The Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie is closely monitoring a concerning situation for local agricultural businesses, many of which are experiencing delays in the processing of requests for the documents necessary for the arrival of temporary foreign workers.
According to a press release issued by the union, the federal government has responded to repeated interventions by representatives from the UPA as well as from the agricultural labour recruitment organization FERME, with a promise to address a backlog in administering labour market impact assessments (LMIA).
Across Quebec, at least 900 applications for LMIAs have accumulated since August and remain unprocessed. The document is required for foreign workers to obtain work permits. The backlog is currently affecting 4,000 temporary foreign workers. In the Montérégie, this amounts to 379 unprocessed files.
Service Canada has said the files would gradually be processed, suggesting they should be caught up by December 3.
“The current situation is worrisome,” says Jérémie Letellier, the president of the Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie. “We strongly hope that Service Canada will be able to resolve the impasse,” he adds, while pointing to the UPA’s involvement in pushing for a solution.
“Following our interventions, the federal government has committed to putting exceptional measures in place. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and verify in the coming days and weeks if these announced measures have a real impact on the speed at which files are being processed.” (SR)