KAP News & Media

KAP News and Media

News Releases


December 14, 2016

Change to foreign worker program excellent news: KAP

The federal government yesterday rescinded the “four-in, four-out” rule of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program that was put into effect in 2011.

Under the rule, foreign workers, who are a vital part of the workforce in the agriculture industry, could only work four years in Canada before having to leave the country for four years. Farmers invested heavily in the training of these workers, only to lose them.

“This has created not only a major labour shortage in the agriculture industry, but it has also resulted in a huge skills gap,” said Dan Mazier, president of Keystone Agricultural Producers.

Mazier pointed out that foreign workers take the jobs Canadians aren’t able to fill; not many people are located in the rural areas where these jobs are.

“There is a limited to non-existent labour pool in rural areas,” he said.

KAP raised this issue with Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk, as did other farm organizations and the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council.

“We are pleased that she listened and acted,” said Mazier. “This will help many farm operations in Manitoba, but especially the beekeepers who were hit hardest by this rule.”

Mazier also noted that a request was made to help eligible temporary workers to become Canadian citizens. This would allow them to contribute to rural society and help stabilize shrinking rural communities.

“I thank Immigration Minister John McCallum and Minister Mihychuk for listening to us on this one, too,” Mazier said. “They have indicated they will be exploring ways to do this.”

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For more information: Dan Mazier – president – 204- 720-4646; Val Ominski – communications – 204 -697-1140, ext. 3