The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) define work in a broad sense. Foreigners may be found to be working without authorisation when they least expect it, such as when volunteering or during a student internship.
The Canadian government requires that there be “reasonable grounds to believe” that a foreigner has performed any work in order to support an accusation of working without a work permit. Being accused of working without a work permit is hard to defend, and usually results in deportation.
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) defines work requiring a work permit as any “activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned, or that is in direct competition with the activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market”.
Immigration policy in this area, supported by the courts, generally interprets the definition to cover a wide category of activities.
For example, foreigners who “volunteer” while awaiting authorization to work or Canadian permanent resident status have been found to be guilty of working illegally. In such cases, retroactive pay for work done previously is also considered illegal. Likewise, arrangements that provide accommodation and meals given in lieu of payment for services are considered to require a work permit. The same applies to unpaid internships carried out to gain work experience.
Immigration authorities view foreigners performing even minor tasks as significant enough to require a work permit. This includes tasks such as stacking shelves, unpacking boxes, cooking in a restaurant kitchen, childcare, or even answering phones.
If Canadian authorities believe that the employer benefitted in any way from the work performed by the foreign national, or that carrying out the task has potentially deprived a Canadian of potential lawful employment, then they will rule against the foreign national. Even if the task is viewed as inconsequential by the worker or the employer, a work permit is required
Perhaps the only leeway granted to foreign nationals is if they are a visiting a relative in Canada and perform a task in or for a private residence. This could include occasional gardening, babysitting, or minor cleaning.
Canadian Courts have ruled that the broad definition of what constitutes work is necessary to protect employment opportunities for all citizens and permanent residents of Canada, no matter how minor the work may be.
The only safe option for foreigners is to avoid performing any activity that may take away an opportunity of employment from Canadians or permanent residents.
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Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
It pays to work in the oil patch. A recent study by Mercer said the energy sector will continue to boost salary increases in Alberta and across the country in 2015. It said new survey results show the average raise in base pay in Canada is expected to be 3.0 per cent in 2015 – the same as the actual increase in 2014.
In Alberta, the raise in base pay is expected to be 3.2 per cent in 2015, slightly lower than the 3.3 per cent reported in 2014. Salary increases in the energy sector are significantly higher than other industries at 3.9 per cent in 2014 and projected to be 3.7 per cent in 2015, said the report.
The energy sector, oil and gas, has typically been around one per cent higher than the national average. It’s primarily driven because of the oil and gas numbers and the energy sector employers that typically have bigger budgets. This could be because they’re trying to compete with each other for key talent or perhaps the cost of living in Alberta may be high.
Mercer’s 2014/2015 Canada Compensation Planning Survey, which has been conducted annually for more than 20 years, included responses from almost 700 organizations across Canada and reflects pay practices for approximately two million non-union employees. The survey results are captured for five categories of employees: executive, management, professional (sales and non-sales), office/clerical/technician, and trades/production/service.
After Alberta, the projected average salary increase was second highest in Saskatchewan at 3.1 per cent for 2015. Recently, Statistics Canada reported that Alberta continues to have the highest average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees among all the provinces. It said that Alberta’s average was $1,150.61 in May, up 0.6 per cent from April and a hike of 3.1 per cent from May 2013. Nationally, average weekly earnings were $936.64 in May. They were up 0.6 per cent month-over-month and increased by 2.6 per cent year-over-year.
The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector had the highest average weekly earnings at $2,093.70, up by 15.5 per cent from May 2013, which was the highest year-over-year growth rate among all the employment sectors.
Source: Calgary Herald
According to one of Canada’s largest banks, the rise in part-time employment is nothing more than a pullback after companies hired more full-time workers than needed coming out of the recession. Economists Randall Bartlett and Derek Burleton wrote in a research note that there’s no reason to be concerned about the recent trend.
According to the latest official jobs data from Statistics Canada, the economy produced over 60,000 new part-time jobs in July, even as full-time employment decreased. Since the start of the year, more than 60 per cent of the 95,000 jobs created have been part-time work as opposed to full-time.
