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Janet McLaughlin

Assistant Professor, Health Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University

Janet McLaughlin's research interests include global and environmental health, healthcare access, human rights, food systems and labour.


Farm migrant workers need empowerment - McLaughlin

Researcher Dr. Janet McLaughlin speaks in an exclusive interview with Mosaic Edition on how Farm migrant workers who contribute to Canada's agricultural industry can be empowered.

Why Ontario's Autism Debate Drives Parents To Rage And Tears

The Huffington Post, May 24, 2016Online


It was "the most emotional and heartbreaking in my time at Queen's Park." That's how NDP MPP Catherine Fife described the debate on autism treatment that occurred on May 17...

Waterloo mother happy autism treatment to be based on need, not age

CBC News, June 29, 2016Online


Tuesday was an emotional day for Waterloo mother Janet McLaughlin. She said was thrilled to hear the province backtracked on changes to funding for children with autism. Now, parents feel the government listened to them. "What it means is that my child will hopefully receive the full amount of therapy that he needs based on his clinician's assessment rather than based on his age. And that we will be provided with the support we need to give him that therapy rather than having to pay for it ourselves," she said...

Waterloo parent devastated by changes to the Ontario Autism Program

CNC News, April 7, 2016Online


Janet McLaughlin's son Sebastian, who has autism, has been on a waiting list for almost three years to receive Intensive Behavioural Intervention treatment or IBI. But recent changes to autism treatment announced by the Ontario government means Sebastian, who is turning five this summer, and over two thousand other children in the province are now not eligible for this therapy...

Parents of children affected by Ontario autism therapy changes may take legal action

CBC News, May 18, 2016Online


Parents of children with autism in Ontario are considering legal action after the latest motion to reinstate provincially-funded intensive behaviour intervention therapy for children over age five was rejected at Queen's Park Tuesday...

Ontario’s injured migrant workers lose out on WSIB benefits, critics charge

Toronto Star, December 27, 2012Online


Jeleel Stewart’s left hand was crushed and permanently damaged in a 2008 workplace accident at a Niagara nursery. The migrant farm worker returned to Jamaica but continued his treatment there under Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) coverage.

Medical repatriation' puts sick, injured migrant farm workers out of sight and mind

Toronto Star, October 14, 2014Online


Supporters of Ned Peart have lost the fight for mandatory inquests into the deaths of migrant farm workers in Ontario. But the Jamaican man, crushed to death in a Brantford tobacco kiln, did not die in vain.

Migrant worker crash survivor Juan Ariza closer to residency

CBC, April 30, 2015Online


A Peruvian migrant worker who endured a nightmare after taking a job in Canada is now close to realizing his dream, in what some legal experts are calling a significant move by the government.

Migrant workers to get health-care boost from website

Toronto Star, December 26, 2012Online


Migrant workers are often unable to access health care or workers’ compensation because health- service providers are unfamiliar with migrants’ rights. A new website launches Monday to address that gap.

D'Amato: On autism, Queen’s Park shows its callous side

The Record, April 8, 2016Online


The Ontario government's recent behaviour on autism services surely marks a new low of callousness and deceit "Ontario Investing $333 Million to Improve Autism Services" trumpeted the recent press release from the office of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. It went on to announce shorter wait times for expensive autism treatments...

Autistic children denied hope due to being five

The Toronto Star, April 7, 2016Online


Imagine that your child cannot look you in the eye, wave hello, or tell you he loves you. He has difficulty sleeping and often wakes in the night crying, but can’t tell you why. When he is sick or in pain, he can’t describe what hurts. He gets upset at seemingly random changes in his environment, sometimes to the point of sobbing uncontrollably, but can’t express the reason. You love him beyond words, yet you feel helpless...

Trouble in our Fields: Health and Human Rights among Mexican and Caribbean Migrant Farm Workers in Canada

Published by University of Toronto

2010 Tracing migrant workers’ lives between Jamaica, Mexico and Canada (with a focus on Ontario’s Niagara Region), this thesis assesses how their structural vulnerability as non-citizens effectively excludes them from many of the rights and norms otherwise expected in Canada.


Doctors within borders: Meeting the health care needs of migrant farm workers in Canada

Published by Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ)

2011 Every year, thousands of migrant farm workers, particularly from Mexico and the Caribbean, come to Canada. Although they have the legal right to health care services, they present unique challenges for physicians and other health care providers related to accessibility and needs. This primer describes this population, their principal health concerns and the difficulties they face in accessing health care, and presents tools that might help in managing their care.


Classifying the “ideal migrant worker”: Mexican and Jamaican transnational farmworkers in Canada

Published by Focaal

2010 This article analyzes the ideology and practice of multi-unit competition that pervades neoliberal subjectivities and produces the “ideal” flexible worker within contemporary global capitalism.



Janet McLaughlin is an Assistant Professor of Health Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford Campus, and is a Research Associate with the International Migration Research Centre. Her current research projects investigate access to health care and workers’ compensation for migrant farm workers; gender-based violence against immigrant and migrant women in Canada; sexual and reproductive health of migrant workers; social determinants of health of migrant workers; and the impacts of family separation on migrant workers. Her general research interests include issues of global and environmental health, health care access, human rights, food systems, labour, citizenship and transnational migration in the Americas. Dr. McLaughlin is also involved in several community groups. She is co-founder of the Migrant Worker Health Project and the Waterloo Region Migrant Workers Interest Group.


Postdoctoral Fellowship | Professional

International Migration Research Centre.

Additional Titles and Affiliations

International Migration Research Centre : Research Associate


  • Workers' Compensation
  • Temporary Foreign Workers
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Migrant Farm Workers
  • Labour
  • Human Rights
  • Health Care
  • Global and Envrionmental Health
  • Food Systems
  • Autism Activism


  • University of Sussex
    Human Rights
    M.A., 2004
  • University of Toronto
    Ph.D., 2009
  • University of Guelph
    Development Studies
    B.A., 2002