Trailers for seasonal workers in Ile de la Madeleine

The last summer season has been difficult in the islands, and many companies have not been able to accommodate all the necessary workers, says Antonine Valiket, director general of the Chamber of Commerce.

Labor shortages are exacerbated by the lack of housing on the islandshe explains.

: ”viens aux Îles, tu vas avoir un travail, tu vas avoir hébergement”, mais là, la question de l’hébergement posait problème”,”text”:”C’est une pratique très fréquente d’aller recruter des travailleurs à l’extérieur du territoire pendant l’été. On attire les travailleurs en disant: ”viens aux Îles, tu vas avoir un travail, tu vas avoir hébergement”, mais là, la question de l’hébergement posait problème”}}”>Recruitment outside the territory during the summer is a very common practice. We involve workers, saying: “Come to the islands, you will have a job, you will have housing”; but there, the issue of placement was a problemMr. Valiket continues.

As of the end of the 2021 summer season, the Islands Chamber of Commerce has been looking for a solution to the housing shortage, making it difficult to recruit seasonal workers, according to its general manager Antonin Valicetta.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabel Larouse

In this context, the LA renaissance des Îles processing plant decided to innovate by purchasing trailers for Mexican workers, which it receives in May and June, ie during the crab and lobster fishing season.

The owner of the Déli station, Eli Chevrier, has agreed to place trailers on his territory in accordance with municipal regulations.

For the industry, I thought it was still important to take part in this missionexplains Mr. Chevrey. Personally, I believe that the only solution that will help companies find the right workforce is to recruit immigrants.

A smiling man stands in the kitchen of the trailer in which he lives.

The trailers are 32 feet long, have access to electricity and are equipped with a small hob and shower.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabel Larouse

A project offered to all employers on the islands

When he heard about this collaboration, Mr. Valicett asked the management of the LA renaissance des Îles to rent 12 trailers starting in July and offer them to employers on the islands that need them to house their employees. This is how the pilot project was formed.

I want to highlight a great example of mutual assistance between two private entrepreneurs. It is not their job to support the business community, but they are happy to do so.emphasizes Mr. Valiket.

With the LA renaissance des Îles purchasing 16 trailers and renting several others, the 29-seat site at Déli station will be almost entirely reserved for workers this summer.

The season will be a little longer than usual from May to September, but the main goal is to meet demand. »

The quote h Eli Chevrier, owner of Deli Station

However, Mr Chevrie said he was ready to receive tourists for one night if needed if the land remained vacant. We will experience. For many people, this will probably be less of a hassle on a daily basis than renting for a day or two.he says.

Eli Chevrier on the street, he speaks into the microphone of Radio-Canada in front of the trailers.

Déli Station owner Eli Chevier did not calculate the financial impact of offering his land to businesses, not tourists. “The goal is to help the community,” he said.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabel Larouse

The investment in the project is 64 thousand dollars.

$ de nos propres fonds et on attend la confirmation d’un soutien municipal sur lequel je compte beaucoup, mais de toutes les façons, ce projet-là va avoir lieu”,”text”:”On trouve que c’est un projet porteur. On va investir 5000$ de nos propres fonds et on attend la confirmation d’un soutien municipal sur lequel je compte beaucoup, mais de toutes les façons, ce projet-là va avoir lieu”}}”>We believe that this is a promising project. We are going to invest $ 5,000 of our own funds and are waiting for the confirmation of municipal support, which I am very much counting on, but in any case, this project will happen.says the director general of the Chamber of Commerce.

Trailers will be offered to employers for $ 900 a month, and they will be free to agree with their employees on the amount of rent.

Trailers are parked next to each other at Delhi station.

Trailers installed in the Déli Station recreation area will be offered to employers on the islands for $ 900 a month to accommodate their seasonal workers.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabel Larouse

Magdalena’s interest in the project did not take long, even if Mr. Valicette admits that he received fewer requests than expected, probably because the project was announced close to the summer season, when most employers have already reached an agreement.

In less than 24 hours, I had a dozen more companies that reserved trailers for me. I guess 12 trailers will be busy during the summer. »

The quote h Antonin Valiket, Director General of the Chamber of Commerce of the Islands

The project under construction

A report on the experience will be prepared at the end of the summer, but Mr. Valiket already believes that this project can continue.

We see this as a pilot project this year, we know there will be irritants, a few little things that need to be fixed. It won’t be perfect, but we had a choice: wait for the perfect project and do nothing this year, or do something in 2022.he says.

Trailers are parked next to each other at Delhi station.

Déli station does not have the necessary facilities to evacuate wastewater from trailers, as it usually only receives visitors for one or two nights.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabel Larouse

The form that the project will take in the future also remains to be determined. For example, during this first year, Lavages Industriels Vigneau agreed to take care of the wastewater from the trailers, as the Déli station does not have all the facilities of a camp. But a long-term solution will be needed for the next few years.

Personally, I would like to see autonomous management, such as an employers’ cooperative, which takes over the management of infrastructure and the project.sums up Mr. Valiket.

With information from Isabel Larouse

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