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Canada to attract more workers to agri-food sector

Canada to attract more workers to agri-food sector

July 12, 2019 – Mississauga – Canada is launching a new 3-year economic immigration pilot that will fill labour shortages, particularly in meat processing and mushroom production, within the agri-food sector and help meet Canada’s ambitious export targets.

“Today we are delivering on something that employers, unions, and migrant workers have been calling on government to do for over a decade – temporary foreign workers who come to this country and work hard filling permanent jobs should have a fair and reasonable chance to become a Canadian regardless of the job they are filling,” informed Rodger Cuzner, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

“This pilot is another example of how immigration is helping to grow local economies and creating jobs for Canadians,” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Canada is committed to attracting the best talent from around the world to fill skill shortages, drive local economies, and create and support middle-class jobs in communities across the country that will benefit all Canadians.

The agriculture and agri-food industry is an important contributor to Canada’s economic growth and vitality, supporting 1 in 8 jobs across the country. Agricultural exports hit a new record in 2018, reaching $66.2 billion.

Over the past several years, industries such as meat processing and mushroom production have experienced ongoing difficulty in finding and keeping new employees.

This new pilot aims to attract and retain workers by providing them with an opportunity to become permanent residents.

The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot complements Canada’s economic immigration strategy, which includes the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, the Global Skills Strategy, a revitalized Express Entry and an expanded Provincial Nominee Program.

“The success of our Canadian farmers and food processors depends on their ability to recruit and retain the workforce they need to capture opportunities at home and abroad. This pilot will help to ensure that employers in the agriculture and agri-food sector have the people they need to get the job done, to help drive our economy and to feed the world,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick facts

  • Employers in the agri-food sector who intend to be part of the pilot will be eligible for a 2-year Labour Market Impact Assessment.
  • Temporary foreign workers will be able to apply under this pilot in early 2020.
  • A maximum of 2,750 principal applicants, plus family members, will be accepted for processing in any given year. This represents a total of approximately 16,500 possible new permanent residents over the 3-year duration of the pilot.
  • Addressing these labour market needs will help key industries in Canada’s specialized agri-food sector grow.

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