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Red Meat Sector Applauds Changes to Foreign Worker Programme

13 January 2017, at 12:00am

CANADA - The Canadian Meat Council is applauding changes announced last month to Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Programme.

In a report tabled in September, the House of Commons Committee on Human Resources made 21 recommendations for improving Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Programme.

Last month, the federal government eliminated a provision which required temporary foreign workers to leave Canada for four years after working in Canada for four years and is expected to respond to the remaining recommendations by the end of January.

Ron Davidson, the Director for International Trade, Government and Media Relations with Canadian Meat Council, says, unless we are able to properly staff our meat processing plants farmers will not have a place to have their animals processed and the plants will be unable to remain competitive.

Ron Davidson-Canadian Meat Council:

The change to the four year rule that was announced late last year is a welcome change.

Although our companies endeavor to transition temporary foreign workers into permanent residents before four years, this isn't possible in all cases because workers may not have completed sufficient language training or there may not be sufficient slots available in the permanent residents programme.

We are also very positive about the recommendation that the programme should do a much better job than it does now of recognizing sectors and locations where there is a chronic ongoing shortage of Canadian workers.

Currently the programmes are very all encompassing and the reality is that all encompassing does not serve the Canadian rural communities well and are particularly punished when we are unable to get workers to leave urban locations and move to rural locations to do this kind of work.

Mr Davidson notes, the government continues to review all of its programmes and the hope is that the changes required to keep our plants functioning and competitive will be approved.

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