Working in Canada
Before you get too excited, understand that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) just came out with an advisory stating that there are currently no approved job orders for mushroom picking jobs in Canada.
You should also know that Canadian employers must first get authorization from the Government of Canada before they can hire foreign workers (including Filipinos) for every job.
The Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) must also meet the minimum requirements to go to Canada to work by applying for a work visa at the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines.
After the OFW has been issued a visa by the Canadian Embassy in Manila, Canadian employers must also meet Philippine Government requirements before the OFW can get clearance to leave the Philippines to work in Canada. Do not make any travel arrangements until your Canadian employer has met all these requirements.
New POEA regulations require all Canadian employers to partner with both a Canadian and Philippine recruitment agency when hiring OFWs from the Philippines. These rules do not apply to OFWs coming to Canada from other countries.
What is the Temporary Foreign Worker Program?
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is the Government of Canada’s program that allows workers from different countries (including the Philippines) to come to Canada to work for Canadian employers (who are authorized by the Government of Canada) for specific jobs (that have also been identified by the Government of Canada). With very few exceptions, foreign workers do not get to stay in Canada. That’s why there’s the word “Temporary” in the program’s name.
Foreign workers coming to Canada, including mushroom pickers, are covered by the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Most Canadian employers need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before they can hire a foreign worker.
What is an LMIA?
The LMIA is a document issued to Canadian employers who have demonstrated a need to hire a foreign worker (because they couldn’t find a Canadian) for a job that has been approved by the Government of Canada. They also have to demonstrate that they can afford to pay the foreign worker before they are issued an LMIA.
Where can you even find jobs in Canada?
If you are not Canadian, it can be very tricky to find work. In the Philippines, you and your Canadian employer will have to go through the POEA. There are currently no valid job orders for mushroom pickers in Canada.
Most agencies fill low-skilled job opportunities in Canada by creating pools of candidates, that is groups of suitable applicants for the Canadian employers’ perusal. Once the necessary documentation on the Canadian employers’ end is complete, the Philippine recruitment agency then chooses the most appropriate candidate in the Philippines to start processing documents at the Canadian Embassy.
What are the mushroom picker jobs available right now?
While there are no job orders for mushroom pickers in Canada, the Government of Canada’s official Job Bank lists 9 companies offering mushroom picker jobs in the province of Ontario. They are:
White Cap Mushroom Farm Ltd.
Bradner Mushroom Farm Ltd.
Champs Fresh Farms Inc.
Peeters Mushrooms Inc.
Monaghan Mushrooms Ltd.
Avina Fresh Mushrooms Inc.
Brantford Mushroom Farm
Rossland Mushroom Farms Ltd.
These listings do not necessarily indicate positions immediately available to foreign workers and may only be part of a company’s requirements in preparation for an LMIA application.
How much is the salary for mushroom pickers?
Mushroom pickers are paid minimum wage. The province of Ontario is home to most of Canada’s mushroom farms. The current minimum wage in Ontario is $14.00 per hour. That’s about $26,320 a year. After taxes $21,964. Or around PhP907,957.50 a year (or PhP75,663.12 a month). Canadian taxes will take up most of your income, just in case you didn’t know.
Do you want to know who else makes PhP907,957.50 a year in the province of Ontario? Everyone else who is working minimum wage. And they’ll be the first to tell you, it’s extremely difficult to survive on a minimum wage in Canada.
What does a mushroom picker even do?
This is the official mushroom picker job description: Must be able to carry up to 23 kg (50 lbs), sort and pack mushrooms.
The crates are probably heavier than the actual mushrooms. Don’t forget that mushroom farms are wet, damp, smelly and dusty. Like, you know, a real farm. If you have an allergy, this might not be the job for you.
Why do Canadian employers need to partner with a Philippine recruitment agency?
With plenty of allegations of abuse and illegal recruitment on the parts of both the Canadian employer and the foreign worker, the Philippine Government has now implemented stricter rules for Filipino workers going to Canada.
How much is the placement fee to work as a mushroom picker in Canada?
There is no placement fee for working as a mushroom picker in Canada.
It is illegal for Canadian employers to pass on any costs related to the recruitment of foreign workers (including airfare).
If you paid any money to your recruiter or Canadian employer, get a lawyer and file a complaint. Keeping quiet is strongly discouraged.
Are you an OFW in Canada and you need help? Don’t be afraid to ask. These are the contact numbers and addresses of the POLOs in Canada:
Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) Toronto
160 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario M4P 3B5
Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) Vancouver
World Trade Centre Office Complex
999 Canada Place, Suite 611
Vancouver, BC V6C 3E1
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