Monthly Archives: February 2013

Pick this fight

By Signe Langford

Local and sustainable! It’s the battle cry of the eco-foodie.

But, we locavores can be a smug bunch. We Pin and tweet pictures of our righteously delicious meals – Lake Ontario perch on local sunchoke purée – and call ourselves urban farmers when we grow a tomato or two in the backyard.

And I fear we are so entertained by the sounds of our own pontificating about heirloom carrots from Holland Marsh, heritage pork from Perth County or a lovely Pinot Noir from Niagara that we’ve all but forgotten about the not-so-local folks who plant, harvest and process Ontario’s bounty: Jamaican, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Mexican and Filipino workers, about 15,000 of them in Ontario every year.

Pick this fight | NOW Magazine


Students Against Migrant Exploitation launches Migrant Worker Awareness Week 2013

A UFCW Canada Human Rights Department Release

February 21, 2013 – Get on board! S.A.M.E. (Students Against Migrant Exploitation) is about to embark on an historic journey — to engage students across Ontario to defend human rights and fight for migrant worker justice. The journey begins March 18, at Brock University in St. Catharines; the first of a series of S.A.M.E. events in support of Migrant Worker Awareness Week 2013.

S.A.M.E is Canada’s leading student movement to empower and inform youth on issues about migration and migrant workers. “S.A.M.E. aims to inform the broad community about the harsh reality that tens of thousands of migrant workers who come to Canada face each year,” says Pablo Godoy, the coordinator of the S.A.M.E. program. “We conduct a lot of our outreach and programs through the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) which supplies support services through 10 migrant agriculture worker assistance centers across Canada. Migrant Worker Awareness Week is another opportunity for students and youth to inform themselves about the tremendous contribution migrant workers make to our community.”

In 2012, S.A.M.E. partnered with Guelph University Professor Kerry Preibisch and her fourth-year sociology class to launch Canada’s first-ever Migrant Worker Awareness Week — with seminars, videos, films and seminars on the challenges facing migrant workers in Canada. Encouraged by the enthusiastic reception by hundreds of students in 2012, S.A.M.E. has expanded the 2013 Awareness Week tour to reach across the province.

Staying true to the S.A.M.E. philosophy that the best way to motivate young people is through other young people, ten S.A.M.E. student volunteers will host seminars for other students at campuses across Ontario including the University of Guelph, Brock University, Queen’s University, McMaster University, George Brown College, as well as at a number of elementary and secondary schools.

“The goal of S.A.M.E. during Migrant Worker Awareness Week is to encourage cross-cultural understanding of migration and migrant workers,” says Brother Godoy, “and to show students how they can make a big difference when it comes to social justice in their community during Migrant Worker Awareness Week and throughout the year.”

If your campus or school wants to take part in this historic event, and would like to book one of S.A.M.E.’s young and dynamic motivational speakers, please send your request to .

Spots are filling up fast, so book your presentation today!

In Mexico migrants organisations denounce Canadian govmt policy

Justicia for Migrant Workers along with US and Mexican migrant workers’ rights organizations denounced the Canadian government for stripping away employment insurance benefits to migrant workers and demanded the full restoration of these benefits.


Launch of the Temporary Agency Worker Association!

This past December 14th, A group of Temporary Placement Agency Workers raging from undocumented workers, from agency workers in hotels, day laborers working in greenhouses, to factory workers in distribution centres, to other where-house workers, and low wage workers In the health care sector came together to launch the Temporary Agency Worker Association.


The association aims to create a framework to campaign for the labour rights of agency workers. To end the situation of workers who do not even have same basic rights as many other workers. Temporary workers are no longer “temp” but becoming “temporarily” permanent.

Most of these workers are no longer on the margins of the economy, but are central to the functioning of the economy. In most where house work, day-labor in the agricultural sector, food processing, and in the healthcare sector, agency workers are becoming the Norm. In fact, these agencies are part of one of the fast growing industries in Québec; according to Statistics Canada, in 2008 there were approximately 1200 placement agencies across the province, and the industry had an estimated value of $1 billion.

Launch of the Temporary Agency Worker Association! « Centre des travailleurs et travailleuses immigrants / Immigrant Workers Centre (CTI-IWC)