Migrant workers demand the right to be with their families on Family Day

As part of Justicia for Migrant Workers’ Harvesting Freedom campaign to mark the 50th anniversary of Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, migrant workers and allies recently visited Immigration Minister John McCallum’s office in Markham, Ontario. They are calling on the Liberal government to include the reunification of migrant workers and their families as part of its family reunification policy, and for permanent immigration status and associated rights upon migrant workers’ arrival in Canada.

Supporters can learn more and sign the Harvesting Freedom petition here.

On the eve of Ontario’s Family Day long weekend on February 12th, migrant workers assembled photos of their children on a large broken heart. They urged the Immigration Minister not to let another Family Day pass in which migrant workers could not be with their partners and children.


New report: “Access to Justice for Migrant Workers in BC”

At a forum in downtown Vancouver on Saturday, August 10th, the West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association (WCDWA) presented findings and recommendations from its new report, “Access to Justice for Migrant Workers in BC.” The report addresses a wide variety of inequities and forms of discrimination that are intrinsic to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), along with the program’s successes. It also includes specific stories of abuse and injustice experienced by people in BC employed under this program. Next to Ontario, BC employs the second-highest number of TFWP workers in Canada.

Participants at the forum included a number of individuals employed under both the Live-In Caregiver Program and agricultural worker streams of the TFWP, as well as representatives and advocates from a number of organizations involved in migrant labour issues. Other participants included Vancouver-Kensington MLA Mable Elmore, Lorene Oikawa, Vice President of the BC Government Employees Union, Judith Diesta from the Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers’ and Caregivers’ Rights, Lucy Luna from the Agricultural Workers Alliance, and Al Li Lim, Staff Lawyer and Executive Director of WCDWA. Following the WCDWA’s presentation, participants engaged in a roundtable discussion on the issues addressed in the report, including how to better serve needs of people who are employed under the TFWP.

To read “Access to Justice for Migrant Workers in BC,” please click here.


Coalition membered interviewed for article in the South Delta Leader

In a recent article for the South Delta Leader, Coalition member Jeremy Bryant was interviewed about his advocacy volunteer work alongside farmworkers in Delta. He discusses the lack of fairness in Canada’s “guest” farmworker programs, and points out the need for those who are employed under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) or the agricultural stream of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) to be offered a route to citizenship.

Read the article here: Critics say the temporary foreign worker program is replacing immigration.