Excellent workers but wrong colour of skin : Canada's reluctance to admit Caribbean people as domestic workers and farm labourers
In 1955 and 1966 Canada opened its doors to a limited number of Caribbean domestic workers and seasonal agricultural workers. Canadian government officials remarked that the programmes were part of Ottawa’s aid package to the Caribbean and that they would enhance trading relationships between Canada and the Caribbean, a view which had been echoed by other writers on the topic. This thesis argues that both programmes were instituted after Canada had exhausted all attempts to recruit adequate European labourers. The thesis also argues that both programmes were deliberately designed and executed to ensure that Canada got maximum benefits at low cost. Canada also attached unprecedented conditions to both schemes in an effort to significantly reduce the number of workers recruited. The thesis provides a thorough examination of the proposals by Caribbean governments, together with interest groups from Canada, to persuade Canada to establish these migrant programmes and the excuses and refusals by Canada to those proposals. The thesis documents the increasing recruitment of Mexican agricultural workers at the expense of Caribbean workers which further dispels the view that the migrant programmes were part of an aid package to the Caribbean. The thesis notes that unlike the domestic programme the agricultural programme was not a route towards landed immigrant status.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
SupervisorHandy, James; Waiser, Bill
CommitteeEnglebert, Robert; Porter, John
Copyright DateMarch 2014
Caribbean migrant workers
seasonal agricultural workers
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