GFM Network News


Health minister calls treatment of some farm workers a ‘national disgrace’

Ministers discussing changes to Canada's TFW program

Ottawa | Reuters — The treatment of migrant workers in Canada by some farmers is disgraceful and the federal government is seeking to fix the problem, the country’s health minister told a parliamentary committee on Friday, as farms battle COVID-19 outbreaks among their employees. Outbreaks of coronavirus infections have killed three people and infected hundreds

Editor’s Take: A stain on the Canada brand

A series of hard-hitting articles on migrant farm workers in Canada has shone a light on some realities that will make many Canadians uncomfortable. The Globe and Mail series was undoubtedly a shock to many readers unaware migrant farm workers were even ‘a thing’ in Canada. It details conditions that will leave a pretty clear


Temporary farm workers say they have little ability 
to maintain social distancing on Canadian farms.

Advocacy group says migrant workers deserve better

COVID-19 has shown how vulnerable these employees can be, a new report says

COVID-19 has exacerbated the vulnerability of temporary foreign workers, says a report from Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC). “The federal government has given nearly a billion dollars to agri-food businesses, while migrants who actually grow the food are falling sick and dying,” said Sonia Aviles, an MWAC organizer, in a June 8 news release.

COVID-19 is showing us that some of the least-appreciated workers in our society — the workers on the farm, in the food factories and in the grocery stores — are some of the most important.

Editorial: Students and the farm labour crisis

Amidst all the disruption, the suffering and the fear, the one good thing you could say about our ongoing experience with COVID-19 is that it has peeled back the layers of our society to expose the raw — and sometimes unpleasant — truths about what we truly value. When childcare workers can earn more income



Labour shortages persist, hort sector says

Horticultural Council warns sector output will drop for lack of workers, support

Ottawa — The Canadian Horticultural Council warns the federal government is using inaccurate numbers to describe how many temporary foreign workers are currently in the country. During a virtual meeting of the Commons standing committee on agriculture and agri-food, CHC president Brian Gilroy said food security continues to be threatened as a result of labour

New Brunswick to lift ban on temporary foreign workers

Damage 'already been done' for farmers, NFU-NB says

New Brunswick plans to end its ban on the entry of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) next week as the province moves to the “yellow” level in its COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan. The ban, announced April 28, will end effective May 29, Premier Blaine Higgs said Friday in an announcement some farmers say comes too late

“When Canadians are unavailable or unwilling... farmers need international workers to help grow and harvest food for our tables.” – Canadian Horticultural Council.

A temporary foreign worker solution

With tens of thousands of Canadians laid off due to COVID-19, people may wonder why farmers are hiring foreign workers. That’s a good question

Mid-March, amidst the initial panicked onset of a COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian borders closed to most international travellers and a swath of the ag sector panicked. They were counting on foreign workers — tens of thousands of them — to fill their ranks for the busy season ahead of them. Without workers from countries like Mexico


Temporary foreign workers finally on their way

Workers remain a critical issue for Canadian farms, says CFA president Mary Robinson

International workers have begun to trickle onto Manitoba farms. On Beth Connery’s farm, near Portage la Prairie, seven Jamaican men were a few days into their 14-day quarantine when she spoke to the Co-operator on April 15. “It’s nice to get started,” Connery said. “This will get us going.” Each year, about 60,000 temporary foreign

Foreign workers starting to arrive, livestock group says

About 2,000 have recently arrived, several thousand more here soon, feeders say

About 2,000 foreign workers have arrived in Canada in recent weeks and more should be here soon, an official with the National Cattle Feeders Association says. “There are about 4,000 more that are expected to arrive shortly, so the process is starting to work,” Janice Tranberg, the association’s president and CEO, said during a telephone