Canadian primary agriculture’s job vacancy rate reaches seven per cent

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Wales, and many others, don't seem to be able to see and/or don't want to see the blindingly-obvious connection between:

(A) farm workers being unable to unionize
(B) the somewhat-lax safety standards allowed on farms
(C) the inability to advance to increasingly-responsible (and/or higher-paying) positions in almost all farming operations

and the lack of desire on the part of many Canadians to become farm workers.

To a great extent, we are the architects of our labour misfortunes, yet we can't and/or refuse to see it.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

All farmers should be limited to bring two workers in for the winter season and 8 workers for April to Nov. of the year. Any farm hiring more than 10,000 hours per year must pay $12.00 per hour plus free housing and heat.

I cannot find work in southern Alberta in the crop side of agriculture. It makes me angry when i read a story about trying to bring in more or loosening the restrictions of temporary foreign workers. If a farmer needs temporary foreign workers year after year, then they shouldn't be in business. The word is temporary, not long term. Heavy machinery operators make over $30/hr in other sectors, and the farm jobs want to pay them 15 to 20$/hr with more responsibility than operating machinery. What I'm trying to get at here is if you want to have a successful business, make a successful business plan to be more independent. Don't sign up for temporary foreign work if you plan on using them long term. Its not that there is no workers out there in canada, its that the farmers don't want to pay them a decent wage. Its not the governments fault that farmers can't find cheap labour. It should be if a Canadian worker gives you a resume and you have temporary foreign workers on your payroll, the canadian gets first priority. Don't throw the canadians resume away and keep your tfw. I went into agriculture to find a career because i heard that theres a shortage of work, now i can't find a job because everybody wants cheap Labour. The government should truly reassess the way they look at this situation. Give canadians a chance to find a career. One question that i have is, how much money does it cost to fly these tfw's in, find them a place to live, and a car to drive versus moving canadians around the country to fulfill the same positions. The canadian government needs to make a temporary canadian worker program instead of flying people in from other countries. Im no racist, but it would be best to hire canadians and keep the canadian currency in canada, where it would be spent, taxed and help canadians and the economy. Im done rambling now.

I have sometimes wondered who the real temporary worker is,the young man from Mexico up here on a 6 month contract or the young Canadian who quits the farm job after 2 weeks because maybe it was a little too (A) strenuous (B) too long hours with few weekends off or (C) allergy's to dust.
Don't rule out C because in our small business it was one of the leading factors in why some young people couldn't hack working on our small farm.At the last it was almost impossible to find young people willing to do the dirty jobs that sometimes comes with farming.Even though at the time we were paying 4-5 dollars/hr more than minimum wage, in an effort just to find someone to throw hay/straw bales around.

I have worked with canadain and foreign workers. There are good and bad ones in both groups. There is a place for foreign workers but the current model is broken

Can you back up your statements with even one credible fact? How is the current model broken?

Becoming a farm worker in order to start a "career" in agriculture is not a wise move because almost all farm workers quickly find themselves in a Downton Abbey situation where they're going to spend their entire lives running power washers in a hog barn and getting every Monday and every other weekend off.

I have 30-year-old clients doing just exactly that - one of them recently told me that it's at least a step above milking cows (a unionized job in California but not here) which is what most of his friends do.

Unfortunately, the oft-repeated claim that there are lots of jobs in agriculture is, at best, a half-truth because those jobs tend to be the menial "power-washer" sort of jobs nobody but the truly-desperate would take, and rightly so.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

No intelligent farmer wants to bear the costs of applying for, flying in, busing to, housing inspection fees, housing utilities, transportation for weekly needs for labor. But farmers do pay for those costs because it is hard to find local help. If you are so desperate to get a job that you fear a temp worker will fill, then I would advise you to check out the THOUSANDS of farm related jobs on the Canada Job Bank. Start applying for those jobs. Farmers are required to hire local first.

Check out the Canada Job Bank it is a Hire Canadian First program. Farm jobs galore. Many farmers trying to fill multiple positions and hiring Canadians are first priority before temp workers from another country.

The OFA should Inspect all farms that bring in more than 5 temp workers. All foreign workers should have free internet and one computer for every 3 workers. One day a week off and a free ride into town of 5,000 or more for that day. The OFA should lobby the government for a program to part of the wage for the first 10 weeks of a new employee from Canada.

