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Food industry requests emergency access to temporary foreign workers amid labour woes

CALGARY — Canadian food processors hard-hit by labour shortages are asking the federal government for emergency access to more temporary foreign workers.

The food and beverage manufacturing sector has asked Ottawa to increase the cap on temporary foreign workers it currently operates under.

It wants the rules changed to allow for 30 per cent of an employer's workforce to be made up of TFWs, instead of the currently levels of 10 to 20 per cent.

Canadian Meat Council spokeswoman Marie-France McKinnon says food processors struggled with labour shortages even before the pandemic, and the Omicron wave has exacerbated the problem.

She says some meat processors are currently operating with more than 30 per cent of their positions vacant.

Industry groups are calling on the federal government to implement an emergency foreign worker program before the end of this month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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