Lockdowns and restrictions disrupted the lives of most Australians, but the impacts on one hard-hit group, nomads, have been largely overlooked. We don’t even know how many of them there are.
The federal government must make good on its throne speech language about making it easier for migrant workers to formally become Canadian by instituting a comprehensive regularization plan.
COVID-19 has given society a teachable moment, and we should now establish the policies, programs and technologies to ensure our food system becomes stronger, more resilient and more equitable.
Migrant workers are not inherently more vulnerable to COVID-19, nor more likely to be carrying it than Canadians. Yet our treatment of them this year stigmatizes them and puts them at risk.
The US food supply depends on several million agricultural laborers, who are mostly undocumented, tend to work in close quarters and lack medical insurance.
Australia’s farmers may not be able to do without foreign workers coming into the country.
Every year, migrant workers come to Canada to pick the fruits and vegetables we take for granted. They aren’t paid well and get none of the benefits they pay into. It’s time to treat them fairly.