Castro, Melina Emilia Cortina

Project title: Impermanent Workers, Permanent Labour: Policy Analysis of Temporary Foreign Workers Programs in BC

Department: Sociology

Faculty supervisor: Dr. Karen Kobayashi

"The government of Canada, in an agreement with the governments of Mexico, Guatemala, and various Caribbean countries, runs the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program. These programs allow thousands of people from the aforementioned countries to work in Canada temporarily, mainly on agricultural farms and construction sites. Under the rules of both programs, foreign workers can enter Canada yearly, but only for a specific number of months. Many of these workers have returned annually for decades, but very few have been given the opportunity to obtain residency and even fewer citizenship. Moreover, published and gray literature (from NGOs) indicate poor living and working conditions, including labour exploitation and social marginalization, that characterize the experiences of these workers in Canada. The objectives of my research, therefore, are to explore how these programs, along with migratory and work policies pertaining to temporary foreign workers in British Columbia, are designed and implemented, and how they impact the quality of life and work experiences of foreign workers."