Farmscape for March 21, 2019
The Canadian Meat Council is applauding the creation of an Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Project.
The Government of Canada's Budget-2019, delivered Tuesday, included the announcement of a three-year Agri-Food Immigration Pilot to bring in full-time, non-seasonal agriculture workers.
Marie-France MacKinnon, Vice-President Public Affairs and Communications with the Canadian Meat Council, says the pilot will help address a critical need for workers at Canadian meat processing plants.
Clip-Marie-France MacKinnon-Canadian Meat Council:
We have a huge shortage.
I think the national average right now, we're at 5.5 or 5.6 on employment shortage in Canada and our meat processing sector, we're over the 10 percent mark so there's been a huge employment shortage that triggers down to everybody in the food chain that's affected by this.
We have huge butcher stations that have been left unfilled.
There's positions open all across the country.
A lot of these positions are in rural areas.
As to why, I would love to know but we always say, any Canadian that wants to apply to these jobs, our members will hire Canadians first.
They always want to hire Canadians first, however not everybody wants to work in our sector so there's an education there for us to prove that these jobs are worthwhile.
These are great full time full benefits jobs.
The current program that we've been using, the Temporary Foreign Works Program just doesn't work for us because these our need for labor is not temporary.
These are full time permanent jobs and a program that has a key word temporary in it, you know is not what's going to solve our labor shortage.
This is what we've been asking for and we were thrilled to see an Agri-Food Labor Pilot included in the budget to help us address this critical need.
MacKinnon says the Canadian Meat Council is extremely thankful that the government has recognized the need for this pilot.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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