Under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program foreign workers can come to Canada on a temporary basis.
Founded in 1966 the program brings more than 20,000 workers a year to Canada, mostly from Mexico, to work in orchards, greenhouses and vineyard.
Expanded to British Columbia in 2004, the program brought more than 3,000 Mexican workers to the province, with almost half of them headed to the Okanagan and the rest to the Fraser Valley.
The Mexican Consulate in Vancouver informed that of the Mexican workers employed in the Okanagan, about 40% work in the wine industry, 40% in orchards and 20% in vegetables.
Terms of the 2011 contract for Mexican workers in B.C. include:
• Minimum employment of 240 hours for terms of 6 weeks or less and a maximum term of 8 months
• Average minimum work week of 40 hours
• Pay of at least $9.28 per hour for every hour worked harvesting. For work other than harvesting, workers must be paid no less than B.C. minimum wage, currently $8,75
• Employers are to cover roundtrip flights from Mexico City to Canada
• Employers are to provide accommodation
• Employees are to return to Mexico on completion of their authorized work period
Let us know if you have any questions or send us your comments!