Google Translate:

Switch Language:

Eastern Caribbean Liaison Service

Canada stands among the top exporter of agricultural products in the world with a value of more than USD$60 billion of exports in 2016. In 2018, the agriculture sector generated around 269 000 farming jobs in Canada. The size of the average Canadian farms (about 800 acres or 3 km2) has increased over time including some farms that cover thousands of acres.

However, farm owners face multiple challenges in hiring local manpower. The work conditions, the location of the farms in remote areas, and the seasonal aspect of the job are among some of the most common reasons why local workers have demonstrated such reluctance. As a consequence, the government of Canada is working closely with multiple countries in order to provide job opportunities to foreign workers. In 2018, almost 55,000 temporary foreign workers were employed in the agriculture sector in Canada. 

The Eastern Caribbean Liaison Service (ECLS) aims to secure farming jobs in Canada for Nationals of the OECS by working in close collaboration with the Ministries of Labour of participating Member States and the Canadian Government. 

Facilitating access of Nationals of the OECS to farming jobs in Canada is a unique opportunity that has brought multiple benefits to the economies of the participating OECS Member States, along with the thousands of workers and their families over the recent years.

Objectives of the Eastern Caribbean Liaison Service (ECLS)

In order to secure farming jobs in Canada for Nationals of the OECS, the Eastern Caribbean Liaison Service pursues four (4) priority objectives including:

  • increasing employment opportunities in Canada each year through the Canada-Caribbean Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SWAP),
  • facilitating the access of women to agricultural jobs through the SWAP,
  • developing secondary & non-agricultural pilot programs (including poultry processing, egg farming and bee-keeping) and,
  • harmonizing policy guidelines for Ministries of Labour to administer the program. 

Key achievements

The work undertaken by the Eastern Caribbean Liaison Service over the years has led to the following key achievements:

  • 3,623 Nationals of the participating OECS Member States have had the opportunity to work in the agricultural sector in Canada between 2014 and 2018,
  • 826 workers were recruited through the program in 2019,
  • unemployment was reduced in participating Member States,
  • financial gains were recorded as a result of workers’ remittances,
  • the number of workers who were able to start their own farm production on their return to the participating Member States increased. 


Olaf Fontenelle,
Head of the Eastern Caribbean Liaison Service
Tel: (416) 222-1988

Charmaine Williams
Liaison Officer
Tel: (416) 222-1988

Daphne St. Cyr Telesford
Administrative Assistant
Tel: (416) 222-1988

Sandra Bobb
Programme Assistant
Tel: (416) 222-1988

Edwin Pascal
Liaison Assistant 
Tel: (416) 222-1988

Subscribe to OECS Newsletter