Migrant Workers are Vital Members of our Community

 

Over 50,000 people come to Canada each year through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. These low wage migrant workers are “tied” to their employers, afforded little to no benefits and are stripped of the power to fight back for fear of being deported. They are “often employed under conditions that violate International Labour Organization standards for decent work.” Ultimately, they face the threat of dangerous working and living conditions and, wait for it –  food insecurity. How ironic and unnecessary.

“To keep her job, Maria had to hide her pregnancy from her farm employer, work with chemicals and do heavy-lifting, and forgo prenatal care. Despite paying into Canadian EI for nine seasons, this single mom will be denied any benefits when she gives birth to her second child in Mexico this winter. Maria worries how she will feed her growing family.”

In an article from late 2017 titled “Helping migrant workers must be part of new food policy”, Anelyse Weiler, Janet McLaughlin, and Donald Cole write about the how migrant worker rights are neglected in the development of a national food policy here in Canada.

“Pitting Canadian food security agricultural viability against the rights of migrant workers is a false ethical choice.”

Read the full Toronto Star article here.