Government to modernize temporary foreign worker program

Canadian farms are currently facing a labour shortage, with no signs indicating it will get better in the short-term. In response, the Canadian government has announced plans to modernize the program.

The Canadian government will put a focus on making the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program easier for users to use and understand better.

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Patty Hajdu says it’s their goal to make sure the TFW program, “keeps Canadians first in line for available jobs, is responsive to the needs of the Canadian job market, and protects the rights of vulnerable workers.”

“We cannot effectively develop programs without the input of the people who use them,” she says in a press release. “That is why we are working together with our key stakeholders to modernize the TFW Program to meet the evolving labour needs of the agricultural sector.”

The government says that reaching out to employers, workers and other stakeholders within the agriculture stream will involve:

  • Simplifying the Primary Agriculture Stream and making it easier for users of the Program to understand their obligations under the Program;
  • Examining how to set wages for agriculture workers to allow for increased transparency and more flexibility for employers to offer raises and bonuses to workers; and
  • Working with provinces and territories to improve housing for foreign workers to ensure consistency across the country.

According to a news release, more than 60 percent of the positions approved under the TFW program are in primary agriculture.

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