GFM Network News


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Grain, seed corn growers get access to seasonal worker program

Maple syrup also added to national commodity list

Growers of grains, oilseeds and seed corn and maple syrup producers may be able to get in on the federal Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) for the 2021 season. Federal Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough announced Nov. 27 the national commodity list (NCL) would be expanded to include seed corn, oil seed, grains and maple syrup […] Read more

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Foreign worker isolation support extended

Federal program extended alongside federal restrictions

The federal program helping employers of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) cover the costs of isolating new workers for two weeks on their arrival in Canada has been extended through November. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced Monday that the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program will now run to Nov. 30, as the government […] Read more


(CBSA via YouTube)

TFW program to be overhauled after COVID-19 outbreaks on farms

"The piece that's missing is enforcement"

Winnipeg | Reuters — Canada is overhauling its temporary foreign worker program, a government spokeswoman said on Friday, after coronavirus outbreaks on Ontario farms sickened hundreds and led Mexico to demand assurances of proper safeguards. As part of the review, surprise inspections of working and living conditions on farms will immediately increase, Ashley Michnowski, communications […] Read more

File photo of a quality control check on fresh peppers in a Canadian vegetable packing plant. (Jeffbergen/E+Getty Images)

Laid-off foreign workers may get conditional clearance for other jobs

Workers allowed to start new jobs while permits are processed

Approved temporary foreign workers (TFWs) whose jobs disappeared before they could begin work in Canada this spring can now get much quicker approval to start at other workplaces, including farms, where the workers are needed. The federal government said Tuesday it will, effective “immediately,” temporarily waive its rule requiring a TFW to receive federal approval […] Read more


File photo of a New Brunswick blueberry field in autumn. (EdCorey/iStock/Getty Images)

New Brunswick ag groups rip province’s ban on foreign workers

Risk during pandemic 'simply too great,' premier says

New Brunswick farmers who employ temporary foreign workers (TFWs) are calling for the provincial government to reverse its new COVID-19-related ban on entry of TFWs who haven’t yet arrived. The provincial government on Tuesday updated a mandatory order under its pandemic state of emergency to restrict TFWs from entering the province. The new restriction doesn’t […] Read more

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council found there were 63,000 unfilled positions in the ag sector last year.

Canada’s farm labour crisis keeps getting worse

The worker shortage has doubled in the last 15 years and will double again in the next decade

Reading Time: 5 minutes Agricultural labour shortages across Canada have doubled over the past 10 years and could double again by 2029. In its most recent labour market forecast, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council found there were 63,000 unfilled positions in the sector last year — up from 30,000 unfilled positions in 2004. And that number is expected […] Read more



(CBSA via YouTube)

Duration limit lifted from foreign worker program

Canadian farm groups are among the sectors hailing Ottawa’s decision to axe the cumulative duration rule, or “four-in, four-out” policy, which stood to sideline temporary foreign workers from the Canadian market. The federal government announced last Tuesday (Dec. 13) it would lift the restriction, effective immediately. The cumulative duration rule had been in place in […] Read more


Ray Price, Sunterra Meats.

The other side of the temporary foreign worker story

Sunterra Meats has helped dozens of ‘temporary’ employees become 
permanent residents — and they’re revitalizing the town of Trochu

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ottawa’s decision to grandfather the number of temporary foreign workers is being welcomed by food-processing companies. “It’s good news to the extent that we won’t have to send anybody back,” said Ray Price, president of Sunterra Meats, which runs farms, markets, and a small meat-processing plant in Alberta. Federal Employment Minister Mary Ann Mihychuk announced […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

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