Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Manitoba to provide health benefits to seasonal migrant workers

  • Print
Edwin Juarez (from left), Jose Chinchilla, and Omar Gomez demonstrate work done by actual migrant workers at the Manitoba legislature today. Migrant workers were afraid of being deported if they spoke out about their work, so community members protested on their behalf. The workers were calling on the Manitoba government to provide health care to them, which the province announced it would do.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Edwin Juarez (from left), Jose Chinchilla, and Omar Gomez demonstrate work done by actual migrant workers at the Manitoba legislature today. Migrant workers were afraid of being deported if they spoke out about their work, so community members protested on their behalf. The workers were calling on the Manitoba government to provide health care to them, which the province announced it would do. Photo Store

The province shocked advocates rallying outside the legislature for Manitoba’s migrant farm workers today when Immigration Minister Christine Melnick announced health coverage will now be provided for the estimated 400 seasonal workers who plant and harvest Manitoba produce every year.

"This will give workers great peace of mind," said Jennifer deGroot with the Migrant Worker Solidarity Network. "I’m shocked. I’m thrilled."

The workers in the federal Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program come from Mexico and Caribbean countries. They have been paying for private health insurance, and they contribute to Employment Insurance although they are ineligible for those benefits and the Canada Pension Plan.

"Our government recognizes the hard and physically demanding work done by seasonal agricultural workers and we have heard the challenges they have faced with accessing health care," said Melnick.

"Manitoba’s economy relies on seasonal agricultural workers and we compete with other provinces to attract them here, which is why we’re changing our health coverage, to be in line with that already offered in Saskatchewan."

 

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

City Beautiful trailer: How architecture shaped Winnipeg's DNA

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A red squirrel peaks out of the shade in a tree in East Fort Garry, Sunday, September 9, 2012. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local- (Standup Photo). Watcher in the woods. A young deer peers from the forest while eating leaves by Cricket Drive in Assiniboine Park. A group of eight deer were seen in the park. 060508.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Premier Greg Selinger resign?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google