Policy Points

Policy Points is a publication peer-reviewed by IMRC Associates. New proposals are always welcome. Please email proposals to the IMRC.

The Migrant Farmworker Health Journey: Identifying Issues and Considering Change across Borders PPVI

J. McLaughlin, J. Hennebry, D.C. Cole and G. Williams (2014), Policy Points, Issue VI.

There are currently about 300 000 temporary foreign workers employed in Canada every year, roughly 20 000 of whom work as migrant farm workers (MFWs) in the province of Ontario. MFWs travel primarily from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean and typically work on a seasonal basis, with just over 15 000 workers annually coming to Ontario under Canada’s long-standing Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), and many under the Stream for Lower Skilled Occupations (SLSO). All workers are eligible (with some variability) for provincial health insurance in Ontario (OHIP) and workers’ compensation (WSIB), and are covered by provincial health and safety legislation through the Ministry of Labour, and yet MFWs are not always able or willing to access these health and compensation services. Further, these services often do not extend beyond Canada’s borders. MFWs face difficulties and barriers to access at every ‘stage’ of their journey, from pre-departure to their return home, not just their stay while in Canada.

 

Backgrounder on Immigration Policy Changes and Entry to Practice Routes for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) Entering CanadaPPV

M. Walton-Roberts, K. Williams, J. Guo and J. Hennebry (2014) Policy Points, Issue V.

Every year, about 17,500 internationally-educated nurses (IENs) immigrate to Canada from countries like the Philippines, India, and China. While many IENs would like to practice in Canada, new immigration policies and professional regulations at the federal and provincial level limits their ability to do so. In response, migrants are increasingly using two-step immigration routes to enter the profession (e.g., international student -> permanent economic immigrant) or pursuing alternative careers in health (e.g., Personal Support Worker). These outcomes have significant policy implications for labour force planning in nursing, ethical recruitment for international healthcare workers, the process of migrant workforce integration, and reproduction of migration as a form of gendered development for sending states.  The purpose of this policy points is to summarize our findings from a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) knowledge synthesis report on how migrant transition programs intersect with labour force planning in the Canadian nursing sector. We consider the relevance of these issues for employers, regulators, the Canadian health system, and migrants themselves.

 

Inventory of Services Provided to Immigrants and Refugees in the Waterloo Region

J. Fernando Reyes, M.Walton-Roberts, J.L. Hennebry (2013) Policy Points, Issue IV.PPIV

In this issue of Policy Points we have provided an inventory and assessment of immigrant services providers currently delivered in the Waterloo Region. Local communities play an important role in the settlement of newcomers and their integration into society. Waterloo Region has the fifth highest immigrant rate in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2007), and in 2009 the Kitchener Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) was 11th highest nationally in terms of the number of immigrants arriving, and the fourth highest in Ontario (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2011). Furthermore, Waterloo Region is expected to have a significant increase in the immigrant population over the next decades (Maan Miedema & Vandebelt, 2006). A variety of non-governmental and governmental organizations in Waterloo Region assist and support immigrants and refugees in their settlement process. The recommendations in this brief are aim to address the future service needs of immigrants in the Waterloo Region.

 

Backgrounder on Safety and Legal Protection of Irregular Migrants and Volunteer Workers in Mexico PPIII

Andrea Pietrzak (2012) Policy Points, Issue III.

This backgrounder summarizes the risks faced by irregular migrants and humanitarian workers in Mexico based on various reports. Utilizing the documentation provided by, Casa del Migrante, a migrant shelter in Saltillo, Mexico, this backgrounder explains the security threats to migrants, migrant shelters and shelter workers. Recommendations are proposed on pages 3 and 4, aimed at Federal, State, Municipal and International levels of government.

 

Key Issues & Recommendations for Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Reducing Vulnerabilities & Protecting Rights PPII

J. Hennebry and J. McLaughlin (2011) Policy Points, Issue II.

In this issue of Policy Points we have identified some of the most significant rights issues facing Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) in Canada based on our empirical research amassed over a decade of study. In order to address these problems, we have provided a number of recommendations for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) with an emphasis on some of the most vulnerable workers – those in the Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels of Formal Training (NOC C & D Pilot), and the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP). While recognizing that there are jurisdictional differences and many other changes could be integrated at the provincial and municipal levels, the following provide the most essential federal-level recommendations.

 

Backgrounder on Health and Safety for Migrant Farmworkers in Canada  PPI

J. McLaughlin and J. Hennebry (2010) Policy Points, Issue I.

Annually, approximately 30,000 migrant farmworkers come to work across Canada from countries such as Mexico, Jamaica, Guatemala, the Philippines and Thailand through Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) and the Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels of Formal Training (NOC C and D). Their health and safety has long been a neglected area of research, but several recent studies have now shed light on some important issues of concern. Despite these studies’ diverse contexts (Ontario and British Columbia) and methods (quantitative questionnaires and qualitative ethnography) the similar findings in each study demonstrate consistent patterns. The purpose of this backgrounder is to summarize the main findings of this recent research: (1) Hennebry, Preibisch and McLaughlin, 2010; (2) McLaughlin, 2009; and (3) Otero and Preibisch, 2009.