“The fruits and vegetables that we are eating, the wine that we are drinking, has been brought to us by the migrant workers. If it wasn’t for them, our economy would collapse.”
25 000 migrant workers are brought into Canada every year under the federal Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) established in 1966. 66% of these workers are in Ontario, 13% in Quebec and 13% in British Columbia.
In the Niagara region, there are about 6000 migrant workers originating from Jamaica and Mexico. We spoke with Jackie Barrett-Greene who is the Newcomer Support Coordinator at AIDS Niagara. She has been working with migrant workers in the Niagara region and spoke about the barriers that migrant workers face, including access to health care services, transportation, language barriers, long work hours and work place safety.
If you would like to contact Jackie, you can find her at AIDS Niagara.
To get involved or learn more about Niagara migrant workers advocacy, check out the Niagara Migrant Workers Interest Group. Lastly, you can find directions to the Migrant Workers Walk-in Clinic in Virgil here.
Thank you for tuning in! (photo credit: http://www.opirgbrock.org/node?page=12)