Despite the country’s depressed economy, the Canadian Meat Council recently reported a shortage of 1,000 slaughterhouse workers. According to news media outlet Global News, Canadian meat companies “can’t find enough Canadians willing to work on the kill floor or to carve beef and pork carcasses in their plants.” Recent legislature that no longer mandates the country of origin to label its meat has opened new export possibilities for Canadians, but according to Ray Price, president of pork-processing company Sunterra Group, “we just don’t have the people,” revealing that potential employees “walk away after a couple of hours.” Federal employment minister MaryAnn Mihychuk stated that along with finding Canadian workers to fill these undesirable positions, she is also focused on “refugees that are coming into our country so that they can fill those posts.” Some processing plants are looking to newly-settled Syrian refugees—many of whom do not consume pork—as a potential source of labor.
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