The Star: Man Works Legally in Canada for 37 Years but the Government Considers Him “Temporary”

Low food prices from the agriculture industry rely on low-wage migrant workers, willing to do tasks, as it’s so often said, that citizens in wealthy nations do not want to do. Nicholas Keung, writing for the Toronto Star, profiles Patrick Stanio, age 66, who has worked in Canada for 37 years. “Despite his long history here and devotion to his job, Stanio has always been just a guest in Canada,” Keung explains. ““Eventually he’ll become too frail to do the work and too slow for his employer.” With technological innovations, Canadian agriculture is transforming from a seasonal to a year-long market, and Keung reports that the industry’s share of migrant workers has doubled in the last decade. Still, there are labor shortages. The president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture points out that Canadian farmers have little choice but to compete with global prices. Workers, linked to a single employer, can be subjected to exploitation over wages or living conditions. Canada’s economic immigration program assesses applicants based on skills, language, education and experience. Ontario and other provinces are taking steps to allow a small number of migrant workers to apply for permanent status as well as exploring permits that would let the migrants work for multiple employers. – YaleGlobal

The Star: Man Works Legally in Canada for 37 Years but the Government Considers Him “Temporary”

Migrant farmworkers are a crucial and growing part of Canada’s economy, yet most cannot secure permanent status and are vulnerable to exploitation
Nicholas Keung
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Read the article.

Nicholas Keung writes about immigration, refugee, migrant and diversity issues.

“Agriculture, the production of food and fiber on farms, employs a third of the world’s workers, more than any other industry,” notes the report “Migrant Workers in Commercial Agriculture” by Philip L. Martin for the International Labour Office.  “An increasing share of the workers employed in industrial-country agriculture are hired or wage workers, and many of these hired farm workers are international migrants from poorer countries.”

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