May 13, 2020

WE NEED THEM MORE THAN THEY NEED US:

How Coronavirus Proved the Value of Migrant Workers to Canada (Bethany Hastie, 5/11/20, National Interest)

In the current pandemic, the essential nature of the work done by temporary migrants has been brought into sharp focus. Concerns about how current border closures and travel restrictions would impact the migrant workforce in the agriculture industry were raised by farmers across the country.

They feared the collapse of their crop, their business and their own livelihood if migrant workers were not permitted to come to Canada this season. Currently, temporary workers are being allowed to continue travelling to Canada but there have been delays.

For some products, such as honey, the specialized skills and knowledge of migrant workers was further highlighted as essential, given the length of time that would be required to train a new workforce in that industry.

Now that migrant workers have been spotlighted, as well as the true value of the work they do in Canada and for Canadians, it's time Canada dramatically improved their working conditions, their pay, their legal rights and their opportunity to immigrate to Canada.

Although migrant workers are not paid less than Canadian counterparts, one of the hallmarks of the Canadian jobs they fill is low wages. This is especially so in industries that are predominantly made up of migrant workers, like agriculture and in-home caregiving. [...]

As the current pandemic has demonstrated, migrant workers in low-wage occupations are just as vital to the Canadian economy as skilled workers, and should similarly be given the opportunity to permanently immigrate.

Posted by at May 13, 2020 12:00 AM

  

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