Monthly Archives: January 2013

Migrants’ billions put aid in the shade

Money transfers from workers abroad to family back home have tripled in a decade and are three times larger than global aid budgets

For decades it was a largely unnoticed feature of the global economy, a blip of a statistic that hinted at the tendency of expatriates to send a little pocket money back to families in their home countries.

But now, the flow of migrant money around the world has shot up to record levels as more people than ever cross borders to live and work abroad. It’s known as remittance money, and in 2012 it topped $530bn (£335bn), according to the latest World Bank figures.

The amount has tripled in a decade and is now more than three times larger than total global aid budgets, sparking serious debate as to whether migration and the money it generates is a realistic alternative to just doling out aid. If remittances at the level recorded by the World Bank were a single economy, it would be the 22nd largest in the world, bigger than Iran or Argentina.

Migrants’ billions put aid in the shade | Global development | The Guardian


Chinese miners sent home in B.C. workers dispute

The company that brought miners from China to work on a B.C. coal project says it is sending some of the workers back home and is not bringing any more to Canada for the time being due to court delays.

Two unions are challenging the government’s decision to allow HD Mining to bring about 200 Chinese miners to work in northern B.C., rather than hire Canadians.

HD Mining announced in a release Monday that its 16 temporary foreign workers on the Murray River project are returning to China.

Chinese miners sent home in B.C. workers dispute – British Columbia – CBC News

Firm linked to China ordered to pay $1.5 million in deaths of workers in Alberta

ST. ALBERT, Alta. – A firm linked to a Chinese state-owned company was ordered Thursday to pay $1.5 million in penalties in the deaths of two foreign workers at an Alberta oilsands project.

SSEC Canada Ltd. pleaded guilty last September to three workplace safety charges in the deaths of the Chinese temporary foreign workers.

The men died in 2007 at Canadian Natural Resources’ (TSX:CNQ) Horizon project near Fort McMurray when an oil storage tank they were building collapsed.

Alberta Justice spokeswoman Michelle Davio said the penalty is the largest ever imposed by a judge in the province on workplace safety charges.

Firm linked to China ordered to pay $1.5 million in deaths of workers in Alberta – Winnipeg Free Press


Belleville, Ont. – January, 2013 – Throughout the school year, The Students Against Migrant Exploitation build new partnerships, and launch new chapters with the goal of empowering students in getting involved with social justice issues.

In particular, The Students Against Migrant Exploitation, or The S.A.M.E, engage with youth on Migrant Worker Issues, an issue close to the heart of a group of students from Loyalist College.

This past December, The S.A.M.E. partnered with a group of International Studies students from Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, to host a documentary screening of “A Better Life”, a movie that follows a parents struggle as a migrant worker to create a better life for his child.

The event included  students and a large number of community members who gathered at the college to watch the documentary and raise funds for a class trip to Mexico, with the purpose of doing volunteer work with a Human Rights Organization.

Some of the proceeds from the fundraiser were also dedicated to buying bicycles for migrant workers in Ontario. The event was a great success and engaged the college faculty and students alike in becoming involved and informed on the issue of migrant workers – a great way to end 2012!

To find out more about the stopping migrant exploitation, visit

The Invisibles: Migrant Workers in Canada

Reports of exploited foreign temps have grown as fast as the federal program. First in a series.

By Krystle Alarcon, 7 Jan 2013,

They hand you a soothing cup of Tim Hortons, pack frozen beef in factories, pick blueberries and apples on Abbotsford farms, serve fast-food meals and wipe tables, excavate mines and drill for oil in Western Canada, and raise your kids as if they were their own. Typically paid far less than Canadians, unprotected by labour laws, and disposed of when their contracts end, these migrant labourers have become ubiquitous while remaining all but invisible.

The Tyee – The Invisibles: Migrant Workers in Canada