March 15, 2010
It has recently come to my attention that a number of employers are concerned about the integrity and longevity of the F.A.R.M.S. program.  As is typically the case, the media has led the public to believe that changes will take place within the migrant worker program.  What they neglect to clarify is that the majority of the issues in the news today concern the low-skills program and not the F.A.R.M.S. program. However, both are all being painted with the same brush.  

Our government, during recent regional and national meetings, assured us (the employers) that the F.A.R.M.S. program will continue to provide a labour force. In light of our current economic situation, HRSDC has asked that employers show due diligence in hiring Canadian labour, if the opportunity presents itself. They will, by no means, reduce the number of migrant workers approved to any one farm due to our economic state.

The F.A.R.M.S. program has become the standard other programs try to emulate. It has been a model of success for over 40 years, and will continue to do so.

I’m very pleased to report that after three years of intensive pressure by all the F.A.R.M.S. representatives, we have succeeded in acquiring a new recoverable cost for the employer. This is very much needed given the wage increases over the past couple of years. This recoverable cost applies to the Caribbean work force, however, we anticipate that Mexico will follow suit sometime in the future. The Mexican government is under incredible pressure to agree, as we’re certain their numbers will decrease if they do not comply.

In summation, the F.A.R.M.S. program is stable and will continue to assist all eligible farmers in their needs. Do not let the media’s misinformation concern you. Feel free to call me direct if you have any questions or concerns.
Betty-Anne Gifford
F.A.R.M.S. representative – nursery,
905-683-8211, cell, 905-261-5474, or email