Seasonal Agricultural Worker
Ken Forth, president of FARMS, a Canadian Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Service says he runs the world's most successful program connecting seasonal workers with agricultural employers. and this year the program has kicked into high gear. The program links approximately 14,000 requests for seasonal workers with jobs at Ontario farms during the growing season. "this program was put in place about 48 years ago to assist farmers to harvest fruit and vegetable crops. It has expanded since then. In 1966 we had 264 workers as an experiment. This year we will have in excess of 17,000 in Ontario alone. There will be probably another 8000 across the country so around 25,000 across the country. It is similar to your H2A program. It addresses the labor needs that we just didn't have here. There is no real number of undocumented workers in Canada so it was these guys or it wasn't anybody. We deal with Mexico and the Caribbean countries, very specific countries, and it works so well because of the cooperation between the supply country government, the government of Canada and the representatives of the farmers. The workers are represented by their countries and the government of Canada makes sure that we adhere to all of the Canadian laws and the farmers are relatively satisfied with all the rules and regulations that make this a secure program.