CANADA - The federal government has announced plans to launch a full-scale review of the recently revised Temporary Foreign Worker Programme.
Ron Davidson, the Director of International Trade, Government and Media Relations with the Canadian Meat Council, says two key changes to the programme that have hurt meat processors were the annual reductions in the allowable number of foreign from 30 per cent to 20 per cent to 10 per cent and the reduction in the period of time foreign workers could remain in Canada from 2 years to 1 year and in the renewal from 2 years to 1 year.
Ron Davidson-Canadian Meat Council:
We believe that we should be able to have access to foreign workers when demonstrably we have proven that there are not sufficient Canadians ready and willing to do the work and we have lots of evidence of this.
We are scouring the country, as we have been for years, for new immigrants, for refugees, for unemployed, for aboriginals, for youth to work in our plants and most of the workers in the plants are from Canadian origin but they just aren't sufficient.
We believe, when there is a demonstrated chronic long term shortage, that we should be able to access sufficient foreign workers to keep our plants sustainable and competitive in the international market place because under the current system not only are our plants suffering but everybody in Canada is suffering the impact of not being able to fill these positions.
Mr Davidson says we have plants today that missing opportunities to produce more value added products and export those products because they are operating with empty positions so the timing of the review is important.
He says it's even more important as we look forward to the opportunities that will be created by the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the new trade agreement with the European Union.
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