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Absconding Local Workers In Canadian Farm Programme A Cause For Concern

Saint Lucians who travel to Canada to participate in that country’s seasonal farm workers programme but then abscond, are a source of concern to the Ministry of Labour here.

“They can jeopardise our participation,” Labour Minister, Stephenson King said during an interview aired on Radio Caribbean International (RCI).

King disclosed that it was for that reason that his ministry is attempting to ‘tighten up’ the processing of recruiting Saint Lucians who take part in the farm workers programme.

The minister explained that last year this country accessed a new Canadian farm which requested 12 Saint Lucian workers.

He said Saint Lucia supplied the workers, but two of them went missing.

However King said this has not affected Saint Lucia’s ability to take part in the farm workers programme.

“In fact when I visited Canada in September, we met with the farmer – the employer and  they were quite happy with the remainder of the workers,” the Labour Minister told RCI.

“You see persons more or less going ‘AWOL’ as we call it, is a common thing in the Canadian programme. It is a common thing in foreign worker programmes where persons use the  opportunity to get into a system they believe is more lucrative or more encouraging to them,” King stated.

The seasonal agriculture workers programme in Canada started in 1966 with Jamaican nationals and ten years later, spread to other Caribbean Islands.

According to reports, the Caribbean supplies Canada with some 10,000 farm workers for periods of 3 or 8 months and now, two years.

Saint Lucia supplies some 300 workers.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I strongly believe that our ministry of Agriculture can invest in agriculture in St Lucia instead of sending our men in horrible weather and poor housing conditions for little money The technology needed can be sourced from Tawain Give the farmers loans, resources ,feed ourselves get markets to send our products That is what goverment is there for I dislike that programme so much That is how the first case of HIV came to our shores

    • Farmers were given loans, equipment, concessions and every other perk imaginable. The vast majority of them squander and end up with very little in the end. Stupid is stupid.

    • The PM believes the young people should get academic degrees they should get “skills”. So that probably explains their pride

    • agreed. they dont comprehend. we good to import for farming but not good enough to stay as citizen. slavery in our face.

  2. We as Lucians don’t know what we want. If someone is not working and they get an opportunity to make an honest day’s living then why not. We make excuses for our lazy ass people. The persons are not forced to work. They apply freely. When will we come to grips with reality?

  3. We have workers that are not farmers,the generation of farmers is finished.We have a lot of young people with out a job a bit of money can allways help.but for manny the brains are not there,yes we can call it slave work,the bed has no silk sheets,the food is not lobster and prime ribs,but for manny its a good experience still

  4. I feel for those farm workers. Because farm work in Canada is not what they make u believe. It is more than day slavery my people in our face. We can be Jamaican, Mexican Colombian, st.Lucian, Salvadorian. Let us not forget what our ancestors went though 400 yrs ago.to our government let invest in our country I’m willing to put my back into the hard work for the betterment of my country. If farm work in Canada is such a blessing’why is it The Canadian are not working on the farms. There is so much to be said. Again ask not what ur country can do for u’ but what u can do for ur COUNTRY.

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