Building a strong and clean economy in Quebec by investing in innovation and workers

SHERBROOKE, QC, April 14, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Agriculture plays an essential role in building a healthy environment and strong economy in Quebec.

Today the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food highlighted important new climate investments in Budget 2022 to deliver real results for families and businesses in Quebec by reducing pollution, creating jobs, and making life more affordable.

Farmers across the country are experiencing the impacts of climate change like floods and droughts, and have already been leading the adoption of climate-friendly practices.. With an investment of over $1 billion, Budget 2022 provides new funding for carbon sequestration, the adoption of clean technologies, science and research and climate mitigation practices to ensure the agricultural sector is supported in realizing its potential to significantly reduce GHG emissions while saving farmers both time and money.

The Government of Canada also recognizes the important contributions temporary foreign workers make to the economy – and in particular, to the agriculture and food processing sector, who rely on these workers to meet the needs of their businesses when Canadians and permanent residents are not available to fill temporary labour needs. Budget 2022 reaffirms the government’s commitment to support the safe and timely arrival and stay of temporary foreign workers and to improve access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Budget 2022 proposes a number of measures to increase protections for workers, reduce administrative burdens for trusted repeated employers, and to ensure employers can quickly bring in the workers needed to fill short-term labour market gaps. This includes $29.3 million to introduce the Trusted Employer Model that will cut red tape for repeat employers who meet the highest standards for working and living conditions, protections, and wages in high-demand fields, allowing these businesses to respond quickly to fill short-term labour market gaps. This is good news for Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector.

The government is also investing $15 billion to launch the new Canada Growth Fund that will attract tens of billions of dollars in private investment in Canadian industries and jobs. The Fund will support agriculture and all sectors of Canada’s industrial base in reducing emissions, diversifying the economy, and bolstering Canada’s exports by investing in the growth of low-carbon industries and new technologies. It will also support the restructuring of critical supply chains in areas important to Canada’s future prosperity.

Canada is particularly well positioned to sustainably feed a growing global population. By investing in research and innovation, increasing the number of farmers who are adopting beneficial management practices and facilitating their access to clean technologies, Budget 2022 sets the path forward to building an economy that works for everyone.

With these new critical climate investments, the Government of Canada is helping to create the conditions for farmers, processors and the entire agricultural sector to succeed and thrive for years to come.

Quotes

“Budget 2022 includes targeted and responsible investments to help Quebec businesses hire the workers they need. We are improving the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to better meet the urgent need for workers while also ensuring greater protections for workers. We are also making investments to help entrepreneurs innovate and adopt new technologies to accelerate the green shift.”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“With our unemployment rate at an historic low, Canada’s strong economic recovery is now outpacing the ability of many employers to find workers. That’s why we’re continuing to improve and adjust the Temporary Foreign Worker program, to ensure it is meeting the changing needs of our labour market. The investments we’re making in Budget 2022 will increase support and protections for workers, make easier for employers to hire new talent, and help Canada build a strong, skilled workforce for today and tomorrow.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Sherbrooke has become an excellent example of a city with a modern and diversified economy and I am proud of our skilled and specialized workforce and our entrepreneurial technological ecosystem. Budget 2022 will help companies like Entosystem to integrate green innovations into everyday business while stepping up the fight against climate change.”
– Élisabeth Brière, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke

“For 6 years now, the Entosystem team has been growing rapidly while maintaining the same determination to shape a sustainable and responsible food system. Our growth is made possible by valuable partners such as the federal government through programs that encourage the emergence of clean technologies. These programs not only allow us to have the means to achieve our great ambitions, but also to stimulate the Canadian economy and to offer quality jobs that are consistent with the sustainable development of our agri-food industry.”
– Cédric Provost, President and Co-founder of Entosystem

Quick Facts
  • In 2021, almost 70,000 temporary foreign workers came to Canada to work in the agriculture sector. Just over 22,000, or about 32%, worked in Quebec.
  • To improve the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the Government will invest:
    • $48.2 million to implement a new streamlined foreign worker program for agricultural and fish processing employers;
    • $29.3 million to create a Trusted Employer model;
    • $64.6 million to increase capacity to process employer applications within established service standards; and
    • $14.6 million to make improvements to the quality of employer inspections and hold employers accountable for the treatment of workers.
  • Measures in Budget 2022 to fight climate change include:
    • $330 million to triple the size of the Agricultural Clean Technology Program;
    • $470 million to expand the Agricultural Climate Solutions program’s On-Farm Climate Action Fund;
    • $150 million for a resilient agricultural landscape program to support carbon sequestration, adaptation, and address other environmental co-benefits; and
    • $100 million to support research in developing technologies and crop varieties that will allow for net-zero emission agriculture.
  • Further significant measures in Budget 2022 include:
    • $1 billion to create and support the initial operations of an independent federal innovation and investment agency.
    • $603.2 million to help build more resilient and efficient supply chains improve the ability of Canadian businesses to export their goods abroad; and deliver essential goods to our communities.
    • $43.5 million to create the Canada Water Agency to work with provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, and other stakeholders to find the best ways to keep Canada’s water safe, clean, and well-managed.
    • $19.6 million in 2022-23 to sustain the Freshwater Action Plan.
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