After complaints of bad labor conditions in Ontario, Jamaican officials were so alarmed that they launched an investigation into Canadian treatment of Jamaicans. Part of this was done in the way of interviewing many Jamaicans, some of whom have been voluntarily traveling to Canada for years to work on an Ontario farm.
The Jamaican fact-finding report into the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) found that a large proportion of Jamaican farm workers have a positive view of SAWP, and the vast majority of Ontario farm employers using the program are operating within its parameters.
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) welcomed the report. Despite the incessant accusations about Ontario farms from activist groups, the report categorically states that no evidence was found to support activist claims that the program’s working conditions were akin to ‘systemic slavery,’ said the fruit and vegetable growers in a public statement. “It was these dramatic allegations that triggered the thorough independent investigation of SAWP by a Jamaican government taskforce last year.”