Francophone group recruits European truck drivers
A francophone organization on P.E.I. has recruited three men from Europe for hard-to-fill jobs, with both economic and cultural benefits in mind.
It's the first time P.E.I.'s Cooperative d'intégration francophone has recruited francophone immigrants. The immigrants fill two needs: The federal government says Canada needs more truck drivers, and the Cooperative d'intégration francophone is looking for more French-speakers on P.E.I.
"We need some population growth," said group co-ordinator Jacinthe Lemire.
The cooperative took out a booth at the Destination Canada job fair in Paris and Brussels for the first time. It was there to deliver job offers from Island companies.
"They want to hire local people but they can't, because there is no one to hire, so they go and recruit internationally," said Lemire.
She said two truck drivers from Belgium and one from France are now moving to P.E.I., they will be bringing their families with them. She said it is a good opportunity for them.
"There's a French community as well, and you can speak English and learn English and you can also stay by the beach and work and play," said Lemire.
Martin Marcoux, provincial director for RDÉE Canada, an economic development agency for francophones, said the fact that the truck drivers are bringing their families with them is significant.
"You're bringing a wife, you're bringing three kids, now you've got a succession plan in place. That's where the real benefit is," said Marcoux.
"That's another kid to play hockey."
Lemire said the Cooperative d'intégration francophone was not just looking for truck drivers. It was looking for families could immigrate and thrive on P.E.I., people who were looking for a slower way of life, and accustomed to rural settings.
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