NETWORKING & CAPACITY-BUILDING
WORKSHOP WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS OF THE SEASONAL
AGRICULTURAL WORKER PROGRAM
December 8-9, 2006
Networking and Capacity-Building Workshop 1
December 8-9, 2006
University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario
CIC Citizenship and Immigration Canada
CPP Canadian Pension Plan
CSAWP Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
CURA Canadian University Research Alliances
EI Employment Insurance
ESL English as a Second Language
FSA Farm Safety Association
HRSDC Human resources and Social Development Canada
IAVGO Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario
J4MW Justicia for Migrant Workers
LAO Legal Aid Ontario
LMO Labour Market Opinion
MWC Migrant Agricultural Workers Support Centre
MWCP Migrant Worker Community Program
MOL Ontario Ministry of Labour
NSI The North-South Institute
OHSA Ontario Health and Safety Act
OISE Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
OTF Ontario Trillium Foundation
RBC Royal Bank of Canada
SAWP Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
SECC South Essex Community Council
TFW Temporary Foreign Worker
TFWP Temporary Foreign Worker Program
UFCW United Food and Commercial Workers
WSIB Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
This report was prepared by Christine Gibb, MSc Candidate, Capacity Development and Extension and
International Development, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1
The "Networking and Capacity-Building Workshop with Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
(SAWP) Community Partners", hosted by the University of Guelph, was the fourth in a series of
workshops organized by The North-South Institute (NSI) with support from the Ontario Trillium
Foundation in collaboration with community partners. The first three workshops presented key
findings from NSI’s study of the CSAWP for discussion with community stakeholders and
provided an opportunity for community groups and labour organizations to describe the services
they offer seasonal agricultural workers.
The primary focus of the Guelph workshop was to share information on the SAWP: between
government officials and civil society groups that provide support to SAWP workers, and
between community organizations from different regions of southwestern Ontario. A secondary
focus of the workshop was to share information and ideas for potential collaboration among
groups to achieve common goals, and to learn how to prepare a funding proposal to a foundation.
Veena Verma, a labour lawyer with Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish, Barristers &
Solicitors, spoke after dinner on December 7, on the importance of community organizations
working collaboratively to ensure dignity for workers and a harmonious workplace. She
described projects of the Equal Justice Centre and the Central Texas Immigrant Worker Rights
Centre in Texas, and the importance of mobilizing widespread community support for worker
rights. See Appendix 1 for a summary of her speech.
In the first session, participants introduced their organizations, and the main issues faced both by
their organizations and the migrant workers they serve.
Caribbean Workers Outreach Project (CWOP)
The CWOP works with over twenty churches and uses a human-based, compassionate approach
to bring together employers and mainly Jamaican workers so they talk to each other. This is
facilitated through activities such as worship services, cribbage nights and cricket matches.
Many of the churches involved tailor additional outreach activities to meet the specific needs of
migrant workers within their area. The CWOP hires two ministers from the Caribbean each
season to provide spiritual services for workers in the Niagara/Simcoe region. As a church-
based organization it does not encounter problems visiting workers on the farms. Once workers
speak up, the CWOP will find agencies that can help them with logistics and legal matters.
Communication with other groups is important to avoid duplicating efforts. A main concern of
this organization is the lack of health care at times and in locations convenient to farm workers.
Since 1999, the church-based El Sembrador has provided spiritual and social support to Mexican
workers in the Bradford area. Its activities include farm visits and overlap with the activities of
the Migrant Worker Centre (MWC) in Bradford. El Sembrador is currently collaborating with
the MWC and is seeking to collaborate with other Christian groups. El Sembrador organized a
community workshop, Farm Workers from Afar, with NSI in February 2006 and an information
workshop on changes to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act for Mexican workers in
ENLACE is a 5-year-old Toronto-based volunteer organization that focuses on workers’ rights
and well-being and is guided by the principles of collaboration and non-confrontation. It is a
group of approximately 30 volunteers, the majority of which are of Mexican heritage and all of
which speak Spanish. It has established strong, collaborative relationships with several
stakeholders including the Mexican consulate, other civil society organizations and the farming
community and works to improve the working and living experience of migrant farm workers.
ENLACE distributes a newsletter produced for the migrant workers. Recent events this group
has hosted include a bike rodeo to promote bicycle safety (in collaboration with Niagara-on-the-
Lake policy), soccer tournaments, a Father’s Day picnic and BBQs. Last year, ENLACE
organized information sessions for workers on health care, parental benefits and Canadian
Pension Plans (CPP). It concluded that the workshop on pesticides was not useful unless
workers are empowered to use the knowledge. One concern this organization voiced at the
workshop was the fact that not all workers are receiving their health exam in Mexico prior to
arrival in Canada. If a worker falls sick in Canada and has not had their health exam, he or she
often has difficulty receiving proper treatment in Canada and/or upon return to Mexico.
Frontier College is a national non-profit organization that aims to empower through literacy.
Since 1990, Frontier College has placed worker-labourers on farms to lead literacy and English
as a Second Language (ESL) programs, and to provide translation and transportation services.
The learning centre in Leamington has hosted ESL activities and special events including a talent
night and a play. Frontier College is trying to work with non-Mexicans (many other groups
target Mexican workers), including providing classes to Thai migrant women. Frontier College
hopes to expand internationally by linking up workers with continuing education in their own
countries. The main concerns of Frontier College learners are: poor worker access to health care,
almost total lack of translation services, lack of friendly faces at hospitals, and bicycle safety
(high incidences of bike accidents and deaths).
Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario (IAVGO)
IAVGO is one of the 79 community legal clinics in the province of Ontario funded by Legal Aid
Ontario (LAO). It specializes in workers' compensation matters and works with various
community groups. In addition to workers' compensation its involvement with migrant workers
includes Employment Insurance (EI) issues. The organization has observed many systemic
problems: migrant workers’ fear of reporting accidents for fear of repatriation and inability to
access medical services once migrant workers return home. One concern voiced by IAVGO was
the lack of reporting by doctors of injuries and illnesses migrant workers sustain on the job.
Both workers and employers need more and better education about the process for workers'
Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW)
J4MW consists of a network of committed volunteers in Ontario working for labour and human
rights. The main demands of the group centre around the right to EI, regularization, the right to
status in Canada, the right to be treated with respect and dignity, and the right to the appeal
mechanism. J4MW work is interdisciplinary; this is facilitated by the diversity of its volunteers
(e.g. volunteers have diverse research, faith-based, legal or other expertise). The group does
outreach to Mexican and Caribbean workers, assists works file EI applications, lobbies for policy
change, raises public awareness through its website, facilitates migrant worker discussions about
women’s health issues, and responds to emergencies. J4MW has built strong partnerships and
collaborations; the Workers Action Centre is one example.
KAIROS is a coalition of eleven churches and church-based organizations working for social
change by engaging in research, policy development, education and advocacy. The
Refugee/Migration Program at KAIROS began by focusing mainly on refugees. Two years ago,
in recognition that many migrant workers are also forced to migrate in order to survive, the
program expanded to include temporary migrant workers including live-in caregivers, seasonal
agricultural workers and undocumented workers. KAIROS sees its role as that of a facilitating
network among migrant groups, churches and other allies, working together for justice for
migrants in Canada. KAIROS is currently focusing on building a national migrant worker
justice network in Canada. The Migrant Justice Steering Committee is currently coordinating
and consolidating the national network. To date, initiatives toward this goal have included the
National Migrant Justice Gathering in June 2006 co-sponsored by UFCW, the National Alliance
of Philippine Women in Canada and the STATUS Campaign; and the creation of a Statement of
Unity (http://www.kairoscanada.org/e/refugees/migrants/unityStatement.asp). The latter was
brought to Members of Parliament and federal bureaucrats after the gathering; in October, the
Migrant Justice Steering Committee followed up with presentation to the Standing Committee on
Citizenship and Immigration, the Standing Committee on Human Resources and Social
Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities and other federal government officials.
A September 2006 brief to the Standing Committee on Human Resources and Social
Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities highlights conditions faced by live-in
caregivers, seasonal agricultural workers and undocumented workers
Sept06.pdf ). The main concerns of KAIROS are that workers are in precarious living and
working conditions due to their restricted labour mobility and a lack of access to citizenship
rights; and that the momentum propelling the expansion of the migrant worker justice network
needs to be continued. Two regional gatherings are planned for 2007 – one in Quebec for Eastern
Canada and one in Alberta for Western Canada – on regional realities and migrant worker
empowerment. KAIROS is currently seeking people who would like to be involved.
