived on the Island, newcomers simply had to work for a set probationary period, and if they had a job lined up at the end of it, they had a path to permanent residency.

Singh says it will be much harder to gain residency under the new rules, and he and his fellow strikers are demanding they be grandfathered under the old regime.

He says he lost about 15 pounds during the strike and had begun passing out, particularly after the group stopped drinking water on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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