P.E.I. Fish Plant Wants Review Of Temporary Foreign Workers Program

October 8, 2015 News
 © Colin MacLean/TC Media Rodger Cuzner, left, Liberal candidate in Cape Breton-Canso chats with Egmont Liberal candidate Bobby Morrissey outside the Acadian Fisherman's Co-op in Abram Village on Oct. 5, 2015.

© Colin MacLean/TC Media
Rodger Cuzner, left, Liberal candidate in Cape Breton-Canso chats with Egmont Liberal candidate Bobby Morrissey outside the Acadian Fisherman’s Co-op in Abram Village on Oct. 5, 2015.

SUMMERSIDE – Whoever wins the federal election on Oct. 19, Jeff Malloy hopes they will agree to take a second look at the temporary foreign workers program.

Malloy, CEO of the Acadian Fishermen’s Co-op in Abram Village, said his company and other Island seafood processors continue to struggle to find enough workers to fill their plants.

It’s not a situation anyone wants to see continue, he added.

“If the plants aren’t viable then there won’t be any jobs for the Canadians that are working in them presently. So we need the temporary foreign workers to be able to augment our workforce and ensure that the plants remain viable,” said Malloy.

His co-op and other processors on the Island are pushing to have the next federal government re-examine some of the changes the Conservative government made to the program in 2014, which he said makes it more difficult to fill their shifts.

Those changes made it far more expensive for businesses to even apply for temporary foreign workers, limited how many they can have and how long they can stay, though some industries, like agriculture, were exempt from some of those changes.

The government also introduced significantly more oversight and reporting requirements from businesses involved in the program.

Malloy met with Egmont Liberal candidate Bobby Morrissey, and visiting fellow Liberal candidate from Nova Scotia, Rodger Cuzner.

Cuzner is the incumbent for Cape Breton-Canso.

After the meeting, Cuzner and Morrissey said the Liberal party will review the changes made to the Temporary Foreign Worker program.

“We, as a government, must ensure that our policy allows these processing and manufacturing sectors access to a well trained and highly motived workforce. Because if we don’t, we’re jeopardizing thousands of jobs that are filled by locals,” said Morrissey.

That’s a good start for Malloy.

“We’re trying to get an indication from all parties as to where they’re going to go on the issue,” he said.

“We would hope that all of the different parties would take a serious look and sit down with the industry to try and straighten this out in order for us to be able to move forward,” he said.

Source: theguardian.pe.ca