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Magazine article

Canada Treats Migrant Workers Horribly




Dave Dean


Because Canadian citizens are increasingly unwilling to work tough agricultural jobs a la Stompin’ Tom’s “Tillsonburg”, the seasonal agricultural sector in Canada depends on migrant workers to hit the fields and greenhouses for harvest. Every year when the seasons are right, workers are recruited from South America, the Caribbean, The Philippines, Thailand, and Mexico, to work on farms that boast Canadian minimum wage along with room and board. For however long it takes, often seven or eight months of 60–70 hour work weeks, seasonal workers are used to harvest tobacco, cucumbers, ginseng, and whatever else grows inches from the ground and breaks a back to pick.

Over 25,000 migrants arrive in Canada, mostly in Southern Ontario, every year for this type of work, yet they remain largely invisible to their surrounding communities and the broader provincial and national purview that appreciates cheap produce.

Magazine title



Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers and General farm workers

Content types

Policy analysis

Geographical focuses

Federal and National relevance