Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Prince Edward Island Premier Wade MacLauchlan said the number of foreign workers for the 2015 fishing season that begins in early May will be about 25 per cent lower than the figure allowed under the program since rules changed last June.

Nathan Rochford/The Globe and Mail

Prince Edward Island's Premier says he raised concerns about a drop in the number of temporary foreign workers available to work at the province's fish plants during a meeting Monday with the federal Employment Minister.

Wade MacLauchlan said Tuesday he expressed the growing concern among seafood processors over potential worker shortages during his meeting with Pierre Poilievre in Ottawa.

In an interview from Toronto, he said the number of foreign workers for the 2015 fishing season that begins in early May will be about 25 per cent lower than the figure allowed under the program since rules changed last June.

Story continues below advertisement

"We want to be sure we explore with our federal counterparts how the program can be sensitive to the concerns of PEI and the other Atlantic provinces with our primary industries," Mr. MacLauchlan said.

"Even last year, there were times when our processing plants couldn't operate at full capacity… We would like to have this going at full speed."

The Premier said he's looking for flexibility to take into account the needs of the fish plants.

The program was criticized last year after allegations surfaced that some employers – particularly restaurants – were abusing it and not hiring Canadians who applied for the same jobs.

Ottawa introduced new rules to be phased in by July 2016 that limit the number of temporary foreign workers that large- and medium-sized companies are permitted to hire. Besides the cap on foreign workers a business is allowed to hire, the program also paves the way for more inspections of workplaces, greater fines for companies that abuse the program and increased application fees for employers.

Meagan Murdoch, a spokeswoman for Mr. Poilievre's office, provided an e-mailed comment saying the federal government wants to ensure that Canadians are given the first chance at jobs.

"That is why we are ensuring that the temporary foreign worker program is a short-term, last, and limited resort for employers when there are no qualified Canadians to fill available jobs," Ms. Murdoch said.

Story continues below advertisement

The Minister's office also said a pilot project is allowing Canadians receiving employment insurance to take jobs while keeping a some of their benefits.

"The Working While on Claim pilot project allows employment insurance claimants to keep some of their benefits while on claim so that they are always better off working."

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies