Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustices and Activism is a new book that was edited by FCCS professor Shirley McDonald and Bob Bametson. The book is an in-depth look at social, political and economic conditions affecting farm works’ struggles for their rights. The book has received many accolades, including being shortlisted for the 2017 Alberta Book Publishing Awards in the Scholarly and Academic category. The winners will be announced announced at a gala reception at the Delta South in Edmonton on September 15, 2017.
In “Exposing the injustices that lie beneath the Canadian dinner table,” a book review in The Vancouver Sun, Tom Sandborn had this to say about Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustices and Activism:
"The collection of essays gathered by Shirley A. McDonald of University of B.C. Okanagan and Athabasca University’s Bob Barnetson for this book illustrate that many of the deaths and injuries that occur on Canadian farms and in our meat packing plants could be avoided if the workers had a strong union or if safety regulations and inspections in the industry were improved." Read more...
To honour the many faceless and invisible farm workers, Dr. David Swann (MLA Liberal), book contributor Jennifer Koshan (Calgary), and editor Shirley McDonald, will host the annual Farmworkers’ Day in the Faculty of Law (Murray Fraser Hall) at the University of Calgary. There will be a moment of silence for farm workers, who have lost their lives in the performance of their jobs in farming, one of the most dangerous occupations in Canada.
The event will also honour former farm workers now- turned-activists, Eric Musekamp and Darlene Dunlop, whose 15 years of lobbying encouraged the Alberta government to pass Bill 6: The Enhanced Protection of Farm and Ranch Workers Act. The event will host a gathering and contributors to Farm Workers in Western Canada: Injustices and Activism, who will talk briefly about the focus of their respective chapters in the book.
Several labour leaders and members of the media will be on hand to join in a luncheon and book launch on August 21 in University of Calgary’s Law Faculty between 1 and 4 PM.
Shirley A. McDonald teaches at UBC Okanagan. Her research interests combine literature, Canadian history, and life writing. Bob Barnetson is a professor of labour relations at Athabasca University. His research centres on the political economy of employment regulations.