Farmers pushing Ottawa to allow more foreign seasonal workers

Agriculture groups want the federal government to allow more producers to hire foreign seasonal employees to work on farms.

"There are some jobs that we can't get Canadians to do," Norm Hall, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, said Wednesday.

See Full Article

"Having enough employees to get the job done in a timely matter makes more money for agriculture."

The federal government already has a program that allows about 20,000 temporary foreign workers to be hired seasonally in Canada for up to eight months each year, but it applies only to the tobacco, livestock, fruit and vegetable sectors. The program is open to workers from Mexico and some Caribbean countries.

Hall's group and other farm organizations such as the Union des Producteurs Agricoles want Ottawa to expand the program to include other commodities such as grain, oilseeds and maple syrup.

Hall said there is a growing shortage of farm hands as older producers retire and younger people leave rural areas or seek other jobs. But farmers who remain on the land are hoping to expand production.

"There are just not enough farm boys left," Hall said. "It would mean getting the crop in on time, getting it sprayed in time and then getting it harvested on time."

Foreign workers hired under the program are limited to basic jobs such as running farm machinery, looking after animals, planting and harvesting.

They can come back to Canada year after year until they reach the program's cumulative limit of 48 months.

Delegates attending the Canadian Federation of Agriculture annual general meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for expansion of the seasonal program.

They also passed resolutions for the federal government to lift the 48-month limit, to make it easier for foreign seasonal workers to change employers and to simplify the application process.

Producers also want to be able to use more foreign seasonal workers in their processing operations.

Hall said the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is to present the resolutions to the Liberal government later this year.

"We are hoping that the minister and the bureaucracy will look on this favourably and enact as much of it as possible," said Hall, who is also a member of the federation's board of directors.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Transat shares surge after positively revising summer earnings outlook

    Economic CBC News
    Shares of Transat A.T. surged on Monday to the highest level since early 2015 after the travel company signalled that it is having a significantly more profitable summer season than it had expected. The Montreal-based company's shares rose as high as $8.85 on Monday before easing back to $8.70 in intraday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, up 74 cents from Friday's close. Source
  • Losing PC Financial may give Loblaw the chance to merge PC Points with Shoppers Optimum, analyst says

    Economic CBC News
    Another divorce in Canada's loyalty card sector has consumers stuck in the middle asking questions about the future of an industry still bruised by the actions of some of its largest providers. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce announced last week it is severing ties with Loblaw's President's Choice Financial and rolling PC's two million bank accounts into its Simplii Financial brand starting Nov. Source
  • CIBC divorce from PC Financial shines light on bruised loyalty card industry

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Another divorce in Canada's loyalty card sector has consumers stuck in the middle asking questions about the future of an industry still bruised by the actions of some of its largest providers. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce announced this week it is severing ties with Loblaw's (TSX:L) President's Choice Financial and rolling PC's two million bank accounts into its Simplii Financial brand starting Nov. Source
  • Ontario to move ahead with road access into chromite-rich Ring of Fire region

    Economic CTV News
    THUNDER BAY, Ont. -- Premier Kathleen Wynne says Ontario is moving ahead with building roads into the Ring of Fire region. The provincial government has been talking with the chiefs of the Matawa First Nations for years, since it pledged $1 billion in 2014 to fund infrastructure into the chromite-rich area. Source
  • Toronto stock index down slightly, as Canadian dollar strengthens

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The Toronto stock market fell slightly this morning, but held onto its value better than the major American indexes. The S&P/TSX composite index was down 2.38 points to 14,949.95, after 90 minutes of trading. Source
  • Airlines rush to capitalize on eclipse interest with special flights

    Economic CBC News
    Airlines across America were rushing to cash in on the flurry of interest from sky-watchers for a first class seat to Monday's once in a lifetime solar event. Southwest Airlines was touting five special flights targeting sky-watchers eager to get an out of this world view of the solar eclipse set to pass over the United States on Monday. Source
  • China's Great Wall considers bid for Fiat Chrysler Jeep unit

    Economic CBC News
    Chinese SUV maker Great Wall Motors is considering making a bid to buy Fiat Chrysler's Jeep unit, spokespeople for the company said Monday, in a possible ambitious new step onto the global stage for China's fast-growing auto brands. Source
  • Wholesale trade declines in June after 8 months of gains

    Economic CBC News
    Wholesale trade slipped to $61.4 billion in June, Statistics Canada reported Monday, ending an eight-month streak of expanding sales. Sales in the food, beverage and tobacco industries led the way lower, down 1.1 per cent from May's level to $10.78 billion. Source
  • Wholesale sales dip slightly in June, first decline in months: StatsCan

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Canada's wholesale sales declined slightly in June, with the food and auto industries showing the biggest impact. Wholesale sales fell by 0.5 per cent to $61.4 billion, following a series of monthly increases. Source
  • Transat offers sunny Q3 outlook after good start to summer travel season

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Transat A.T. Inc. says it's having a better summer season than expected and its third-quarter results will show "significantly higher" adjusted earnings than during the comparable period last year. The Montreal-based travel company says revenue has been higher than anticipated since mid-June when Transat issued its previous outlook and second-quarter results. Source