The Canadian Meat Council (CMC) has come out and supported these plans. In a recently released update, the CMC says that it has been persuading the federal government to bring in up to 2,750 immigrants to fill various vacancies such in the meat council such as meat processors, meat packers, and equipment suppliers.
These positions haven’t been filled by Canadians, and they remain vacant. According to the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table report that was published in September 2018, there is a need to address the immediate labor shortages that face the agricultural sector and utilize the country’s permanent immigration and temporary foreign worker programs to attract skilled workers in the agricultural industry.
The pilot program will fall under the laws of Immigration and refugees Act. However, the number of applicants to this new visa category will be limited so that it becomes easy to accept them as permanent residents upon the end of the working season.
So far, the federal government is targeting slightly over 2,750 immigrants for the new program. The agri-food visa program is a mutual collaboration of the Employment and Social Development Canada and the Agriculture and Agri-food Canada.
The Canadian government announced this pilot program on 19th March 2019 and so far no specific starting date has been issued. So far, what is known is that the visa duration will be three years and after that, the immigrants can apply for permanent residency.
The Agri-Food Industry in Canada
The agri-food industry is among the leading employers in Canada. The country’s Agriculture and Agri-food sector contributes a massive $111 billion to the Canadian economy every year which translates to approximately $304 million every day.
However, lack of skilled labor force has been threatening the stability of this industry in recent years, and if action isn’t taken fast, the country could witness agri-food crisis.
Although the details of this program remain scanty, it has been touted as the ultimate savior of Canada’s agri-food industry. For now, all we have to do is wait for further details regarding the pilot program from the federal government