The temp farm workers are under a federal program. The OFA does not have authority to inspect. All farmers that hire temp farm workers have the housing inspected by health units, fire inspectors. How many farmers live within a reasonable driving distance to a town over 5000? The wages for the temp farm workers are negotiated between the participating countries and set out in the contracts the temp farm workers sign. Temp farm workers work when needed and do get days off. Farms are not factories and I don't think you have a clue what farming is about.

The fed gov is not doing a good job of inspecting farms or trucking companies. Maybe a town that sell food at more than a corner store a bank and credit union a hardware store or CTC store. I own a mid sized farming operation.

I think the foreign workers should receive a rented car while they're here also...maybe a BMW...SUV of course.

Get the OFA to look into that as well.

That would require the temp workers needing valid Ontario driver licenses. Forget SUV, a chauffeur is in order.

A old school bus or van is lots good enough.Many foreign workers have it very rough .

They needed to be treated fairly. I would volunteer to inspect foreign worker living and working conditions. i think that worker ombudsman needs to be set up Stephen Webster Blyth

Have you ever been on a farm that employs foreign workers? How do you know they are not treated fairly? Provide personal proof to your statements. Have you ever visited a temp foreign worker employed by hotels, banks, construction, service sector, restaurants, retail cleaning? What are their living conditions like? Who inspects that? Of the temp foreign workers that come to this country every year, only a very small amount go to farms. Over 300,000 temp workers do not go to farms. What about them?

Mr. Webster is very-familiar with the situation faced by foreign farm workers because he and I both know a highly-regarded Blyth-area farm operation that annually hires several off-shore farm workers, one of whom has been coming to this farm from Jamaica for over 20 years. This farm operation owns a farm right across the road from Mr. Webster's farm, and houses its workers in a well-maintained house the farm owns in the village of Blyth.

Therefore, I can validate that not only has Mr. Webster been on a farm that employs foreign workers, but also he's been on one of those farms many, many times.

I also suggest this farm treats its off-shore workers very well, because if they didn't, they'd have far-more of a turnover than they have had to date.

However, one farm on the outskirts of Blyth does not an industry make, and that's why the standards in place on this farm need to be observed elsewhere.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

I believe a great deal of people in the farm community are aware of foreign workers.Some work on farms, some as was stated work other places.

I have worked with foreign workers. I have slept in foreign worker housing in Canada and in the U.S. I have ate the same food as they eat. I driven truck with a foreign worker as a co -driver. My brother used to work as foreign worker in Newyork City with other foreign workers under or with him. I seen foeign workers who clean hotels and hostels The fed goverment does not do a very good job. At one time some foreign worker were paid minuim wage had had their housing costs taken off that wage. I have taken foreign worker to costco and princes auto and CTC. I do not expect foreign workers to be treated better than canadains Stephen Webster Blyth

They are going after many farms that employ foreign workers in Ontario. This is because certain bad farms. I would have much sooner seen someone like Stephen Webster doing the inspections. I met him over ten years ago.

I would have much sooner seen someone like the Pope doing the inspections. I met the Pope over ten years ago.
What's your point?

I can think of at least one church that would love to have the power to do inspections.

This is not the OFA job to do this, but it must be done on a cost recovery basis. Many greenhouse operations need to be inspected and give the worker the option to work for a non greenhouse farm in the second year.

Since when has there been "cost recover" in agriculture?

How many employers give workers free internet and computers, and free transportation to and from the work place? How many employers demand that their workers have their housing inspected? Temp workers housing is held at a higher standard than non-temp workers. You statements scream of discrimination. You treat temp workers with a higher standard than employers must meet with local workers.

These workers are a long way from their families for many months at a time. Employers would hire less foreign workers if they became more expensive than hiring people already in the country.I have lived with the foreign workers in their (inspected)housing. Much is very poor. Some employers will not allow them to get internet even if they pay for it.

Many workers are afraid to complain as they do trust the police in their own country. Stephen Webster blyth

Not trust the^police

The ministry of labour will do the checking if we do not do it ourselves , The greenhouse brought it on themselves,

One greenhouse has been mistreating workersS

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