New immigration pilot will offer permanent residency to migrant farm workers
By The Canadian Press
OTTAWA – The Liberal government is launching a new three-year immigration experiment that aims to help fill labour shortages in Canada’s agri-food sector.
Over the last several years, industries such as meat processing and mushroom farming have relied on seasonal temporary foreign workers due to labour shortages, even though the work is not seasonal. This new pilot program, which is to begin in 2020, aims to attract and retain migrant workers by giving them an opportunity to become permanent residents.
Currently, migrant farm workers who come to Canada through the program for seasonal agricultural workers are only given limited-term work permits and do not have a pathway to permanent residency.
Under this new pilot, temporary foreign farm workers will be able to apply for permanent residency after 12 months and, if they’re approved, will also be allowed to bring their families to Canada.
Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says Canadian farmers and food processors need a reliable workforce to be successful and this pilot will help employers to have better access to the workers they need to get the job done.