Farms.com Home   News
Paralegal discusses province-wide farm employee shortage
Paralegal discusses province-wide farm employee shortage

Foreign temporary workers may be the solution


By Ryan Ridley
Farms.com Business Writer
 
When it comes to production agriculture, Judi Simms Paralegal has a long history of experience with immigration, foreign temporary workers and other various legal services.
 
For 23 years, their team have been dedicated to bringing the best possible service to their clients.
 
“Our moto is ‘Service First.’ We’ve been here a long time because we care about our clients and we want to represent them,” explained Judi Simms, immigration consultant and founder of Judi Simms Paralegal.
 
The Judi Simms Paralegal team (L-R) Janice Johnstone, Ana Maria Sekete, and Judi Simms.
 
Over the years, Simms has seen many different trends in many different industries. 
 
So we asked, what’s the biggest challenge that Canadian farmers are facing?
 
Simms responded, “there is a shortage of agriculture workers across Canada. I’ve heard countless complaints from owners stating that they wouldn’t be able to run their farms without foreign temporary workers.”
 
Her observation appears to be correct.
 
According to Statistics Canada, the agriculture industry employed around 314,000 back in 2013. This number has since dropped by 11 per cent to 279,500 in 2017.
 
With such a decline in workers, how can farm owners receive the help they need?
 
“In recent years, farmers have been hiring foreign temporary workers to make up for not only the lack of employees, but also to lower the industry’s high turnover rate.
 
“These workers are much more committed to their jobs. A lot of them are here to better their lives and most of them have a very good work ethic.”
 
Simms added, “they’re here to improve themselves and their families. They view this employment as an opportunity, whether it’s short or long-term, it’s an opportunity for them to move forward in the world.”
 
This is a growing concern for Canadian farmers as they not only can’t find workers, but when they do, most only last a few short months. 
 
So, how can farmers start the process of hiring foreign temporary workers?
 
“Farmers should put postings on job banks, the internet, ethnic papers, and farmer magazines. Word-of-mouth is always a good thing; once a foreign temporary worker is hired, the employer will start to build a good reputation in that foreign area,” explained Simms.
 
With the shortage of workers across the province, it’s important for farmers to explore all their options.
 
“We are here not only to help Canadian farmers, but to also provide the necessary legal assistance for these foreign temporary workers.
 
“We are proficient at this service, but unfortunately it’s underrepresented. We have the resources to help our Canadian farmers and we want to fill this niche,” Simms elaborated.
 
For more information about Judy Simms Paralegal’s services, visit judisimmsparalegal.ca or call 905-737-9747.