CMC reacts to the federal budget and recently announced labour measures
Today, the federal government tabled it’s 2023 budget “A Made-in-Canada Plan: Strong Middle Class, Affordable Economy, Healthy Future.”
Upon review, CMC is pleased to see the Budget’s commitment to funding $57.5 million over 5 years for a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Vaccine Bank. An FMD outbreak has the potential to severely restrict the movement of cattle and pigs and impact our ability to export pork and beef. An FMD vaccine bank is a critical component to managing the threat of a potential outbreak. CMC looks forward to working with CFIA on a more comprehensive response plan which includes the vaccine rollout strategy.
CMC also welcomes the Budget’s recognition of immigration as a key component of addressing today’s labour shortages and will continue to work with the federal government departments to develop a sector-specific Agricultural Labour Strategy to address persistent and chronic labour shortages in farming and food processing in the short and long term, including a permanent Agri-food Immigration Pilot.
We welcome the investments the federal government is making in strengthening trade corridors. Our members export 50% of Canadian beef and 70% of Canadian pork, making our sector highly trade-dependent. Investing in trade corridors will improve our ability to get our products to market.
Finally, CMC supports the Budget’s $126 million investment in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Market Access and Food Safety Programming.
In addition to these Budget investments, CMC supports the recently announced extension of temporary measures introduced through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) Workforce Solutions Road Map. The continued measures will permit food manufacturing employers to hire up to 30 percent of their workforce through the TFWP for low-wage positions until October 2023. CMC is pleased to see that the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) 18-month validity and the low-wage position duration for two-years will both be maintained as well.
“CMC has been encouraging the federal government to make a higher cap on the TFWP permanent for food manufacturing,” said Chris White, President and CEO of CMC. “The sector continues to face labour shortages; thus, the extension of temporary measures is a step in the right direction. We will continue to advocate for it to stay in place.”
CMC looks forward to continuing to work with partners across the federal government to advocate for the needs of the Canadian federally regulated meat processing sector. The meat industry is the largest component of Canada’s food processing sector, providing direct employment for over 65,000 and supporting 288,000 jobs in total. The red meat industry represents nearly $32B of economic activity annually, and feeds Canadians and export markets with some of the most sustainably produced meat in the world.
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