Evidence of meeting #27 for Citizenship and Immigration in the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was meat.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Marie-France MacKinnon  Vice-President, Public Affairs and Communications, Canadian Meat Council
Stéphanie Poitras  Executive Director, Aliments Asta Inc.
Édith Laplante  Director, Human Resources, Aliments Asta Inc.
Ryan Koeslag  Executive Vice-President, Canadian Mushroom Growers' Association
Janet Krayden  Workforce Expert, Canadian Mushroom Growers' Association
Larry Law  Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Living Water Resorts
Stéphanie Jeanne Bouchard  Immigration Development Officer, Centre local de développement de la région de Rivière-du-Loup
Bérangère Furbacco  Immigration Development Officer, Centre local de développement de la région de Rivière-du-Loup
Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Leif-Erik Aune
Alain Brebion  Reception and Integration Officer, Corporation de développement économique de la MRC de Montmagny, As an Individual
Donald Buckle  General Manager and Vice-President, Resort Operations, Living Water Resorts

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Salma Zahid

You have 15 seconds, Ms. Kwan.

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

I will simply say that many of the other employers on the other panels actually said that they would support this stream. Thank you.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Salma Zahid

Thank you, Ms. Kwan.

With this, our first round of questioning comes to an end. We will have two minutes for each party for the second round of questioning before we end this meeting.

We will start with Mr. Hallan. You have two minutes for your round of questioning.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jasraj Singh Hallan Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you to all the witnesses.

I just want to congratulate Mr. Law on a very successful career. Ultimately, that is Canada's success as well.

Mr. Law, as a person who formerly came from the construction industry and as a small business owner, where do you see the red tape and how do we reduce that so that employers like you can succeed? How can we help you succeed in Canada?

5:20 p.m.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Living Water Resorts

Larry Law

Thank you so much for your question.

I think the communication between the government, especially the local government, if this is a local issue.... If this is a foreign issue, the different levels of government should have constant consultation. In construction, as you know, there's a great shortage as well. Why can't we do something constructively with the trade schools and all these kinds of things, holistically, in education, as well as importing the trades and professional people from overseas? No one seems to be.

The more I want to do something in the country, honestly, the more I feel the need for the government's power. They need to be understanding. They need to be the leader. They need to understand what is needed so that they get on and do it. Timing is an issue. It's very frustrating. As entrepreneurs, we are just there to do a job, but somehow the policies and all those kinds of things, which I don't know anything about.... This is really my heartfelt comment on it. It's about timing, understanding and also communication, a willingness to do the job: less politics, but more getting the work done.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jasraj Singh Hallan Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Thank you so much for that. It's too bad to hear that your company, the biggest employer in your region, wasn't even consulted by this government. I hope they listen and move forward, so that they can do that in the future with you. I think that's really important.

Would anyone also like to comment on red tape? I know you guys are very familiar with that stuff.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Salma Zahid

I'm sorry for interrupting, Mr. Hallan. Your time is up.

If any of the witnesses want to speak about this, they can always send in written submissions. We will definitely take that into consideration.

We will now proceed to Mr. Sidhu.

Mr. Sidhu, you have two minutes for your round of questioning. You can please proceed.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Maninder Sidhu Liberal Brampton East, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you to our witnesses for joining us here today.

I know Minister Mendicino is extremely hard-working. He always checks in with stakeholders across the country. I wanted to take this time to thank him. I remember that, shortly after the election, he came down to Brampton, met with key stakeholders and heard some advice from them. Thank you to the minister for being so proactive.

My question is for Madam Bouchard or Madam Furbacco.

The maximum duration of employment for TFWs in the low-wage stream has increased from one year to two years. Have employers in your municipalities taken advantage of this change? Has it been helpful to have longer-term TFWs to avoid retraining and orienting new employees, in addition to seasonal workers?

5:25 p.m.

