GFM Network News


Health minister calls treatment of some farm workers a ‘national disgrace’

Ministers discussing changes to Canada's TFW program

Ottawa | Reuters — The treatment of migrant workers in Canada by some farmers is disgraceful and the federal government is seeking to fix the problem, the country’s health minister told a parliamentary committee on Friday, as farms battle COVID-19 outbreaks among their employees. Outbreaks of coronavirus infections have killed three people and infected hundreds […] Read more

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


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

Increased federal support for TFWs welcomed

Ottawa — The Canadian Horticultural Council says Monday’s federal announcement offering $50 million to help cover the extra costs associated with importing foreign workers this year is welcomed support. “We are finding that there are a lot of increased costs this year with COVID-19 and bringing in the employees, so having the extra money will […] Read more


Plans in development to get temp foreign workers into Canada

Maximum stay for 'low-wage' stream workers extended to two years

Canada now plans to seek authorizations for flights to get foreign temporary and seasonal farm workers into the country, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said Saturday. The federal government said this week that temporary foreign workers (TFWs) and workers coming to Canada under the Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program (SAWP) will be exempt from the current federal […] Read more

Temporary foreign workers exempt from Canada’s travel ban

Ag groups feared TFWs, SAWP employees might not be admitted in time

Farm workers coming to Canada under programs for temporary and seasonal workers will be exempt from a ban on foreign nationals entering the country. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday that effective Wednesday, foreign nationals from all countries except the U.S. would be temporarily prohibited from entering Canada, in response to the evolving COVID-19 coronavirus […] Read more


Federal COVID-19 response for ag sector remains unclear

Imports of farm labour, crop inputs among concerns

Canada’s agriculture sector is waiting on details of a federal response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic as its concerns pile up. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has stated it understands “the importance of a stable labour force enabling Canadian food supply, and (is) committed to giving Canadians and businesses the support they need” but is not […] Read more

Ottawa tightens rules on housing foreign farm workers

Housing meant for temporary foreign workers employed on a Canadian farm will now have to pass regular inspection before the farm can hire its workers. One of the requirements for farms hiring temporary foreign workers (TFWs) is that the farm provide workers with “adequate, suitable and affordable housing as defined by the Canadian Mortgage and […] Read more


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

Farm and agri-food employers hail call for foreign worker reform

A new parliamentary report backs their recommendations to fix critical 
shortage of workers, but will the federal government act on them?

Farm employers and food processors are hoping a new report will spur Ottawa to revamp its temporary foreign worker program. “There are lots of things in the report that are very positive for ag and agri-food,” said Mark Chambers, senior production manager with Sunterra Farms and co-chair of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Task Force. […] Read more