Last week the CBC reported on the case of Sheldon McKenzie, a farm worker from Jamaica who had been coming to Ontario for 12 years for seasonal work at farms. Last year he was injured at work and, according to the CBC article, “the program that brought him to Canada stripped him of his labour rights after he was hurt, then tried to cut off his access to health care.” He died because of the injuries. What is even more horrifying is that a study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal Open found that, between 2001 and 2011, 787 migrant farm workers in Ontario were terminated and sent back to their countries of origin for medical reasons.
Workers in Canada deserve better. Between May 11 and June 15th the government is reviewing migrant worker programs. MPs will be in their constituency offices between May 21st and May 28th. The Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada has put together a petition, a toolkit to help if you want to talk to your MP about this issue, and other tools you can use to make your voice heard. Click here to get involved.