Migrant Workers in Canada

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Over the past few decades, the Canadian government has been increasing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), particularly in the areas of domestic workers and seasonal agricultural workers. Because these workers’ ability to stay in Canada is reliant on their employment status, they are in a perpetual state of precarity and vulnerability and must endure unsafe working and living conditions, wage theft and labour exploitation, while under the constant threat of deportation if they speak out. Organizations such as “No One Is Illegal” and “Justice 4 Migrant Workers” have been drawing public attention to the exploitation of workers in these programs, who are predominantly impoverished workers of colour from the global South. This program is justified by the Canadian government as a means of recruiting workers for jobs that employers can’t fill with Canadian citizens, however in reality the TFWP has institutionalized and legalized a stratification in the Canadian labour force, for the extraction cheap labour from those most marginalized.