2023 Winner

Harvesting Freedom: The Life of a Migrant Worker in Canada, by Gabriel Allahdua with Edward Dunsworth (Between the Lines, 2023) is the winning entry for the 2023 Speaker’s Book Award. The Honourable Ted Arnott, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, made the announcement at a ceremony at the Legislative Building, Queen’s Park, on October 23rd, 2023.

In this singular firsthand account, a former migrant worker reveals a disturbing system of exploitation at the heart of Canada’s farm labour system. When Gabriel Allahdua applied to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program in Canada, he thought he would be leaving his home in St. Lucia to work in a country with a sterling human rights reputation and commitment to multiculturalism. Instead, breakneck quotas and a culture of fear dominated his four years in a mega-greenhouse in Ontario. This deeply personal memoir takes readers behind the scenes to see what life is really like for the people who produce Canada’s food.

Harvesting Freedom: The Life of a Migrant Worker in Canada will be available for sale at the Legislative Gift Shop and featured in the Legislative Library.