Some analysts are starting to worry about the long-term impacts of this trend since part-time work is generally associated with lower wages, less generous benefits and a much more temporary work force.
Typically in recessions, employers favour part-time workers over full-time positions, as companies like to keep their work force leaner to deal with impending uncertainty. When recessions end, companies tend to hire a lot of full-time workers as they expand and feel optimistic about their prospects in a growing economy.
There may be disproportionately more part-time jobs being created at the moment, but in the overall economy, full-time work still makes up 80 per cent of all jobs, the economists note. There are also numerous demographic reasons for the slight shift toward part-time work, and they, too, are nothing to worry about, according to TD’s economists.
Official data suggests about 70 per cent of part-time workers are female. Many more Canadian women are now in the work force than there have been historically, and as that trend continues “the part-time share of total employment could continue to head higher over the longer run as a result.”
Canada’s aging population is also playing a role. About eight per cent of part-time workers in Canada today are at least 65 years old. That ratio has doubled over the last 10 years, a time when the seniors’ share of the population as a whole has only increased from 16 to 18 per cent.
It’s a well-reported trend that Canadians are working later in life than they used to. But by and large, most of them are choosing part-time work when they do, which is skewing the overall ratio higher.
According to the economists, ‘Notwithstanding some of the structural trends at play that could lead to a gradual increase in the part-time share over the longer haul, we expect to see both stronger job gains and a more equitable distribution between full-time and part-time positions in the coming months.’
Source: CBC News
If you want to improve your odds of getting a high-paying job after finishing your education, forget that English degree. A new report by Workopolis suggests that nursing and pharmacy students are most likely to land employment in their field after graduation.
The study, which analyzed more than seven million resumes on the job search website, found that 97 per cent of those who studied nursing, whether it was at the bachelor, masters or PhD level, are working in jobs related to their education.
Other degrees that showed the highest return included pharmacy (94 per cent); computer science (91 per cent); engineering (90 per cent) and human resources (88 per cent).
Although health care jobs may be the most plentiful, data from Statistics Canada shows that engineering jobs are the highest-paying. Engineering graduates, on average, earned $76,000 as a starting salary, followed by healthcare graduates with $69,600; computer science graduates with $68,000 and law and math graduates with $67,600.
Tara Talbot, vice-president of human resources at Workopolis, says students need to follow their passions but should also be aware that their choice of study could affect how easy or difficult it will be to get a job.
It’s also important to keep in mind that along with hard skills such as a specific degree, employers also value graduates with “soft skills” such as communication, teamwork and problem solving abilities.
Meanwhile, the study also suggests that Canadians are more educated now than they were in 2000, even though the majority say their degrees are not relevant to their current jobs. Despite spending longer in school, 73 per cent of those who recently answered a poll on the job site say their degrees are not related to their jobs. More than half (56 per cent) believe they’re overeducated for their position.
Over a period of 2 weeks, over 3,600 people participated in the poll. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not a random sample and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population.
Complaints that three McDonald’s franchises in Victoria were favouring foreign workers over domestic aired by the CBC in early April and quickly led to sweeping changes to the work in Canada program, affecting every sector in the country. Rapid response to problems by government is usually worthy of applause, but for a complex program that’s been part of Canada’s economic mosaic for four decades, it’s now clear that the politically driven haste has left serious unintended consequences.
One example is the skiing industry, which employs hundreds of temporary foreign workers, including instructors, which are in short supply in this country. The changes are seriously jeopardizing the coming season, as well as the longer-term economic viability of ski resort operators.
One of the government enforced changes will decrease the percentage of low-skilled temporary foreign workers from 30 per cent to just 10 per cent by mid-2016. The definition of “low skilled,” which has traditionally been tied to national occupation codes, will now be defined as workers earning less than a province’s median hourly wage.
