Fisheries Council of Canada Calls for Comprehensive Solutions to Labour Shortages Beyond Temporary Foreign Worker Program Adjustments

OTTAWA, ON: In response to the Government of Canada’s recently updated Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program, the Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) emphasizes that more comprehensive measures are needed to address the labour shortages plaguing Canada’s fisheries industry, and food and beverage manufacturing sector. 

FCC acknowledges that the updated TFW program provides some helpful assistance to the fisheries sector with its program for agriculture and fish processing, however, with this program focusing on TFW in a seasonal capacity only, the program fails to recognize the crucial need for full-time, year-round workers that are indispensable to the Canadian seafood industry. This narrow focus neglects a portion of the sector, leaving many operational gaps unaddressed, such as the need for workers onboard fishing vessels, which is a growing concern. 

“While we appreciate the recent changes to the TFW program, they do not fully address the needs of our industry,” said Paul Lansbergen, President of the FCC. “Our sector, like others in food and beverage manufacturing, faces labour challenges from an aging workforce and a shortage of workers across skill sets. We depend on year-round workers to ensure the continued growth and sustainability of our operations.”

Seafood is a cornerstone of the Canadian economy and supports communities along all three of the country’s coasts. Without workers to fill essential roles, the industry risks a reduction in food production levels, local food security, and the sector’s economic sustainability and trade growth.

“The Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been instrumental in filling real, unfortunate gaps in our domestic labour force,” said Paul Lansbergen, President of FCC. “Without adequate support and policies that address our industry’s unique labour needs, we risk facing severe disruptions in operations and compromising Canada’s ability to be a global leader in seafood.”

FCC will, on behalf of its members, continue to ask the government to hear the concerns of producers and processors as we work to improve food security and strengthen the resilience of the sector. We urge the government to work with us on these important aims through advanced consultation and dialogue.

For more information, please contact:
Dana Bulloch
Porter O’Brien

The Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) is the voice of Canada’s wild capture fish and seafood industry, promoting a healthy resource and prosperous industry playing a vital role in the Canadian economy. Our members include small, medium and larger-sized companies along with Indigenous enterprises that harvest and process fish from Canada’s three oceans.


Dive In Further

Discover Resources

Get informed on everything fish and seafood in Canada.

Follow Us

Don’t miss a thing – follow our social media accounts.

Contact Us

Have a question or want to learn more? Get in touch today.