GFM Network News


New pilot program for agri-food labour welcomed

Meat processors, greenhouse and mushroom growers, livestock producers get first crack at program

Ottawa — Federal officials hope a new pilot program will help stabilize ongoing labour issues in certain sectors of the agri-food value chain, while also providing citizenship to some foreign workers. Critics, however, contend more support is needed. “This pilot will help to ensure that farmers and processors have the much-needed skills, experience and labour […] Read more

Foreign workers starting to arrive, livestock group says

About 2,000 have recently arrived, several thousand more here soon, feeders say

About 2,000 foreign workers have arrived in Canada in recent weeks and more should be here soon, an official with the National Cattle Feeders Association says. “There are about 4,000 more that are expected to arrive shortly, so the process is starting to work,” Janice Tranberg, the association’s president and CEO, said during a telephone […] Read more


Agriculture foreign workers get new path to residency

Updated, July 15 — The federal government has announced a pilot program that will make it easier for farms and food companies to maintain workers they recruit from around the world. Ahmed Hussen, minister for immigration, refugees and citizenship, announced the program Friday at Maple Leaf Foods in Mississauga. Why it matters: There’s a labour […] Read more

Canada may delay foreign worker limits as packers, farms face squeeze

Winnipeg | Reuters — Canada may delay implementing new restrictions on the use of foreign workers as farmers and meat processors warn of severe labour shortages in one of the world’s biggest agricultural exporters, the employment minister said. Employers have reported difficulty finding workers despite a 7.1 per cent unemployment rate. Many Canadians resist jobs […] Read more


Foreign worker break for seafood sector a ‘one-time’ deal

Winnipeg | Reuters –– Canada’s move to loosen restrictions on hiring foreign workers for East Coast seafood plants was a one-time decision, and the government is not convinced other sectors need similar measures, the country’s employment minister said Thursday. The Liberal government eased restrictions under its foreign worker program recently for Atlantic seafood processors, allowing […] Read more

Cargill's High River plant is struggling to find workers after changes to the temporary foreign worker program.

Déjà vu all over again at Alberta’s largest meat-packing plants

Food processors hit hard by recent changes to the temporary foreign worker program

How will recent changes to the temporary foreign worker program impact agriculture’s ability to compete for labour? Paul Wannet, human resources manager for Cargill Meats in High River, knows — and he’s been through it before. The situation was dire for Alberta’s largest meat-packing plant in 2007 when the temporary foreign worker program renewal came […] Read more


Abuse of temporary foreign worker program could spell trouble for farmers

Alberta’s labour shortage has made hiring temporary foreign workers more attractive for farmers — but visas are harder to get

Producers may have a harder time getting foreign worker visas following recent allegations that McDonald’s is abusing Canada’s temporary foreign worker program. “It’s getting more difficult (to hire foreign labour),” said Al Dooley, agriculture labour recruiter with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. “We’ve seen, from the program’s point of view, some bad news stories, and […] Read more