Over 130 families are reuniting in a small Canadian village in New Brunswick, thanks to the Government of Canada’s Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, the CBC reports. Filipino workers are a large part of the group driving the population growth.
FISH PACKING COMPANIES HIRING FILIPINO WORKERS
Cap-Pelé is a small village in the province of New Brunswick, in eastern Canada. Cap-Pelé is 50 kilometres east of Moncton, and has a population of 2,256, with 88% of locals of Francophone descent. More than 95% of locals are Catholic.
Cap-Pelé’s main industry is fishing, and is North America’s largest exporter of smoked herring. The village is home to many smoked herring processing plants known as boucannières.
FILIPINO WORKERS BECOME PERMANENT RESIDENTS IN NEW BRUNSWICK
Among the 130 families who now call the New Brunswick village home are Jerome and Belle Barnido.
The Barnidos came from the Philippines to work at Cape Bald Packers. Together with their four children, the Barnidos are part of a population boom that s set to change the demographic landscape in this small corner of Canada.
The Barnidos came to Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, hired by Cape Bald Packers under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.
CANADIAN EMPLOYERS USE ATLANTIC IMMIGRATION PILOT PROGRAM TO HIRE FILIPINO WORKERS
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is one of many immigration programs that allows Canadian employers in the four Atlantic provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Prince Edward Island, to hire Filipino workers for jobs when local workers are unavailable.
The Barnidos have been in Canada since 2016, sending money back home to support their four kids before being granted Permanent Residency under the pilot program.
Jerome Barnido told CBC how happy he was to finally have his family together in Canada, “It was fantastic, it was a dream come true. Finally we are together.”
Barnido continued by saying that, “Cap-Pelé has been good to us, the company has been good to us. As much as possible we’re able to repay them or return the favour.”
Belle Barnido thanked her husband, who arrived in Canada before she did, “He’s done everything. When we arrived we already had a house, we already had a car, and the kids were preregistered in school. It’s been easy-peasy.”
Boucannières like Cape Bald Packers are taking advantage of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program to cope with their labour requirements.
WIN WIN SITUATION FOR CANADIAN EMPLOYERS AND FILIPINO WORKERS
CBC spoke with Joanne Losier, Manager of Corporate Affairs and Human Resources of Cape Bald Packers. She said that hiring Filipino workers have become a necessity, citing the need for stability in their workforce.
Cape Bald Packers have brought in 37 foreign workers under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program. In total, with 20 already been granted Permanent Residency.
Losier said that Cape Bald Packers “took advantage of those programs and started selecting candidates who were able workers, who were willing to learn, who were willing to stay in the area.”
The village of Cap-Pelé is preparing for the population boom, making the necessary arrangements to accommodate the influx of more people.
NEW HOUSES BEING BUILT AND NEW TEACHERS BEING HIRED TO ACCOMODATE ARRIVAL OF FILIPINO FAMILIES
14 new houses are being built off Acadie Road, while École Donat-Robichaud, the local grade school is getting ready to add 50 new students in the new school year.
The Francophone South School District has hired new staff to help Newcomer students coming from different countries like the Philippines who do not speak French.
Cap Bald Packers are encouraging their workers to send the children to the local French schools, to help them integrate better into their new communities.
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