El Contrato: Mexican Migrant Labour in Southern Ontario
I’m too busy to watch this NFB documentary about Mexican migrant labourers in southern Ontario, but Jane’s watching it and it looks sooper interesting:
I used to work the friday night shift at the local office supply store in Collingwood, and for a certain stretch in the summer that’s when the Jamaican orchard pickers would roll into town, looking to buy stuff to take home with them. Cross-cultural perplexity inevitably ensued, good times to be sure. There were also local orchards that employed Mexicans under a similar arrangement, but for some reason they never showed up in towne. More recently, Vantreight farms employed a parallel Mexican migrant crew during daffodil picking season, but they never mingled them with us local pickers.
The particular legal exemptions that allow migrant agricultural workforces in Canada have always seemed murky and more than a little suspect. CBC Victoria once did a decent radio program on the Mexican workers at Vantreight, and the managers there had some reasonably reassuring things to say. I’m really looking forward to watching this doc, eventually.