Migrant Worker Community Program (MWCP), Leamington
The MWCP aims to have a positive impact on the social relationship between migrant workers
and the larger community. Its activities include running bike safety education and training
workshops, providing English classes in collaboration with Frontier College and distributing
bimonthly Spanish/English newspapers. One current aim of this group is to acquire a building for
their programs that other service providers could use. The major issues of the MWCP are
securing long-term funding from federal, provincial and/or municipal governments improving
access of healthcare services to migrant workers. See Appendix 2 for the PowerPoint
presentation of MWCP activities.
Niagara Christian Assembly
The Niagara Christian Assembly aims to help Mexican workers meet their spiritual needs
through worship, as well as organizing social activities to combat the loneliness and separation
migrant workers face. It is one of the churches working with the CWOP. One activity they have
hosted was a Mother’s Day celebration for migrant women workers. The challenges faced by
this organization include having to travel distances of up to 200km or more to lead worship
services, and a lack of bikes for migrant workers. While migrant workers would benefit from
more opportunities to learn ESL, they do not have much time to dedicate to study, as their main
goal for working in Ontario is to earn money. In February 2006, the Niagara Christian Assembly
hosted a Migrant Workers Information Exchange community event with NSI.
South Essex Community Council (SECC)
The SECC in Leamington is a multi-service non-profit organization offering services to groups
in South Essex for 30 years. The SECC has been involved in diverse activities focused on
immigrants and migrant workers. Such activities include hosting a Migrant Worker Forum with
NSI in April 2006 and initiating the Building Bridges through Bicycles program in 2000.
Currently, the number of migrants is growing and there is a lack of access to resources,
especially translation. To address this challenge the SECC has partnered with the Chatham Kent
Cultural Coalition, the Windsor YMCA and the Windsor multicultural centre to build a network
of translation services. The pilot project begins in January 2007.
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Canada
While seasonal agricultural workers in Ontario and Alberta do not have the right to form unions,
UFWC works on behalf of all agricultural workers in Canada. In 2007, UFCW will expand into
British Columbia and Manitoba. UFCW has launched legal challenges on behalf of foreign
workers in the areas of basic standards, unionizing rights, occupational health and safety, and
basic worker rights (because worker rights are under provincial jurisdiction, work must be done
in each province separately.) This past summer UFCW sponsored a Migrant Worker Justice
Gathering with KAIROS to build a more inclusive network among church, community and
national organizations, and followed up with lobbying Members of Parliament. UFCW also
launched a legal challenge of the Ontario Health and Safety Act (OHSA), which excluded
agricultural workers. OHSA was subsequently amended to include all agricultural workers in
Ontario, including migrant workers; however, more regulations, more education and training,
and more multi-language material are still needed.
For the last five years, UFCW has operated migrant agricultural worker support centres (MWCs)
that provide free services to migrant workers. MWCs have increased their hours of operation
and their staff to respond to increasing demand, but budget limitations remain a problem.
UFCW is trying to do training and outreach in areas currently without MWCs.
• Bradford. The goals of the Bradford MWC are: outreach, collaboration, education and
empowerment. The centre has expanded east (Ajax, Whitby, Exeter) by collaborating
with other organizations. Working with other Bradford organizations (El Sembrador,
Enlace, J4MW) has created more opportunities to educate workers on their rights and
entitlements. Masses for migrant workers have been the most successful means for
circulating information quickly. Workers attend regularly and have a friendship base at
the church. Once educated, workers take ownership and they can act on their own. The
MWC sees their role as giving a hand up and not a handout.
• Leamington. For almost five years, the centre has asked workers what they need or want,
and has worked to meet these requests. Staff offer translation at hospitals, lead
workshops on parental benefits, health and safety, CPP at least once a season, do
outreach work, and help workers access workers’ compensation. Leamington has a high
accident rate, but few accidents get reported. Centre staff try to find out about accidents
and assist workers in the claims process. Their work is paying off as workers now know
they can collect compensation. The Centre has distributed 3,000 bilingual (Spanish/
English) handbooks on workers’ rights. These handbooks have had a large impact:
workers use them and can show them to their bosses. Two concerns are additional
funding to run the centre year-round, and the need for people working with migrant
workers to check with the centre to ensure the accuracy of the information they distribute.
