GFM Network News


Canada Summer Jobs Program open to farmers

Some changes made in response to COVID job losses kept from last year

Farmers and agricultural businesses can apply for wage subsidies through the Canada Summer Jobs Program until January 29. The program will pay qualifying businesses up to 75 per cent of the provincial minimum hourly wage to provide summer jobs for people between age 15 and 30. Last year public health order closed businesses and put

Ontario extends lost-labour production insurance

COVID-related coverage held over for 2021 program year

A temporary expansion of Ontario’s AgriInsurance program, to cover losses caused by COVID-19-related short-handedness on the farm, will be held over. The province and federal government on Dec. 22 announced the expansion of coverage will be extended to cover the 2021 program year — and that it will insure production of “additional commodities.” Further details


Worker wage protection key for buy-in

In 2007, food processors and associations gathered to discuss the threat of a flu pandemic and their readiness for it. Among challenges they listed were low-income workers who couldn’t afford to take preventive measures. “This will contribute to the spread of disease,” says the report from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. While low-wage, impoverished workers can’t

All together now on digital agriculture

FUNDING | Smart ag efforts get cash infusion for co-ordination

The province hopes a new shot of Canadian Agricultural Partnership funding will bring a more robust digital agriculture landscape, while also addressing skilled labour gaps. On Nov. 4, the federal and provincial governments announced $630,000 in CAP funding for the Enterprise Machine Intelligence and Learning Initiative (EMILI). Funds will support efforts to connect the ag

Across the country, companies are struggling to recruit people to work in food processing.

Comment: Agri-food sector still sees labour shortage

Canadians are getting back to work, but not in your sector

Job numbers are better. For the agri-food sector though, not so much. Statistics Canada’s recent September job market data is reassuring. Overall, employment in the country increased in September, creating 378,000 jobs, the majority of which were full-time jobs. This increase in September brought our total employment to 720,000, shy of the level we had



The pandemic has clearly shown the need for a resilient national labour strategy.

Comment: COVID-19 shows Canada’s need for an agri-food labour strategy

In a complex economic sector, many solutions are needed for this intractable problem

Canadian agriculture has had problems with insufficient and unstable labour supply for decades. In 2019, primary agriculture brought in over 60,000 temporary foreign workers and still had over 16,000 vacancies. In 2017, on-farm agriculture had the highest job vacancy rate of any industry at 5.4 per cent. The current labour gap is 63,000 employees and

Most field crops are seen to be facing a bearish price outlook with prospects for bumper crops and substantial U.S. supports.

New ag policy needed to accommodate drastic changes

Latest policy note says policies of yesterday won’t work for today and tomorrow

Drastic changes in and outside Canada should prompt a new agri-food policy, according to a new report from industry experts. Agri-Food Economic Systems’ latest policy note identified 10 pressures on the industry in Canada today, each one varying in “magnitude, significance, urgency and permanence.” The report cites the majority loss of the food-service market due


Ontario to insure for crop loss due to lack of labour

AgriInsurance offering hailed as a first in Canada

Ontario’s federal/provincial AgriInsurance program has been temporarily expanded to include coronavirus-related labour shortages as a covered cause for crop loss. Producers already enrolled in an eligible production insurance plan and hit by crop losses due to labour disruptions during the 2020 growing season will be able to get further insurance coverage, the Ontario and federal

Editor’s Take: A stain on the Canada brand

A series of hard-hitting articles on migrant farm workers in Canada has shone a light on some realities that will make many Canadians uncomfortable. The Globe and Mail series was undoubtedly a shock to many readers unaware migrant farm workers were even ‘a thing’ in Canada. It details conditions that will leave a pretty clear