As millions of Syrians continue to be displaced due to the ongoing conflict, the Government of Canada will work with Canadians, including private sponsors, non-governmental organizations, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees [i].
According to the Deloitte & Touche report, “The impact of ornamental horticulture on Canada’s economy”, the Landscape industry represents over $14 billion in economic impact, creating and maintaining more than 132,000 jobs for Canadians. As the second largest employer in Agriculture, the industry is forecasted to double by the year 2021 [ii]. There is tremendous opportunity for refugees across the country.
In the Goulburn Valley and elsewhere, Middle Eastern migrants, from Iraq and Afghanistan, have made a significant contribution to the industry. According to Craig Boyce, CEO of Integrity Fruit, “Middle Eastern workers have distinguished themselves by their work ethic, ability to pick up and apply skills as well as their commitment to the industry.” [iii]
Testimonials of CNLA Members who have hired refugees:
“My experience with a refugee to Canada working in my company has been a very positive and rewarding experience….he had no landscape training and the language barrier was extensive….the reason our experience was a positive one is because he wanted to work. He was ready, willing and able to work every day. When you have a refugee in your employment, you have a person that you need to encourage so they can enjoy some of the freedoms that Canada can offer.” – Leslie Cornell – Owner – Cornell Design & Landscaping Ltd.
“Our refugee story has worked out well for Alpha Better. He has been with us for 10 years; been promoted through the ranks and currently is a manager. He has integrated into Canadian life extremely well.” – Phil Paxton, CHT, CLP – President- Alpha Better Group of Companies.