New agri-food immigration pilot

 Stefan Larrass (L), senior policy advisor, Labour Issues Coordinating Committee/policy advisor, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association greets the Hon. Ahmed Hussen, federal minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship after the July 12 news conference in Mississauga.

The Maple Leaf Foods amphitheatre in Mississauga served as the host to Ahmed Hussen, federal minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship who announced a new agri-food immigration pilot on July 12. While the three-year pilot to offer permanent residency is primarily aimed at the meat industry, there is also room for year-round greenhouse workers. 

 

As Hon. Hussen explained, the pilot is intended to attract experienced, non-seasonal workers who can economically establish in Canada and who can support ongoing labour needs of the agri-food sector.  Specifically, the pilot will focus on attracting retail butchers, industrial butchers, food processing labourers, harvesting labourers, general farm workers and farm supervisors. Workers in year-round greenhouse crop production will be eligible for the program. 

 

Candidates must have 

  • - 12 months of full-time, non-seasonal Canadian work experience in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in an eligible occupation (includes greenhouse crops)
  • - A Canadian Language Benchmark level 4 in English or French
  • - An education at high school level or greater (Canadian equivalency)
  • - An indeterminate job offer for full-time, non-seasonal work in Canada, outside of Quebec, at or above the prevailing wage

 

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.

 

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.

 

Details on how individuals may apply for permanent residence through this pilot will be available in early 2020. Minister Hussen told The Grower that a number of federal ministries are involved and will need the six-month lead time to transition.

 

“This pilot program gives hope to workers in the greenhouse sector that there may be a pathway forward to permanent residency in Canada,” stated Stefan Larrass, senior policy advisor, Labour Issues Coordinating Committee/policy advisor, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.  

 

Source:  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada July 12, 2019 news release 

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Publish date: 
Friday, July 12, 2019

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