Surprisingly, in Atlantic Canada provinces with unemployment rates above 6 per cent are seeing a complete phase out of temporary foreign workers. Nova Scotia Labour Minister Kelly Regan said, “There may be some fish plants that have great difficulty in getting in the harvest if they are not able to have temporary foreign workers.” Prince Edward Island is equally alarmed that the changes would prevent processing of its all-important lobster harvest. Some seafood plants are in rural communities with aging populations as younger people having no interest in working in a fish plant move to the cities.
Making matters worse, the 360-per-cent fee increase to $1,000 for bringing in a temporary foreign worker falls most heavily on employers whose jobs are actually temporary. The agricultural industry is exempt from the new rules because planting and harvesting requires large numbers of workers for short periods.
Still to come are new rules for so-called “live-in” caregivers, which mainly refers to nannies. Hopefully, these will receive more careful consideration including the fact that very few Canadians are interested in being nannies and restricting the availability of nannies would very seriously affect the ability of mothers to do skilled jobs.
Provinces with the highest unemployment rates share concerns with the province with the lowest unemployment rate serves to illustrate the hazards of precipitous, broad-brush policy changes that don’t consider our country’s complex employment mosaic. It’s important for Mr. Kenney to publicly recognize that rather than stealing jobs, the majority of temporary foreign workers recruited to work in Canada perform important jobs that otherwise just wouldn’t get done.
Source: The Globe And Mail
Most Canadians by now are aware of the ‘erroneous’ report released by Statistics Canada according to which the economy had created only 200 jobs in the month of July. This week they have come out and acknowledged that it was a big mistake. Foreigners and international workers who are intending to work in Canada under a Canada based work visa, work permit or a related immigration project should be especially comforted by this development.
The reports released by Statistics Canada have data on everything from beer consumption in Alberta to mushroom farming in Ontario. But it is the monthly numbers on employment that seem to have the most crucial impact on the economy. These numbers are widely used by both the private sector and the government.
The international currency traders ended up pushing the Canadian dollar down by half a cent based on the July report and had to push it back up again after hearing of the error. Similarly, Ottawa has not been able to process any employment insurance claims and says they will do so only after they receive the revised numbers, since the eligibility for these claims depends on the local unemployment rate.
Considering the importance of this data to Canada, one wonders how such a huge error could be made.
According to Philip Cross, former Statistics Canada chief economic analyst, the reason is “summer vacation”. “When mistakes happen, they tend to happen in summer,” says Cross. “There’s less eyeballs and fingers pointing.”
Summer vacations also leads to fewer samples. In summer it is difficult to contact Canadians who are interviewed for the jobs survey as many of them are also away on holiday. “It corrupts your samples. You phone somebody and they don’t answer because they’re on holiday. So what do you do? You just have fewer samples,” says Cross.
However it’s not just the summer holidays that cause statistical imbalances in employment data. July and August are the months which see major changes in the jobs front. During these months, many high school and university students take up short-term summer jobs, and some switch from part-time jobs to full-time employment. Also several schools lay off their staff in the summer and rehire them in September in order to avoid dealing with the bureaucracy of vacation pay. For instance, in 2010, Statistics Canada reported that 68,000 teachers were laid off in July and retired in August. The problem is different for construction workers – their numbers go up in summer and drop in the winter.
Statistics Canada uses a process of ‘seasonal adjustment’ to update its data to compensate for these type of predictable changes. However if one looks at the unadjusted data from previous years, it shows how drastically things can change in the summer.
To understand how Statistics Canada made this big mistake, it is important to see how the agency collects its highly influential jobs data. To collect data for the monthly labour force survey, the surveyors have to go and knock on the door of 56,000 Canadian homes, which are chosen from the latest census data. They then quiz their inhabitants about their working lives.
Usually starting after the 15th of every month, the interviews take place during the same week every month. The answers are then analyzed and compared to baseline data on population and job market and then transformed into “representative” samples of the entire country. The answers are “weighted” to ensure they accurately represent their age, gender, occupation and where they live.
