A food policy for Canada, but not just for Canadians: Reaping justice for migrant farm workers

  • Anelyse M. Weiler University of Toronto
Keywords: food policy, migrant workers, Canada


In this policy commentary, I highlight opportunities to advance equity and dignity for racialized migrant workers from less affluent countries who are hired through low-wage agricultural streams of Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Core features of the program such as 'tied' work permits, non-citizenship, and workers' deportability make it risky for migrant farm workers to exercise their rights. I discuss five federal policy interventions to strengthen justice for migrant farm workers in Canada: 1) permanent resident status; 2) equal access to social protections; 3) open work permits; 4) democratic business ownership; and 5) trade policy that respects community self-determination. To realize a food system that enables health, freedom and dignity for all members of our communities, a Food Policy for Canada cannot be for Canadians alone.