• Simcoe. Since the initial farm visits and assessment of worker needs in 2003, there have
been some changes. For example, parental benefits are now acknowledged. However,
conditions on distant farms remain very difficult. Centre staff can no longer visit workers
on farm property; workers must leave the farm to speak with MWC representatives. The
large size of the Simcoe region poses a challenge because workers employed at distant
farms cannot always be reached. Thus it is imperative to connect within and among
groups. Education, and not just handbook distribution, should also be a priority. In
Simcoe, MWC staff explain to workers what to do if they become injured so they can do
it themselves. Workers are eligible for workers’ compensation and/or Royal Bank of
Canada (RBC) insurance under the SAWP. Some workers were able to collect their
wages with the RBC insurance without telling the farmer. Simcoe UFCW MWC staff
would be willing to lead a joint workshop on workers' compensation and RBC.
• St. Rémi (Québec). The needs and requests of workers are the main focus of the centre.
Staff work to ensure laws and resources aimed at migrant workers are applied. As a
result of this, migrant workers are not as afraid to raise their concerns at the centre, and
trust the centre to bring about change. In recent months, two provincial agencies
responded favourably to official complaints launched by UFCW St. Rémi. In September
2006 and for the first time in Québec, the Commission of Labour Relations ruled that a
Mexican migrant worker had been illegally dismissed and ordered the employer to
reinstate him. In October 2006 and again for the first time in Quebec, the Commission of
Health and Safety in the Workplace ruled that a severely injured migrant worker is
entitled to compensation for income lost due to the injury. The centre sought union
certification on three farms employing migrant workers; two have contested the request,
one is negotiating the terms of the collective agreement.
• Virgil. Centre staff have helped migrant workers with counseling, driving and workers’
compensation. The two main objectives of the past season were: 1) to explain health and
safety legislation to workers, and 2) to reach Jamaican and Caribbean workers in the
Niagara region. The latter campaign was successful because the MWC collaborated with
other individuals and organizations, including J4MW.
Workshop participants share their concerns
GUEST SPEAKER PRESENTATIONS
Officials from the federal Human Resources and Social Development Canada and Ontario
provincial Ministry of Labour made presentations and responded to queries from workshop
participants. Their PowerPoint presentations are in Appendices 3 and 4, respectively. The
following summarizes their key points and discussion with participants.
Althea Williams, Manager, Stakeholder Relations, Foreign Worker Program, Human Resources
and Social Development Canada (HRSDC)
In her overview of the SAWP, Althea Williams covered relevant information on the entry of
foreign workers into Canada including the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the
status of Canada’s labour market, the role of stakeholders in the SAWP, and recent SAWP
developments and initiatives. See Appendix 3 for Williams’ presentation.
On December 8th, HRSDC released the Temporary Foreign Worker Guide
(http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/tfw-guide.html) for employers anywhere in Canada except
Quebec. It is directed to employers and workers but may be also helpful for embassies and
consulates, and for immigrants and TFWs – so they know the roles and responsibilities of their
employers. It is not available in Spanish or languages other than English or French, and at this
point there is no plan to translate it into other languages.
SAWP is a small portion of the overall intake of TWFs. Only 20,000 of the 99,000 permits
granted in 2005 were for the SAWP.
Ms Williams explained that the TFWP is not a formal program with its own funding stream and
has not been required to conduct a formal evaluation. While HRSDC does collect data regarding
the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) applications and had information related to employers and
applications for LMOs, the department does not collect data regarding TFWs. Citizenship and
Immigration Canada (CIC) does have data pertaining to TFWs, because it issues the work
permits to the individual workers.
There is very little monitoring and enforcement. However, the government’s November 2006
economic update made a commitment to making improvements to the TFWP, which potentially
(it is not at all certain) may mean that the TFWP could be given an official mandate that could
include a variety of activities including accountability measures.
Ms Williams said she will be developing a government consultation strategy for the TFWP. To
date there have been consultations on low skilled workers. Workers and employers said the
current program does meet their needs to a certain extent. Workshop participants cautioned
against drawing strong conclusions from the consultations because it was only the employers
who were consulted. Organizations serving migrant workers were excluded from the process.
