When I returned home from school on Friday, my father informed me of a recent CBC documentary that unrealistically depicts the experiences of migrant workers that come to Canada to work in agriculture. The film, titled ‘Migrant Dreams’, claims to portray the lives of migrant workers in Canada, specifically southwestern Ontario, and does so in a manner that labels all farmers with an incredibly negative perception regarding the ways in which their workers are treated.
The documemtary was composed by filmmaker Min Sook Lee, and it is arguable that this woman fails to have a thorough understanding of the migrant worker programs that exist in Canada. I created a post several months ago that addresses the specific migrant worker program my family interacts with titled FARMS, and I created such post solely because far too many individuals are uneducated about how a majority of migrant worker programs operate. I also submitted a letter to Macleans magazine with the same intention, and despite my letter being included in the reader’s opinion section of the magazine, it is apparent that numerous individuals are still misinformed about the ways in which migrant workers are treated in Canada.
There are undoubtedly programs in Canada that fail to treat migrant workers adequately, however it is crucial to acknowledge that such programs are not what a majority of farmers associate with. FARMS for example is a program that ensures migrant workers are treated with respect and are given labour rights, and my family has been affiliated with them for years. When individuals such as Min Sook Lee choose to compose a documemtary that portrays a program that mistreats migrant workers, all farmers are assumed to treat their workers in a similar manner and are therefore all inaccurately stereotyped. This type of behaviour significantly angers me considering a majority of farmers in Canada consciously choose to deal with a program that is respectable and professional, however these very farmers are all assumed to be mistreating their workers as a result of one inaccurate film.
When learning about migrant worker programs in Canada, be sure to personally educate yourself in order to avoid stereotyping and incorrectly labelling farmers. Min Sook Lee, that means you.