Immigration Development Officer, Centre local de développement de la région de Rivière-du-Loup

Stéphanie Jeanne Bouchard

For some food processing companies, it has certainly been beneficial. As I mentioned earlier, a few international companies use the various programs, but in our community, it is mainly small businesses and food processing industries that use the TFWP. So far, few companies have been able to take advantage of the new measure, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. We've seen a lot of LMIAs and one-year permits. There have been cases where, two or three months after the person's arrival, we've already had to start new processes. This measure will certainly give our businesses an extra boost.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Maninder Sidhu Liberal Brampton East, ON

Thank you for that.

Madam Chair, I believe I have 10 seconds left.

I will just take this opportunity to thank you all again for your insights. It was a very important meeting to be a part of. Thank you again for being here.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Salma Zahid

Thank you, Mr. Sidhu.

We will now proceed to Madam Normandin.

Madam Normandin, you have two minutes for your round of questioning. You can please proceed.

5:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Thank you very much.

I will also take the opportunity to thank the witnesses.

I wanted to ask a question along the same lines.

Would the duration of work permits and LMIAs be extended for everyone, given that, year after year, it is usually the same employers who apply and the same employees who return?

You also talked about making renewals easier for trusted employers, for example. What did you mean by that?

5:25 p.m.

Immigration Development Officer, Centre local de développement de la région de Rivière-du-Loup

Stéphanie Jeanne Bouchard

I was talking about businesses where the employees aren't able to meet the Quebec government's French criteria to be selected.

I believe the previous panel included representatives from Aliments Asta, based in Saint-Alexandre-de-Kamouraska. The company hires several workers from the Philippines, who have been constantly renewed every four, five or six years. Of course, the processes should be made easier for such employers, who systematically need to use the TFWP, or take into account that such-and-such a person has been working for the company for four or five years.

We are working hard to strengthen the tools people can access so that they can reach certain thresholds in French. Even in the food processing field, they may or may not be eligible under the National Occupational Classification. So they can stay with the company for a long time.

It would certainly be interesting to consider the fact that an LMIA has already been done for the person in question and to consider it in future analyses.

5:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Perfect. Thank you very much.

I don't think I have any time left for another question.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Salma Zahid

Madam Normandin, you have 15 seconds.

5:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

I'd have time to ask a question, but not get an answer.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Salma Zahid

Thank you.

We will now proceed to Ms. Kwan.

You will have two minutes, and with that we will end this panel. Ms. Kwan, please proceed.

May 3rd, 2021 / 5:25 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

I just have a quick question.

The minister announced the 90,000 spots for TFWs. I'm just wondering whether or not you have any thoughts about that. Are those numbers sufficient to meet your industries' needs?

I'll open that question to everyone. If anybody wants to answer, they can put their hand up.

It seems like nobody has an opinion about that.

Maybe I can ask this question of you, Madam Chair. At our last committee meeting, I asked whether or not we can actually have the Hong Kong study report ready for Friday, so that we can be in a position to look at dealing with that report the following week. I wonder if we have an answer on that.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Salma Zahid

Thank you, Ms. Kwan, for raising that. I have checked with the analysts and the clerk. We cannot have the report back from the translation bureau by Friday. The earliest we can get it is the 14th. If it comes early, I will notify the committee, but the date I have for when it will be back from the translation bureau is May 14.

5:25 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

I see. From that perspective, the earliest opportunity for the committee to look at that report would be May 26. Am I correct?

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Salma Zahid

Yes. I've worked on a calendar, so I've tried to bring committee business.... The calendar will be sent to you by the clerk. As soon as we have the report and the timing we can best work out for the next committee, we will have consideration of the draft report on that.

5:30 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Thank you.

I would urge that we try to get to that report as soon as we can, because the situation in Hong Kong is very urgent. Literally, by the day—

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Salma Zahid

Mr. Clerk, do you have any date that we are thinking of for consideration of the draft report for the Hong Kong study? If you could let the members know....

5:30 p.m.

The Clerk

The first meeting after the 14th is Wednesday, May 26. Monday, May 24, is not a sitting day. Ms. Kwan is correct. The only way the committee could consider the report sooner would be if the committee met outside of the usual meeting block.

5:30 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Is there any opportunity for that, Madam Chair?