The government recognizes it must speak to embassies and consulates, employers, the provinces
and organizations that work with migrant workers because workers often do not access benefits
to which they are entitled. Because some employers and workers are not aware they do not ask
for it or put in the applications. The government also acknowledges the need to inform
Canadians in general about the program, because Canadians often hold negative perceptions
about it from what they learn from the media.
In response to a query, Ms Williams clarified that the federal government can provide settlement
services to permanent residents and to not-yet-landed confirmed refugee claimants only; it
cannot provide them to TFWs. In the Economic and Fiscal Update 2006, the government
committed to looking at ways to make it easier for Canadian-educated foreign students and
temporary foreign workers to stay in Canada and become Canadian citizens. Whether or not
persons in the low-skilled stream of the TFWP would be eligible for this potential program
stream is not known at this time and depends on how the policy is developed. Currently, there is
no policy in place to develop TFW settlement policies or to implement them through current
The federal government has created working groups in provincial governments in British
Columbia, Alberta and Ontario to look at the TFW programs. There will be working groups
established with other interested provincial governments. These working groups try to
coordinate mechanisms, outreach and information to facilitate the entry of TFWs. The Canada-
Ontario Immigration agreement was signed a few years ago and allows the Government of
Ontario and the federal government to work more collaboratively on immigration and temporary
foreign worker issues
In response to a question, Ms Williams stated that HRSDC has not, as far as she knows,
conducted a formal study of the possibility of links between labour shortages in Canada and the
impact on working conditions of bringing in foreign workers. As part of the LMO process,
Service Canada officials (Economic and Foreign Worker Program officers) may consult with
sector councils, unions and other organizations as appropriate in assessing the potential labour
impacts of the entry of TFWs in an occupation.
Ms. Williams acknowledged that, despite the government’s emphasis on ongoing outreach
activities, many people clearly have not been reached. The government plans to increase its
outreach initiatives. It intends to go into the communities more often to talk to employers about
using the TFWP and to provide workers with information about their rights. In describing how
the government will achieve this, Ms. Williams stated, “we (the government) will have to work
with you (workshop participants) on this.” She closed with a promise to engage stakeholders,
“I’m working on a strategy for consultation and engagement for all stakeholders.” This will
involve launching focus groups among workers, employers and community groups. The groups
will discuss how to improve the TFWP.
Ken Botari, Regional Program Coordinator, Western Region, Ontario Ministry of Labour
Ken Botari gave an overview of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), the
responsibilities of employers and workers, the regulations and guidelines that apply to farming
operations, and MOL inspections. See Appendix 4 for Mr. Botari’s presentation.
In Ontario, three bodies work together in health and safety: MOL, Workplace Safety and
Insurance Board (WSIB) and Farm Safety Association (FSA). As the enforcement agency, MOL
sets, communicates and enforces the act. It does not create safe workplaces; instead, it
intervenes when they don’t work. WSIB is the insurer. FSA is the consultation branch.
The amendments to the OHSA that include agricultural workers came into effect on June 30,
2006. The OHSA applies only to farms with paid workers, including foreign workers and paid
family members. The OHSA is reactive in that labour officers only react after someone has
reported an incident. Once MOL receives a complaint it must investigate. The act does not
apply to incidents that occurred prior to June 30, 2006, and MOL cannot investigate these
Under the OHSA, when an employer becomes aware of an occupational disease/illness or critical
injury or fatality they must report it to MOL within a period of time; if the employer doesn’t
inform MOL/WSIB, there would be penalties. Injured workers can initiate the claim and may
receive compensation without employer being involved. MOL would investigate any critical
injury or fatality of any person or visitor on a farm.
Ministry workers are trained to address the concerns of TFWs. Information about the OHSA
was given to Ontario’s 425 MOL inspectors. In April/May 2006, sixteen officers received three
weeks of training to deal specifically with farming calls. Despite the training, there will be
difficulties in the communication and enforcement of the act due to language barriers and
different people working in MOL year after year.
Anyone calling in to report an incident, including advocates, must give actual names. Names
will be kept confidential. The inspector will call back. Under the Act, the complainant is
entitled to a copy of the report, but must ask for it. This is to discourage competitors from
sabotaging each other. Underreporting of incidents is a problem, but the MOL hopes its emphasis
on public information sessions (such as this workshop) will help workers to get the government’s
Being reactive, the OHSA does not have answers for all possible incidents. It has no precedent
for dealing with workers who become ill from pesticides, with migrant workers who return to
their home country before an investigation is complete, with workers who are fired because they
speak up when employers force them to use illegal chemicals.
