Attracting workers to the agri-food sector across Canada
July 12, 2019 – Mississauga – Canada is committed to attracting the best talent
from around the world to fill skill shortages, drive local economies, and create
and support middle-class jobs in communities across the country that will benefit
Canada is launching a new 3-year economic immigration pilot that will fill labour
shortages, particularly in meat processing and mushroom production, within the agri-food
sector and help meet Canada's ambitious export targets.
The agriculture and agri-food industry is an important contributor to Canada's economic
growth and vitality, supporting 1 in 8 jobs across the country. Agricultural exports
hit a new record in 2018, reaching $66.2 billion
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.
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 revitalized Express Entry and an expanded Provincial
"This pilot is another example of how immigration is helping to grow local economies
and creating jobs for Canadians." – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration,
Refugees and Citizenship
"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. 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." – The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture
"Our government is always looking for ways to promote growth in rural communities.
This pilot provides those communities who rely on the agri-food sector the opportunity
to address their labour market needs. It builds upon commitments made in Canada's
first-ever Rural Economic Development Strategy and the successful Atlantic Immigration
Pilot." – The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development
"Today we are delivering on something that employers, unions, and migrant workers
have been calling on government to do for over a decade – temporary foreign workers
who come to this country and work hard filling permanent jobs should have a fair
and reasonable chance to become a Canadian regardless of the job they are filling."
– Rodger Cuzner, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce
Development and Labour
- Employers in the agri-food sector who intend to be part of the pilot will be eligible
for a 2-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 3-year duration of the pilot.
- Addressing these labour market needs will help key industries in Canada's specialized
agri-food sector grow.