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Jamaican migrant worker granted federal health care after being fired from Nova Scotia farm

August 14, 2023
The Canadian Press

Photo: Adobe Stock

A migrant worker who was diagnosed with cervical cancer shortly after arriving in Nova Scotia has been granted health insurance under a federal program.

Kerian Burnett arrived from Jamaica in April 2022 to work on a strawberry farm, and says she was fired after her cancer diagnosis and left without medical coverage.

Her lawyer, Thiago Buchert, says that after nearly eight months Burnett has been admitted to the interim federal health program.

Buchert says other provinces provide migrant workers with public health coverage, but migrants in Nova Scotia must have a one-year work permit to be eligible for care.


Stacey Gomez, with migrant advocacy group No One Is Illegal — Nova Scotia, says Burnett’s case is a win, but highlights the need for a permanent solution.

The group is calling on the Nova Scotia government to provide health-care coverage to all migrant workers in the province.

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