Edward Greenspon: The Worst Times Give Trust a Chance
Policy Speaking blogMonday March 30, 2020
It’s 2030: Canada’s vibrant, prosperous agricultural sector is a competitive world leader. Local and international consumers enjoy safe, quality, well-priced food produced in Canada.
The 50,000+ migrant workers who come to this country each year as part of agricultural worker programs make a fair living in a dignified environment, their rights upheld through well-structured policies, and Canada is a world leader in terms of its international human rights obligations.
Migrant agricultural worker programs are simple to navigate and streamlined for employers, producers, and administrators alike.
The Canadian agricultural sector is well positioned for the next 50+ years, knowing there is a skilled and reliable workforce ready to respond to evolving demands, including climate change: Warmer temperatures will increasingly require a greater workforce to accommodate the changing face of Canadian agriculture.
What we know and what we heard
It’s 2019: Farmers, employers and producers say migrant agricultural worker programs are confusing, difficult to navigate, and suffer from siloed government departments. Government officials note that processing labour market impact assessments is an onerous, lengthy and paper-based process. Migrant workers and the advocacy groups that work with them report cases of abuse made possible by precarious work environment and a lack of oversight. Academics and other stakeholders worry about climate change, labour shortages in the agricultural sector and also about Canada’s reputation on the world stage as a leader in human rights.
Our analysis of our consultations and literature review revealed three key themes:
What we recommend
We offer policy recommendations in four categories: employment relationship, health care, settlement, and program administration. These recommendations are meant to be practical and are in pursuit of a balance between the concerns and requirements of all stakeholder groups, including producers, consumers, workers, and administrators.
Thank you to Action Canada’s partners: