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Canada reviewing allegations Ontario farm wrongfully dismissed migrant workers

The federal government says it is investigating allegations that a farm in southwestern Ontario sent six Jamaican seasonal workers home earlier than planned after they protested their living and working conditions. 

Employment and Social Development Canada says it is currently reaching out to its counterparts with the Jamaican government to better understand the allegations involving the farm in Norfolk County. 

An advocacy group supporting the migrant workers says the six men allege they were abruptly dismissed this month after a one-day protest over living conditions that included a clogged toilet and a flooded bunkhouse that weren’t properly addressed by the employer. 

Chris Ramsaroop of Justice for Migrant Workers says the workers also allege that they did not get appropriate breaks while working at the produce farm. 

Ramsaroop says being sent back to Jamaica earlier than planned is a financial blow to the workers, some of whom have been coming to Canada as seasonal workers for years. 

Jamaica’s ministry of labour and social security says it is conducting its own review of the matter.

The farm did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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