Temporary Foreign Worker Program Primary Agriculture Review: National call-out for research

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Current status: Closed

This consultation ran until December 1st, 2017.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, is undertaking a review of the Primary Agriculture Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program. To support this review, ESDC is conducting a national call-out to gather existing research on primary agriculture.


ESDC is seeking any available, objective, evidence-based research related to primary agriculture. This research would ideally focus on primary agriculture as it relates to Canada, however primary agriculture research from an international perspective will also be accepted. Submitted research can be on a number of issues related to primary agriculture, including:

  • methods for determining wages for the TFW Program
  • the National Commodities List used for the TFW Program
  • the labour market for the primary agriculture sector
  • labour shortages for the primary agriculture sector
  • the impacts of hiring foreign workers on the primary agriculture sector and the Canadian labour market
  • housing for temporary foreign workers
  • inspectors and housing inspections of accommodations for temporary foreign workers
  • benefits and challenges for agricultural producers when hiring and retaining Canadians and permanent residents, particularly related to:
    • hiring and retaining underrepresented groups, including youth, immigrants and Indigenous people
    • employment participation rates
    • gender equity
    • wages and benefits offered for work in the primary agriculture sector, particularly compared to other sectors
    • the seasonal nature of work versus year-round employment
    • the remote and rural location of work
    • attrition
    • supply and demand
    • the negative perception and lack of awareness of the jobs and careers in the industry
    • promoting an attractive work environment

ESDC is seeking submissions of existing research and is not asking for new studies to be conducted for this call-out.


Why ESDC is reviewing its Primary Agriculture Stream

On September 19, 2016, the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) released a report following a review of the TFW Program. The HUMA report offered several recommendations for improving the Program, many of which could impact the Primary Agriculture Stream.

On April 10, 2017, the Primary Agriculture Review was announced as part of the Path Forward Plan for the TFW Program.

Why ESDC is doing a national call-out for research

ESDC is conducting a national call-out for research related to primary agriculture so that Canadians who could be affected by changes to the TFW Program's Agriculture Stream have the opportunity to contribute to the Primary Agriculture Review.


This call-out is open to all Canadians, including agricultural industry stakeholders, who are able to provide objective and evidence-based research that would provide insight into the primary agriculture sector. ESDC acknowledges the importance of agriculture and is committed to engaging Canadians during this review of the Primary Agriculture Stream of the TFW Program.

Privacy and copyright notice

Your submission will be managed in accordance with our privacy policy.

By submitting research or information through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Primary Agriculture Review: national call-out for research, you are attesting that:

  • you are the holder of the copyright of the submitted material;
  • you have obtained written permission from the copyright holder to distribute the material to the Government of Canada for the use as outlined in the Primary Agriculture Review: national call-out for research; or
  • the submitted material is in the public domain.

Copyright and intellectual property rights are retained by the authors. Copyright infringement, the unauthorized copying or use of a work, is not permitted at any time and no one can reproduce this material without the copyright holder’s expressed consent.

The information will be compiled by the TFW Program and provided to an independent contractor to conduct a literature review in support of the Primary Agriculture Review.

Please note that by participating in this call-out, you are granting ESDC permission to consider your research during our literature review and to contact you for follow-up purposes as necessary.

The information you provide is collected under the authority of section 5 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESDA) and section 4 of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Act for the purpose of research related to the primary agricultural stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

As permitted by the DESDA, the information you provide will be shared with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and non-governmental third parties for the purpose stated above, as well as used to contact you for further information on your submission. The information you provide may also be used for policy analysis, research and/or evaluation purposes. 

Participation in all Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) consultation and engagement activities is voluntary. Acceptance or refusal to participate will in no way affect your relationships with ESDC or the Government of Canada.

Your personal information is administered in accordance with the Privacy Act and other applicable laws. You have the right to the protection of, access to and correction of your personal information, which is described in Personal Information Bank PSU 938 Outreach Activities. Instructions for obtaining this information are outlined in the government publication entitled Info Source (which is available at the following website address: Canada.ca/infosource-ESDC). Info Source may also be accessed online at any Service Canada Centre.

You have the right to file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada  regarding the institution’s handling of your personal information.

What we heard

Please consult the Temporary Foreign Worker Program - Primary agriculture review: What we heard report, which summarizes the feedback we received throughout the consultation.

Related information

Contact us

Steve West, Director, Sector Policy Division


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