Canada is launching a new three-year Agri-Food immigration pilot program that will fill labour shortages, particularly in meat processing and mushroom production, within the agri-food sector and help meet the country’s ambitious export targets.
The agriculture and agri-food industry is an important contributor to Canada’s economic growth and vitality, supporting one in eight jobs across the country. Agricultural exports hit a new record in 2018, reaching CDN$66.2 billion.
“The success of our Canadian farmers and food processors depends on their ability to recruit and retain the workforce they need to capture opportunities at home and abroad,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This pilot will help to ensure that employers in the agriculture and agri-food sector have the people they need to get the job done, to help drive our economy and to feed the world.”
Over the past several years, industries such as meat processing and mushroom production have experienced ongoing difficulty in finding and keeping new employees.
This new pilot aims to attract and retain workers by providing them with an opportunity to become permanent residents. Employers in the agri-food sector who intend to be part of the pilot will be eligible for a two-year Labour Market Impact Assessment.
Temporary foreign workers will be able to apply under this pilot in early 2020. A maximum of 2,750 principal applicants, plus family members, will be accepted for processing in any given year. This represents a total of approximately 16,500 possible new permanent residents over the three-year duration of the pilot.
The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot complements Canada’s economic immigration strategy, which includes the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, the Global Skills Strategy, a revitalised Express Entry and an expanded Provincial Nominee Program.
Article published 15th July 2019