“For some sectors where we haven’t found the Canadians to fill those voids, it will make a huge challenge for businesses,” Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said in an interview with Postmedia on Thursday. “And if they can’t find that workforce, then they must have access to temporary foreign workers or we could lose businesses.”

In Alberta’s beef sector, the shortage of skilled butchers to work in meat processing plants is felt down the supply chain. Cows fetch less value for cattle feeders when meat processors don’t have the manpower to produce a full range of cuts to maximize money earned from each animal, said Casey Vander Ploeg, manager of policy and research at the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association.

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