Vanishing Act

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Seasonal Workers Want to Stay

Jake Jasko
Assistant Editor-in-Chief

As the seasons change and the harvests end, Canada, notably Quebec, experiences an interesting immigration phenomenon. It’s not geese flying south, nor rich snowbirds heading for Florida. It’s a handful of seasonal workers disappearing off of farms like the ones run by Fraisebec.

This year, sources report over 100 missing seasonal workers who are assumed to have run off to be able to continue to work in Canada (CBC). This is far from unusual; after four years of seasonal work, their foreign worker permits dictate that workers must leave and not work in Canada for four years.

Of the 6,000 Guatemalan workers in Canada, 4,000 of them work in Quebec.

Their disappearance from farms and fisheries is fueled by a hope that they might be able to continue to earn money here in Canada, usually to support their family back home.
Denis Hamel, the head of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, says that they most probably go off to work in manufacturing, hotels, or restaurants.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and more specifically the legislation that governs the amount of time a worker can work in Canada, or how long they must wait before receiving a new work permit, is under review. A liberation committee has advised to remove the four-in, four-out rule altogether (CBC).

The government has 120 days to respond to the findings of the committee. In the meantime, foreign workers will continue to disappear off of strawberry farms to look for work in the harsh Quebec winter.

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