Officially known as the Tomato Capital of the World, Leamington, Ontario, has a horribly bleak side in Migrant Dreams.
As home to the largest concentration of greenhouses in North America, the town is a magnet for migrant workers around the globe, many of whom end up completely exploited. Southern Ontario isn’t the kind of place you’d expect to see labourers from Mexico literally living on top of each other 26 deep in a converted garage, or Filipino moms paying huge sums to shady labour brokers who’ve convinced them there’s money to be made in Canada.
What all the migrants have in common is that they’re trapped in a system where a living wage is an ever-elusive dream, and where to complain is to risk being sent back home. All too tellingly, greenhouse operators and Canadian federal government officials are among those who refused to be interviewed for the film.