It is at this point that there is a big room for error. So that 56,000 people can accurately reflect the working lives of more than 34 million Canadians, the surveyors have to compare them against a baseline set of data of the entire Canadian population. The census provides these numbers – local population counts, numbers of workers in different age groups, number of people working in various industries etc. Whereas the labour force survey is done every month, the census is updated only once in five years. As a result Statistics Canada has to estimate the changes happening to the population and the job market in the intervening years.
And when the new census comes out, it takes time for Statistics Canada to update all of its statistical models and past data. It can take several years from the time the most recent census is released to the time they can be input back into the employment data. And the further we get from the previous census, the more guess work has to be done by Statistics Canada. The monthly job surveys of 2014 are using data based off the 2006 census. This implies that Statistics Canada is comparing the answers of 56,000 Canadians in July to a situation in Canada eight years ago and then taking a guess on how things have changed. This process will obviously leave a significant room for error, especially in those parts of Canada where there have been major population changes or industrial upheavals.
According to Statistics Canada, here is how the switch from 2001 to 2006 census affected its employment numbers in the provinces at the time:
In 2010, employment levels were revised downward by 1% or more for New Brunswick (-2.3%); British Columbia (-2.1%); Newfoundland and Labrador (-1.5%) and Prince Edward Island (-1.0%) whereas estimates for Alberta were revised upward, by 1.0%.
Eventually, Statistics Canada does go back to revise all of its past data to adjust it to reflect actual population changes and thus make it more accurate. However this process takes time. The next such update was due in January 2015, when all Canadian jobs numbers were to be revised so that they would be based off of the 2011 census.
There is a chance that it was this update that caused last month’s jobs errors. According to Cross, such errors are few and far between and that Statistics Canada’s data has actually been getting more accurate over the years. He also refers to former chief statistician Munir Sheikh as someone who really improved the efficacy of the agency’s data verification process, including tying the error rate to job performance reviews. Cross says that those processes have continued to improve under the new chief statistician Wayne Smith.
Statistics Canada’s most prized divisions are the ones that produce the three most important numbers in the country: the GDP (economic growth), the Consumer Price Index (inflation) and the Labour Force Survey. According to Cross, these divisions were spared from budget cuts and the CPI is actually on a hiring spree. Even the labour force survey was not affected by the Conservative government’s decision to swap the mandatory long-form census for a voluntary survey, since it’s based off of the short-form census, which is still mandatory.
The error in July numbers however show much our understanding of the job market still depends on ‘guessing’ and is therefore subject to plenty of human error and assumption. This is true of most of the data collected by Statistics Canada. “There isn’t one major data point that over time I haven’t seen a mistake,” Cross says. “It’s a huge place. It processes a lot of data. It’s full of human beings and human beings make mistakes.”
Attorney Colin Singer Commentary:
International workers who may be interested to work in Canada under a work visa, work permit or a related immigration program are invited to contact us and receive a free consultation of their qualifications.
There are many options available to you after you have completed your study in Canada program.
- Continue your study in Canada experience and pursue advanced degrees
- Return home with a Canadian degree, diploma or certificate and work experience which is highly respected around the world
- Get more work experience in Canada
Work in Canada after Graduation: Qualify for Canadian permanent residence
Gaining more work experience in Canada after graduation can go a long way towards helping you become a Canadian permanent residence. Qualified students on a Canada study visa or Canada study permit can get Canadian permanent residence under many Federal or Provincial immigration programs without leaving Canada.
Post-Graduate Work Program
This program allows international students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience through a special work permit issued for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of 3 years.
- Studied full time in Canada in a program of at least 8 months duration
- Graduated from a public post-secondary institution, a private post-secondary institution, or a private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees
- Submit an application for a work permit within 90 days after receiving written confirmation of completing a study program
- Received notification of eligibility to obtain a degree, diploma or certificate
- Possess a valid Canada study visa or Canada study permit
Canadian Experience Class
This federal program allows international students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to get Canadian permanent residence without leaving Canada.
- Graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution with at least 1 year of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada.
