Week of high-level meetings to address labour crisis

meeting with Minister MacAulay
From left to right: Janet Krayden, CAHRC; Rebecca Lee, CHC Executive Director; Beth Conner, CHC Labour Committee Chair; Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, AAFC Minister; Brian Gilroy, CHC President; Jennifer Babcock, CHC Policy Research and Development Manager. Photo: CAHRC

Over the past week, CHC participated in several high-level meetings with Cabinet Ministers and their staff to discuss pressing labour issues.

Tuesday, May 1: Brian Gilroy, CHC President; Beth Connery, CHC Labour Committee Chair; and Rebecca Lee, CHC Executive Director; met with Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) Minister Lawrence MacAulay and senior staff to discuss urgent labour issues and to set the scene ahead of a roundtable with government and industry representatives.

Thursday, May 3: CHC, CPMA, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC), and many producers from across Canada, participated in a labour-focused meeting led by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Industry heard from Minister Hajdu of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), AAFC Minister MacAulay, Serge Cormier, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Rodger Cuzner, ESDC Parliamentary Secretary, in addition to many government officials from the three departments.

The discussion touched on labour shortages, delays in processing applications (including LMIAs), and challenges in maintaining public trust. Feelings of optimism emerged that government was listening to industry concerns regarding the administration of the TFWP Ag Stream and SAWP. These discussions will hopefully lead to more transparent communication between government and employers.

ESDC officially announced that it is launching a review of LMIA service standards, and that it has streamlined the process for replacing and transferring workers, by waiving the two-week advertising requirement. This change is effective immediately and is a positive first step in the streamlining of this program. Note: Currently, employers will still need to fill out an LMIA.

Friday, May 4: CHC participated in the TFWP Primary Agriculture Review Consultation in Ottawa. This was the first of several regional consultations that will take place around the country.