A group of female farmers currently in Canada is desperately pleading with the relevant authorities to grant them their exemption to return home as they have no money to survive in a foreign country.
One of the farmworkers, Calayer Awong reached out to the Guardian Media in an attempt to get their pleas heard by the Minister of National Security, Stuart Young in granting them an urgent exemption.
“It’s seven of us, all women between the ages of 29 to 45. We came to Canada in January before the borders were closed and didn’t have to sign any waiver. As a farm worker one is only entitled to work up to eight months after which the visa is expired along with the work permit. However our work permit has already been expired which leaves our visa valid for a short while,” Along said.
“If we are not granted exemptions soon I am afraid that we will be deemed illegal and it will have repercussions that may stop us from being on the farm programme. We are currently in a hotel since last month awaiting exemptions that would have already been submitted by the Ministry of Labour and our liaison officer in Canada. To date no approvals have been granted,’ she added.
Among said most of them already sent the salaries that they worked for back home to support their families.
“We have sent monies home leaving us without any more money to purchase food. This has been the 4th or 5th time since applying for exemptions and the date keeps getting pushed back.”
The group of women is currently based in Alberta and is no way affiliated with the farm workers in Toronto.
“On Tuesday we got a call stating that Trinidad isn’t responsible for our accommodation and the employer that we came to work for said that they are not responsible because our contract with them is over so from today (Wednesday) we have to pay for our own hotel which we already cannot afford and adding to which, we can’t afford to buy food.”
Awong said this means that returning home is a matter of urgency.
“Please grant us our exemptions to return home to our families as it is tough for us here,” Awong said.