Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Inclusion, Exclusion, and Migrant Farm Labour in Canada

Contributor Dunsworth, Edward
Date 2020-09-22


The history of farm labour in Canada has been profoundly shaped by questions of inclusion and exclusion – especially at the border. Drawing on transnational research on Ontario’s tobacco workforce and looking in particular at migrations from the southern United States and the Caribbean, this talk will demonstrate how often-racist immigration policies and labour practices determined not only who could enter the Canadian farm labour market, but also the conditions of workers’ participation and their ability to attain a decent livelihood. Edward Dunsworth is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University. A historian of migration, labour, and Canada in the world, his current book project uses a case study of Ontario’s tobacco sector to advance a significant reinterpretation of the histories of farm labour and temporary foreign worker programs in Canada. This talk was delivered Sept. 18 [2020] as the first talk in the 2020 Shannon Lecture series; the theme for this year's series is 'Human Rights in the History of Canada'.