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Migrant Farm Workers Project

The aim of the Migrant Farm Workers Project is to work in partnership with farmers and migrant workers in the Northumberland County to increase access to health and social support services. The project was created to support a population that is largely invisible to many Canadians, due to the barriers for interaction that exist and due to the nature of agricultural work; long hours in rural areas.  The program intends to address issues of isolation,  transportation, language, accessing community resources and awareness in order to help  build a welcoming community.

Migrant workers, and the farms that employ them, play a vital role in the food economy of the province and across Canada.  However, due to their seasonal employment and lack of full legal status in Canada, they are socially disadvantaged and have many barriers to accessing  social support services.

Each year an estimated 17,000 Caribbean and Mexican migrant farm workers come to Ontario, up to 8 months, to work through the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP).  This program is a guest worker program that attempts to respond to the labour shortage in the Canadian agricultural sector. This program is authorized by the federal government through the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development (HRSDC) and administered by privately run user-fee agencies. In Ontario the Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services (F.A.R.M.S) administers the program.

*PLEASE NOTE: We do not hire nor find positions for migrant farm workers, either inside or outside Canada.  We are unable to provide information on how to find work in Canada or apply under the temporary foreign worker program.   Information on this program is available at Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website.

For information about:

  • Who the workers are, and why they are here
  • The challenges that many workers face while in Canada
  • Communities that collaborate to welcome migrant workers
  • The work that is being done to ensure the rights of migrant workers are respected and ensured

Please visit the following links and resources below:



Would you like to volunteer for this project?

If you would like to volunteer for the Migrant Farm Workers Project, your time and energy would be much appreciated.  Please contact our office in Cobourg at (905) 377-8100 or email our Cobourg Office Administrator.

Please note: The information contained in the LINKS, FURTHER READING  and FILMS sections is the work of Canadian governmental agencies, private organizations, media outlets and independent journalists.  These organizations and individuals are not associated with the work of the New Canadians Centre, and the New Canadians Centre does not necessarily agree with any opinion contained therein. The work is posted on this site for your information only, and as an educational resource to shed light on a largely invisible population of individuals in Canada, and the challenges that some of the workers in different parts of Canada face.  Each source of information is credited to the writer.