Poll suggests Canadians support pathway to permanency for temporary migrant workers

OTTAWA – A Nanos Research poll, commissioned by Senator Ratna Omidvar and Senator Rob Black and released Dec. 10, found that more than eight in 10 Canadians would support (40%) or somewhat support (41%) providing a way for temporary migrant workers to remain in Canada.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, temporary migrant workers have been essential in keeping Canadians safe, healthy, and fed. Although temporary foreign workers pay into the same benefits as domestic workers, in some situations they have difficulty accessing benefits, due in part to the precarious nature of their immigration status.

“We need more concrete and equitable improvements to our migrant worker programs. Since the workers are essential to our well-being and safety, then the safest, prudent and the most humane way forward is to provide them with more permanent residency options”, says Senator Omidvar.

The poll also showed that the vast majority of Canadians agree (71%) or somewhat agree (22%) that temporary migrant workers are essential contributors to the agricultural sector in Canada, and that they should be entitled to the same benefits and protections as any other worker (51% agree, 28% somewhat agree). Canadians and Canadian farmers are highly dependent on temporary migrant workers as they account for 17% of total employment in the sector.

“The pandemic has highlighted the fact that temporary migrant workers and seasonal agricultural workers are essential to Canada,” said Black.

“We are calling on the Government of Canada to look for pathways to permanency for essential workers, should they so desire,” the senator added.

The time is now to implement opportunities and pathways to permanency for those temporary migrant workers interested in permanent residency.

Full results of the poll can be found at https://www.nanos.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/2020-1738-Senator-Omidvar-Black-October-Omni-Populated-Report-with-Tabs.pdf.

The survey methodology is considered accrate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.