The first group of Mexicans within the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) arrived to Canada on April 9, after reaching an understanding with federal Canadian authorities, provincial governments and employers, to safeguard their right to health and labour rights under the extraordinary contingency measures currently in effect. The arrival of these workers, who have been deemed essential due to their fundamental role in ensuring food supply in Canada, shows Mexico’s support to the Canadian productive sector.

 

Upon their arrival, workers will comply with a mandatory quarantine for 14 days, time during which they will receive a salary and be exempt from any expenditure arising from this period of isolation. They will also have guaranteed access to medical services if needed.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Canada is the world’s fifth largest exporter of agricultural goods, and this sector represents a central part of its economy and social fabric. The SAWP facilitates the mobility of more than twenty-seven thousand Mexican workers per year, with Mexico being the main country of origin of foreign workers in this sector.

 

Bearing in mind its importance and mutually beneficial nature, the reactivation of this Program amid the health crisis also reaffirms Mexico’s commitment with one of its main allies, and is a tangible expression of the principle of solidarity guiding the actions of our country during this global crisis.

 

Providing consular protection is a priority for Mexico’s foreign policy. As such, through the Embassy and the Consular Network in Canada, we will continue working along with the SAWP stakeholders, including the authorities and civil society organizations, to ensure the well-being of workers during their stay in Canada.

 

Ottawa, Canada, April 9, 2020

 

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