Outreach centre works for the underprivileged

Increasing public awareness also part of the program for Penticton and Area Outreach Centre’s mission to assist all migratory workers

Sandi Diaz-Hart

The Penticton and  Area Outreach Centre hired Sandy Diaz-Hart as a rural advocacy outreach worker. She is part of a team that provides assistance and services to marginalized people in the region’s rural areas. Funding for the past two years has provided Diaz-Hart with part time work – 12 hours per week – to perform the services, but she volunteers much more time than that because of her passion for the foreign workers cause.

“Our job is also to help inform the community of the problems faced by these people,”  said Penticton Women’s Centre Coordinator Bernadette Otto.

“The farmworkers issue – both foreign and domestic -is a perennial one. We are concerned about the fact that these temporary farmworkers are expected to pick fruit all day, and not given an opportunity to even wash their hands before lunch. They have no means to maintain cleanliness. These are community issues –  including such things as lack of accommodation. If workers arrive in the area to harvest cherries, and they are late, what do they do with their time? Where do they stay, during the periods where there is no work?”

 

The women’s centre receives funding from various foundation grants and anonymous donations.

“We really have to inform  the federal and provincial governments as to what the issues are – we need a study to show them what is happening,” she said, noting that communities tend to be silent on the issue.

 

“The federal government, who run the foreign workers program, need to be accountable,   inspecting the conditions that the workers face,”  she added.

For regional communities affected by transient labour issues, the transient issues tend to be seasonal in nature, which is a problem in itself. Problems begin with the arrival of the workers in the spring, peaking in late August and early September, diminishing  with the departure of the workers after harvest. The issue is then largely forgotten until the following spring, when the cycle begins all over again.

Otto expressed a desire to meet with other local interest groups and governments with the purpose of working towards a solution to migratory workers’ issues.

 

Just Posted

Car catches fire while being towed by motor home on Hwy. 97

The incident occured just north of Sage Mesa Rd., no injuries have been reported

Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee supports added regulations, rezoning of Three Blind Mice

The recommendations will be presented to Penticton city council at an upcoming meeting

Rain in the forecast for much of the Southern Interior

Rain for much of the day in most areas clearing in the evening

South Okanagan wildfire monitored closely for hot spots

The Eagle Bluff wildfire, north of Oliver, is classified as held

Warmer fall weather could extend wildfire season: AccuWeather

Above seasonal temperatures are expected throughout September, October and November

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

Swimming advisory issued for Summerland beach

Bacterial counts exceed guidelines

B.C. Pizza Huts raise over $100,000 for Type 1 diabetes research, prevention

The fundraising is part of its annual Sun Life Walk to Cure Diabetes

Civil claim filed over motocross track west of Summerland

Track was constructed on agricultural land around 2016

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read