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Media opportunity: Dalhousie University researchers find migrant workers in Nova Scotia face discrimination, overcrowded housing and wage theft, but also receive support from their home countries in addressing mistreatment

Posted by Communications and Marketing on March 27, 2024 in News

A new study by Dalhousie University researchers suggests that temporary foreign workers in Nova Scotia experienced overcrowded housing, wage theft, discrimination and difficulty accessing health care despite regulations meant to address some of these issues.

The report, led by Dr. Raluca Bejan in Dal's School of Social Work and researchers from St. Thomas University , also found that many of the migrant workers surveyed said they did not have to pay high rents, were able to switch jobs if needed, enjoyed the collegiality of their co-workers and had help from their home states in the examination of occupational mistreatment.

Falling Short: Troubles with the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program in Nova Scotia is the third community report released by the Migrant Workers in the Canadian Maritimes Partnership, and was funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. It is being published today in collaboration with the Nova Scotia branch of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Madhu Verma Migrant Justice Centre and the Cooper Institute.

Researchers interviewed 15 workers from Mexico, all but one of whom were employed under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP). Many said they had to contend with overcrowded accommodations, inadequate pay, lack of health care, and poor to little safety training. Some reported living with 22 people in a home meant for 14, while others said up to 50 people crowded into one lodging without sufficient washrooms or kitchen facilities.

Dr. Bejan is available to discuss the study's findings, recommendations for the provincial and federal governments and the need to enforce existing regulations designed to ensure the health and safety of temporary foreign workers.


Media contact:

Alison Auld
Senior Research Reporter
Communications, Marketing and Creative Services
Dalhousie University 
Cell: 1-902-220-0491 


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