Migrant workers employed by the Balamore Farm in Great Village, Nova Scotia, say that they are owed wages and that they were forced to lie when government inspectors followed up with a pre-announced visit after a complaint was lodged.
Press release: Migrant Food and Farmworker organizations in British Columbia, PEI, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec are responding to today’s announcement by the federal government of another $59 million dollars directed to the agri-food industry and government by reiterating our call for full and permanent immigration status for all.
Stacey Gomez, Asaf Rashid, Jessica Tellez and Wanda Thomas explain how racist immigration policies keep migrant workers temporary. “In Nova Scotia, approximately 2000 migrant workers arrive each year through Temporary Foreign Worker Programs, to plant and harvest crops, and to process our agriculture, as well as seafood products. Abuse of migrant workers is rampant in Nova Scotia and across Canada. The recently released report Unheeded Warnings includes accounts from migrant workers in Nova Scotia about being coerced into speaking positively of their employers during a government inspection under threat of deportation. Other workers report having racist slurs used against them when they spoke out about poor conditions. We’ve also received reports of migrant workers being unlawfully prevented from leaving Nova Scotia farms.”
“We’ve seen migrant workers being impacted by COVID-19 from coast to coast, and that highlights that this is a systemic issue. It’s not a coincidence that so many migrant workers are becoming ill.” We speak with Stacey Gomez of No One Is Illegal – Halifax/K’jipuktuk about migrant workers in Nova Scotia, their exposure to both Covid-19 and xenophobia, and what the province should do.