News and Events

Temporary Foreign Workers Project Update

Cooper Institute continues its work with Temporary Foreign Workers in PEI

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Since the fall of 2010 Cooper Institute has been working to build knowledge about the growing numbers of temporary foreign workers (TFW’s) in PEI. There were 297 TFW’s in PEI in 2007, and this number continues to rise steadily, reaching 825 in 2011.

As this is a federal program with very little provincial administration, there was a clear need for a community-based knowledge-building project to determine the on-the ground reality of these workers in PEI.

Since the fall of 2010 Cooper Institute has been working to build knowledge about the growing numbers of temporary foreign workers (TFW’s) in PEI. There were 297 TFW’s in PEI in 2007, and this number continues to rise steadily, reaching 825 in 2011. As this is a federal program with very little provincial administration, there was a clear need for a community-based knowledge-building project to determine the on-the ground reality of these workers in PEI.

Through ongoing consultations with community members, TFW’s, employers, and other affiliated individuals, as well as additional research, Cooper Institute is working to build a comprehensive picture of the realities facing temporary foreign workers in PEI and the communities who host them. As a community development organization, Cooper Institute’s research is community-based, with an emphasis on relationship-building. As such, we aim to pass the knowledge we have gained back to the communities directly affected by it through interactive workshops. The first of these workshops took place in Murray Harbour on February 27th.

After months of collaboration and consultation with the community members, a session was held that aimed both to offer information, and to engage the community. Murray Harbour is particularly notable for the high degree of community integration and support for TFW’s. For 2012 there are several aspects of the project: A preliminary plain-language report will be produced an distributed regarding the findings regarding TFW’s in PEI in 2011 A project regarding dificulties specifically affecting women TFW’s will be initiated. A greater emphasis on supporting workers in PEI through the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program will be initiated. Continued community engagement through action research and interactive workshops. This project would not be possible without the significant support of Cooper Foundation, the Campbell Webster Foundation, the Interministerial Women’s Secretariat, the Latin American Mission Fund, and Women for Environmental Sustainability.