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Agriculture committee  That's a really good question. The cost of hiring and the impacts of turnover on a business are often very much underestimated. The estimates are all over the place in terms of the figures. We've done some research on that, and we have cost of turnover calculators so that those w

May 2nd, 2017Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  We've done some significant labour market intelligence for the industry. We know that all sectors are investing in their workers, certainly—they are investing in their businesses and in training workers—but in agriculture, because there have been shortages, the capital-per-worker

May 2nd, 2017Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  That's a good question. I'll start. At the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council, we do extensive research on improving access to the industry and improving the knowledge that it is a great place to work. Agriculture is a great business to be in. There's lots of potential

May 2nd, 2017Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  We are doing extensive research on working with under-represented groups—women, persons with disabilities, new Canadians, etc.—and with all the different commodity associations—cattlemen, etc.—and trying to collect the best practices on how we can engage all of these Canadians an

May 2nd, 2017Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here with you today to highlight the ways in which worker shortages are impacting the industry's growth potential and increasing farm debt. We all enjoy the benefits of abundant, healthy, safe, and affordable food in Canada due to a world-class

May 2nd, 2017Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  It is a challenge. It's a challenge for those who bring in temporary foreign workers to provide housing that is affordable under the $30 rule. Rural Canada doesn't have all sorts of housing options, so it is a challenge moving forward. In one of the key pieces of research that we

November 3rd, 2016Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  Absolutely. Thank you.

November 3rd, 2016Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  We are certainly concerned about ensuring that all under-represented groups in the Canadian labour market find their way to agriculture—we are talking about youth, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, and women—to ensure and encourage broad access. I like your idea abo

November 3rd, 2016Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  Retention is definitely an issue in the industry. There are some commodities that are doing really well. The aquaculture industry is able to retain its workers. We are not sure why, but the data bears that out. Perhaps they are doing a really good job selecting the right candid

November 3rd, 2016Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  Yes, you mentioned succession issues and certainly there are pockets of really great practices. There are examples of family farms that have no one from the family who is interested in taking over the farm, working with somebody else outside the family and figuring out a plan, so

November 3rd, 2016Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  Yes, you're right, we have to get people interested early in the options. We work with Agriculture in the Classroom nationally and in the different provinces to encourage their programs. One of the things the council does, aside from labour market intelligence, is analyze the jo

November 3rd, 2016Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  That's okay. Certainly, the whole-of-government approach is needed to address this challenge, with leadership, though, from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. That's the ministry that needs to care most about this problem. That's why we want to see this as a priority, stated in

November 3rd, 2016Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  Absolutely.

November 3rd, 2016Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  I'll speak to labour market information. It's something that CAHRC has invested a lot of time and energy in doing. We work with all of our commodities associations across Canada trying to gather good details about what's going on in the labour market. We do that with funding from

November 3rd, 2016Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Agriculture committee  That's a difficult question to answer. The shortages are across the board. They're being felt in every commodity, especially those that are labour intensive, so that's the horticulture industry for sure. They're being felt as significant factors in the low-skilled arena, but also

November 3rd, 2016Committee meeting

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst