The Role of Housing in the Integration and Wellbeing of Foreign Labour in the Canadian Agri-Food Sector: Experiences of Mexican Seasonal Agricultural Workers in Canada

Helps, William Louis
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University of Guelph

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program is a major component of Canada’s agricultural labour pool which has gained academic attention due largely to concerns over the exploitation and poor mental and physical health outcomes of migrant workers. It has been suggested by multiple authors that the housing provided to workers, which is often on farm properties in rural areas, could be part of the problem, yet there has been little in-depth research about the effects of various housing arrangements. This thesis presents the results of an investigation into these effects through a series of key informant interviews with Mexican Seasonal Agricultural Workers. It presents findings that workers who live further from settlements have poorer ability to access services by themselves and are more socially isolated, but also that this largely depends on the willingness of employers to recognize and respond to their needs.

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, Migrant Workers, Housing, Integration, Healthcare, Labour rights, Agri-Food Sector