Of the 15 agricultural workers who were due to set foot in Quebec last April, nine arrived in May. The other six arrived last week and now have to wait until the end of the quarantine to start working. “Usually, agricultural workers are given priority treatment by Service Canada and IRCC. That has not been the case this year, notes Mr. Jack. Yes, they came before others, I think, but within very long deadlines.”
The company has been hiring foreign agricultural workers for 12 years from Mexico and Peru. Its products are sold in the United States, New York or Vermont and Ontario. However, this year, their customers had to go elsewhere to get supplies because orders couldn’t be prepared on time. A 30% loss in income, according to the President of the Republic.
“All the effort we’ve put in over the past 15 years to develop these markets, well, these customers may not be there next year.”
Several sectors were affected
The situation is similar in other companies.
At Groupe Ferti, a company that specializes in maintaining and managing green spaces, only 28% of Mexican workers expected this spring to have been in the mail in July. “They end up on a meager, always later in the season. An inexplicable situation, especially since contracts were signed over a year ago,” states the letter to readers.
Note: It is no different for the construction companies Structures RBR and Toeries Fecteau. Also according to the press release, since April, “76% of the foreign workers hired are still out of position. In 2020, only 33% of these workers arrived unaccounted for, and a few arrived in 2021 after a year and a half of waiting.”
However, Alan Jack adds that this shortage of foreign labor has nothing to do with the health crisis.
“The majority of companies like us have adapted to COVID. It has been going on for a year and a half. However, what we understand is that government leaders have not adapted to this situation.”
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