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Foreign workers fill agricultural labour shortage

posted Feb 10, 2012, 9:10 PM by Milorad Borota   [ updated Feb 10, 2012, 9:10 PM ]
Published On Wed Feb 08 2012 Nicholas Keung Immigration Reporter

They pay income tax and contribute to Canada’s employment insurance and pension plans, just like Canadian workers.

But the 24,000 migrant agricultural workers who come here yearly — 90 per cent destined for Ontario — live at the mercy of Canadian farm owners and must leave the country once the planting and harvesting in fields, orchards and greenhouses is done.

Migrant workers who come through the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program help grow Canada’s farm products, from tobacco to vegetables, fruits, flowers and sod, earning the provincial minimum wage or the so-called “prevailing” wage set by Ottawa.

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