Abuse is a criminal matter and should be reported to the police, not the MOL. The MOL’s role
in workplace violence is limited to its prevention.
Workshop participants pointed out that the SAWP workers are told by their labour liaison
officers to report problems to the consulates. Mr. Boltari clarified that consulates have no
responsibilities under the OHSA, only employers do. The MOL does not work directly with the
consulates, but perhaps this is an area that should be investigated.
There are problems with confidentiality and information sharing between enforcement agencies
in Ontario, for example, the MOL and Ministry of Environment, with respect to pesticide issues..
However, there is a new regulatory modernization act currently before the Ontario Legislature
that would allow some information sharing between ministries.
Official MOL documentation is only available in English and French, but there are explanations
available in Mexican Spanish.
WORKSHOP: PREPARING A FUNDING PROPOSAL
Linda Briggs, The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF)
Winning funding proposals are crucial to securing funding, especially given the limited monies
available from donor organizations and increased competition from other non-profit
organizations. Funders want a return on their investment. In her presentation, Linda Briggs
provided a funder’s perspective on what constitutes a solid proposal, and how to build one. (See
Ms. Briggs stressed the following points:
• OTF offers free support to help organizations write proposals.
• OTF funds to impact; it funds to build healthy and viable communities in Ontario.
• OTF grants can run from three months to five years, and up to $75,000/year at the
community level and up to $250,000/year at the provincial level.
• OTF accepts follow-up proposals for different initiatives.
• Organizations can hold one active and one collaborative OTF grant at a time.
Looking for funding sources
• Talk to as many funders as possible.
• Get to know your funders. Make sure you share the same ideological background.
• Don’t compromise the vision of your organization to meet the priorities of the funder.
• Build and maintain a relationship with your funders.
• If your organization seeks funding for advocacy, be sure to check what is allowed
under charitable status. For example, non-partisan individual advocacy for workers
may be funded.
Preparing for the proposal
• If appropriate, seek out formal or informal partnerships and/or a mentor organization
– funders prefer well-connected and well-informed organizations.
• Research other organizations to avoid project duplication and false claims in your
• Use a logic model.
• Ensure the amount requested is related to the size of the organization and the actual
• Ask each funder to define their terminology.
• If sustainability is a criterion, consider what needs to be sustained.
Writing the proposal
• Keep in mind that funders are generalists, so provide them with rich content.
• Talk about your other sources of funding - funders prefer organizations with a
diversified funding base.
• A clear succinct summary is imperative; it shows you are focused. (And review juries
rarely read the entire application.)
• Set modest achievable goals with measurable results – organizations have a legal
obligation to fulfill their promises.
• Have a detailed and specific work plan – don’t forget monitoring and evaluation.
• Do not pad the budget.
• Use plain language.
• Do the “Grandma Test” before submitting the proposal: have someone who knows
nothing about the issues read the proposal.
Submitting the proposal
• Include all requested documentation.
WRAPPING UP AND MOVING FORWARD
In the final session, participants provided feedback on the workshop and suggestions for moving
forward. Comments from the workshop evaluations are summarized in Appendix 6.
“The community workshops were very useful to look outside our world and see what others are
doing in the different communities. The events were interesting and useful.”
– Stan Raper, UFCW
“(The process) has come a long way … there is more understanding and respect … since people
are more familiar with each other.”
– Eren Jimenez, El Sembrador
“There is a lot of synergy in the room … the morning session was informative and corroborated
the fact that we are working in isolation. We need to come together more often for the explicit
purpose of rolling up our sleeves and generating results.”
– Petra Kukacka, ENLACE
• Lots of newcomers and migrants but often not enough access to resources (especially
• MWC staff may have minimal expertise in helping workers apply and receive
• Bike safety is an issue for TFWs.
Positive aspects of the workshop
• Opportunities to engage government officials.
• Recognition that group has come a long way in terms of understanding and respect
from the first workshop.
• Opportunities to network.
Areas of improvement for future workshops
• Leave more time for networking.
• Include HRSDC and MOL representatives in the funding and proposal writing
workshop because their ministries are part of the problem.
