Picture of Marie-Anne DAYÉ

Marie-Anne DAYÉ

Conceptrice - Rédactrice

Bilingual local guides for Bas-Saint-Laurent TET

Where’s the nearest ATM? What activities are available in the area? Where can I buy second-hand clothes? All you have to do is open one of the eight information leaflets from the eight MRCs in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region to get the answers.

Text and main photo Marie-Anne Dayé

Elsa Lambert, regional accompaniment agent – immigration at the Collectif régional de développement du Bas-Saint-Laurent, is the instigator of this project. According to her estimates, based on the number of labor market impact assessments (LMIAs) issued to employers and her knowledge of the field, there are between 800 and 900 temporary foreign workers in the region. Most work in food processing and agriculture, and a minority in tourism and catering. Many of them are far from the centers of activity and have little access to resources.

Remote and isolated

TFW in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region face many challenges, starting with isolation. “The distance between farms makes it difficult for workers to access the services and activities we organize for them,” says Elsa Lambert, pointing in particular to the limited availability of public transport. She also believes that this issue of physical mobility can amplify the feeling of isolation already present among some holders of closed work permits, who find themselves unable to change employer.

Photo fournie par Elsa Lambert.

Facilitating access to services

Local pamphlets created for each MRC (Témiscouata, Rivière-du-Loup, Kamouraska, Basques, Rimouski-Neigette, La Mitis, La Matanie and La Matapédia) enable workers to find out about local services such as banking institutions, food and clothing outlets, and big-box stores. What’s more, they complement the general information guide designed by Immigrant Québec, which informs workers of their rights and responsibilities, how to report abuse, and more. “They need to know what services are available to facilitate their passage here, help them settle in the region, improve their living conditions, break their isolation and know that there are networks,” insists Elsa Lambert.

Not only do these tools support TFW, they also help create links between organizations in the region. The Collectif uses the leaflets as “pretext tools”, Lambert illustrates, to meet local players and create partnerships.

The leaflets are available on the Collectif website in French and Spanish.

The project was funded by the Government of Canada.

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