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Who are Migrant Agricultural Workers?


[Music] more than 69,000 migrant agricultural workers entered Canada in 2018 and these numbers are increasing in fact these men and women fill 75 percent of agricultural positions in Canada these individuals work under two main programs the first is a seasonal agricultural workers program to saw people in this program can work in Canada for a maximum of eight months per year the second is the agricultural stream of the temporary foreign worker program that allows people to stay to work in Canada for up to two years most people working as foreign agricultural migrant workers in BC are located in the Fraser or Okanagan Valley in the Okanagan they primarily arrived from Mexico Jamaica in other Caribbean countries the men and women coming under these programs typically have dependents children in their countries of origin and they send that money back home to their families those coming under the S AWP are required to leave Canada by December 15th of that year however many of these workers have been returning to Canada for decades with the average worker spending at least seven years on one farm employers have many responsibilities when hiring foreign workers including providing transportation to and from Canada transportation between housing to workplaces adequate and safe housing health insurance protective equipment proper training and transportation of workers to the grocery store although these protections exist on paper many things make it difficult for these individuals to stay safe healthy and supported during their time in Canada some challenges that these men and women face are language barriers when seeking health care and limited knowledge of the health care system limited or no access to a car or other means of transportation reluctance to report injuries or health hazards for fear that it will result in their employer firing them are forcing them to leave Canada workers often face extreme social isolation in fact some workers report not knowing anything of Canada besides the farm where they work and the grocery store nearby for workers facing these challenges getting the care they need can be extremely difficult this video has provided you with some information about the temporary migrant agricultural workers who reside here in the Okanagan we can contribute to accessible and high-quality care for migrant agricultural workers these men and women who provide so much to our economy and to our community you

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