Thank you, Mr. Chair
Thank you to the witnesses for their presentations today.
Perhaps this is for the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, and the Horticultural Council may want to jump in as well.
Our seasonal agricultural workers and temporary foreign workers play an integral part in the produce industry especially. I know that you were pleased to see the exemption for our TFWs and our seasonal workers after our party really did help push the government for this exemption.
In growing fruits and vegetables, we have a significant input and overhead cost going in. It's obviously a critical time of year. In my riding in particular, we have a lot of our farmers out planting their vegetable crops. As you alluded to, we've had some downright brutal weather. This past week our fruit tree growers have been trying to avoid frost right now with where they are in their production. There are also some farmers who are ready to go out and harvest their crop; for example here in Ontario it's asparagus.
I know where we are in receiving workers, but how is this going to affect, for instance, our asparagus farmers and those who have early crops? We're still missing a lot of workers. There are issues with paperwork for some of our workers coming from some places. How is that going to affect our food supply down the road as we look into the fall with volume that we may or may not see as farmers may cut back on their acreage this year?