GFM Network News


(Getty Images)

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

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu leaves a news conference in Ottawa on March 23, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Blair Gable)

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


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


File photo of a small greenhouse operation in Quebec. (ManonAllard/E+/Getty Images)

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

File photo of Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau speaking in Winnipeg in February 2020. (Dave Bedard photo)

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


(HortCouncil.ca)

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

Farmer Brian Derksen seeds wheat on May 2, 2017 near Miami, Man., about 80 km south of Portage la Prairie. (Screengrab from Allan Dawson video)

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


(HortCouncil.ca)

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

(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