- Possess 12 months of continuous work experience in Canada under a work visa or study visa
- Submit an application while working in Canada – or – within 1 year after leaving Canada
- Possess a valid language assessment (from a recognized third party agency approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada)
- Intend to reside outside the province of Quebec
For more information or to apply, please visit the Canadian Experience Class page on the immigration.ca website.
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
This program allows international students who graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to receive nomination by a Canadian province or territory Canadian permanent residence without leaving Canada.
- Intend to reside in the nominating province or territory
- Submit an application directly to the province or territory that will assess the provincial nomination program PNP application
- Submit a separate application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for Canadian permanent residence
- Pass a medical examination
- Pass a security and criminal background check
For more information or to apply, please visit the Provincial Nominees page on the immigration.ca website.
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Employers in the booming Western provinces are still doing what they can to overcome labour pressures, including looking abroad to find the skilled workers they need to keep pace with the demand.
That is the case for Jim Nowakowski, owner of Saskatchewan-based welding company JNE Welding. Though there are skilled welders in Canada, Nowakowski says that few of them are willing to leave behind family and friends, despite the benefits and wages they are able to receive in booming economies like Saskatchewan.
In a recent piece for The Globe and Mail, Nowakowski describes his firm’s recent efforts to recruit and retain skilled workers from abroad – offering integration assistance and accommodation to newcomers with the intent to help them build permanent ties to the Saskatoon community.
Though recent government policies have recognized the hiring challenges faced by employers, there still are many obstacles, including relocation costs, which amount to thousands of dollars per worker, as well as processing times which can be upwards of one or two years.
“Despite the challenges, I have seen the benefits of hiring internationally beyond filling the skills gap within my company,” writes Nowakowski. “Our employees are from India, Iran, the Philippines, South Africa, Israel, Ukraine, Poland, Ireland, Germany and of course, people originally from Canada. The multicultural background of our employees adds to the working experience and contributes to a rich employee culture —something that is extremely valuable.”
Though JNE Welding is just one company among many, Nowakowski’s story surely rings true for many employers in Western Canada. Nowakowski says that he fully intends to continue to recruit internationally, as it currently is the only way he can keep up with demand.
Source: Globe and Mail
Ottawa-based high-technology corporation Cisco has announced a new deal with the provincial government that will produce about 1,700 new jobs in six years.
The deal, announced last month, is just one more promising news item for Ottawa’s burgeoning technology industry, which also includes the rapidly growing Shopify Inc. and Solantro Semiconductor Corp.
Approximately 90 percent of the country’s telecommunications research is conducted out of the nation’s capital, making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the city. Shopify Inc., a popular new e-commerce company, more than doubled its staff last year, with continued projections for growth for this year.
Solantro too, has been boosting prospects in the city. The firm, which manufactures chipsets for small generators, will receive a $4 million investment from the provincial government and nearly double its current staff.
Hundreds of other similar start-ups are undergoing the same type of growth and pushing Ottawa to become one of the top locations for high-tech skilled workers. The new investments from the province will likely spur even more growth.
Cisco and Ontario plan to invest $4 billion over the next ten years or so and expand to 5,000 employees by 2024.
Source: Ottawa Citizen
Economic experts are predicting good things for the Nova Scotia economy in 2014.
Major offshore projects are just some of the driving economic forces predicted to spur a 13 percent increase in spending within the province. Construction in Halifax will be particularly strong, with $500 million alone being invested in the city’s new convention center.
“Nova Scotia has got good growth next year,” said Patrick Brannon, a research analyst with the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. “The offshore sector has provided a boost.”
Several large multinationals will continue to invest in provincial projects in the coming years, including oil and gas sector giants BP and Shell, both of which are based out of Europe. Indian firm H-Energy will be another major economic player in the region over the coming year.
The numerous construction projects are expected to bring about $3.4 billion into Nova Scotia, but will also bring numerous jobs to keep up the pace. The energy sector projects are expected to ignite growth in other sectors, particularly the service sector.
Nova Scotia reported strong economic growth in 2013 as well. The continued growth is good news for long-term prospects in the region.
Source: The Chronicle Herald