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The Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL) is no longer in operation. This website documents FOCAL's activities and accomplishments throughout its existence. Thank you for your interest in the work of FOCAL.

Policy Papers & Briefs 2009

Reforming the Summit of the Americas
Lesley Burns
FOCAL Policy Paper

Governments and Summit organizers value the input that civil society organizations provide in the agenda-setting process leading up to the Summit of the Americas and their participation in parallel forums. Such participation is intended to increase the legitimacy and relevance of the Summits. However, following the Fifth Summit, civil society organizations raised concerns over the effectiveness of this participation. This paper suggests ways in which the consultation process could be reformed to address the concerns expressed by civil society representatives and in turn improve its legitimacy.


Migration and Health: Implications for Development. A Case Study of Mexican and Jamaican Migrants in Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program.
Janet McLaughlin
FOCAL Policy Paper
October 2009

This paper explores the nexus of health and migration for development, focusing on the experience of Mexican and Jamaican migrant workers in Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP), a managed migration program that employs Mexican and Caribbean farm workers throughout Canada. It argues that the SAWP has mixed health and development outcomes for migrants: while generating remittances, which help reduce poverty and address health concerns, the SAWP does not do enough to protect and ensure the long-term health of migrants who work in a precarious industry and live across national borders. Data is based on ethnographic research, including participant observation and qualitative interviews, conducted since 2005 with migrant workers, employers, government officials and health professionals in southwestern Ontario, Canada, central Mexico and southern Jamaica.


Making a Case for Reform: Non-Access to Social Security Measures for Migrant Workers
Barbara MacLaren and Luc Lapointe
FOCAL Policy Paper
October 2009

In times of crisis, non-citizen groups are often the hardest hit. Migrant workers in Canada are no exception. What more can the government and other actors do to address the needs of temporary foreign workers in the future? The authors conclude that access to employment insurance and other forms of social assistance for TFWs is important for a number of reasons. They recommend a number of policy options to address the problem, including: extending systematic access of regular EI benefits to TFWs, offering exit refunds to TFWs in the absence of access to these benefits, or offering financial support and aid for sending government social insurance programs.


Mexico is in the Third Seat at the Canada-US Table
Carlo Dade
FOCAL Policy Brief
January 2009

This brief discusses how the Mexican drug trade and its outcomes affect Canada.


A View of the Hemisphere



Explore the link between governance and development.