Temporary foreign worker program changes will hurt seafood sector: P.E.I.

By on July 5, 2014


Wooden lobster traps and colourful buoys on a wharf in Prince Edward Island, Canada. ShutterStock image
Wooden lobster traps and colourful buoys on a wharf in Prince Edward Island, Canada. ShutterStock image

CHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island’s fisheries minister says recent changes to the temporary foreign worker program could have a detrimental impact on the fisheries industry.

Ron MacKinley says labour shortages in the seafood processing sector is a Canada-wide problem.

He says the need to attract more workers to the industry was front and centre at a recent Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers meeting in Calgary.

MacKinley says he’s asking federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea to work with the country’s fisheries ministers to ensure the industry has access to a stable workforce.

Changes to the program would bar employers in the accommodation, food and retail sectors from using the program where unemployment is more than six per cent.

Proposed changes would also restrict businesses from employing more than 10 per cent of a workforce with foreign workers by 2016.