On June 22, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration released a report entitled “Immigration Programs to Meet Labour Market Needs”. The report was a result of a months long study of Labour Market Impact Assessment under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. FBC-ABC CEO Kathleen Sullivan, alongside a number of FBC’s Members, including Olymel and Bonduelle, were invited to participate.
Recognizing that Canada is experiencing labour shortages in several sectors and regions across the country, including food and beverage manufacturing, the Committee made 13 recommendations to government to ensure federal foreign worker and immigration programs meet Canada’s labour needs.
FBC-ABC was especially pleased to see the following recommendations:
RECOMMENDATION 2: That Employment and Social Development Canada consider increasing the maximum number of temporary foreign workers allowed in low-wage positions to at least 20% of the company’s workforce in a single location.
RECOMMENDATION 3: That Employment and Social Development Canada create a Trusted Employer designation that would allow employers with good records with similar applications to submit simplified Labour Market Impact Assessments for expedited processing.
RECOMMENDATION 5: That Service Canada train and deploy Service Canada officers with increased knowledge of the sectors and regions that they serve.
RECOMMENDATION 7: That Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada issue ministerial instructions to create a broadly accessible pathway to permanent residency for temporary foreign workers, asylum seekers and out-of-status workers.
RECOMMENDATION 8: That Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada consider the creation of sectoral and/or regional work permits.
RECOMMENDATION 11: That Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada recognize on-the-job training provided by meat processors and mushroom growers over a sufficient time period as equivalent to the education requirement needed to qualify for the Agri-Food Pilot.
We thank the Committee again for their important work, and welcome the Government’s response to this important report.