• Have more of a focus on issues pertaining to Caribbean workers
• As a future goal: have migrant workers represent themselves at these types of
• Consider interlocking oppressions, for instance race and gender. Looking at history
is critical to understanding the concerns of workers.
• Leave the workshop with a product.
There was a general view that groups
should get together on a regular basis:
groups need to connect to avoid working
in isolation, making mistakes and
duplicating efforts. Future workshops
could include workers and more
government officials. Groups need more
opportunities to network. Future
• Migrant Justice Network
meetings in Quebec and
Alberta in 2007
• “Building Bridges”
conference, University of
Windsor, February 2-3, 2007
Suggestions for next steps included:
• creating an organizational map of each organization’s role and activities. The
workshop report could be a starting point.
• creating a formal, central, neutral body to continue the momentum begun with the
series of workshops (e.g. a council). It was agreed that a small group led by Kerry
Preibisch, University of Guelph, with El Sembrador, ENLACE, J4MW and/or UFCW
would take this process forward.
The workshop concluded with a reminder that all initiatives must be worker-centred.
“What is most important is that which is important to the worker. The workers' only concern is
to send money home. We (the organizations acting on behalf of migrant workers) must be
responsible. Workers need the support of society; we need to involve communities in a serious
– Patricia Perez, UFCW St. Remi
Surname Given name Organization City
Amilpa Fernando ENLACE Community Link Inc. Burlington
Barillas Alexes Albert UFCW MWC, Bradford Bradford
Belcoski Fanny UFCW MWC, Simcoe Simcoe
Belcoski Steve UFCW MWC, Simcoe Simcoe
Botari Ken Ministry of Labour (Ken.Botari@mol.gov.on.ca) St Catherine's
Ontario Trillium Foundation
Briggs Linda (email@example.com) Toronto
Corrales Lester Niagara Christian Assembly (Central Gospel Temple) Niagara on the Lake
Corrales Sandra Niagara Christian Assembly (Central Gospel Temple) Niagara on the Lake
de Vries Jennifer KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives Toronto
Domise Jennifer York University Toronto
J4MW, CURA – Rural Women Making Change, OISE,
Encalada Grez Evelyn University of Toronto Toronto
Farias Jessica J4MW Toronto
Gemma Airissa IAVGO, J4MW Toronto
Gibb Heather North-South Institute Ottawa
Gibb Chris University of Guelph Guelph
Hanley Wayne UFCW Mississauga
Jimenez Eredira (Eren) El Sembrador, Bradford Bradford
Kukacka Petra ENLACE Community Link Inc. Toronto
Lalli Alberto IAVGO Toronto
Lashley Jean El Sembrador Bradford
Leidl Chantelle University of Guelph Guelph
Tambasco Emmanuelle UFCW, El Sembrador Toronto
Muñoz Eduardo UFCW – MWC, Virgil Virgil
Murphy Francis L. Sacred Heart Church, Delaware, Ontario Delaware/Leamington
Perez Patricia UFCW MWC, St Remi, QC St Remi (QC)
Poulton Brent Frontier College Toronto
Preibisch Kerry University of Guelph Guelph
Ramsaroop Chris J4MW Toronto
Raper Stan UFCW – Agricultural Workers Toronto
Rennie Dr. Bob Caribbean Workers Outreach Niagara on the Lake
Rubio Consuelo J4MW/, IAVGO
Sagar Tom El Sembrador, Bradford Bradford
Scantlebury Trish University of Guelph Guelph
Schlabach Mary Ann Caribbean Workers Outreach Niagara on the Lake
Seigel- Migrant Worker Community Program, Leamington-South
Robertson Ann Essex Leamington
Verma Veena Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish Toronto
Vidal Rene UFCW MWC, Leamington Leamington
Vidal Mary UFCW MWC, Leamington Leamington
Warkentin Carolyn South Essex Community Council South Essex
Williams Althea HRSDC (firstname.lastname@example.org) Ottawa/ Hamilton
Zambrano Zully El Sembrador, Bradford Bradford
1 Keynote speaker notes – Veena Verma, Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish
2 PowerPoint presentation – Ann Seigel-Robertson, MWCP, Leamington, South-Essex
3 PowerPoint presentation – Althea Williams, HRSDC
4 PowerPoint presentation – Ken Botari, MOL
5 PowerPoint presentation – Linda Briggs, OTF
6 Summary of evaluation comments