Last Updated on August 26, 2016
Restrictions on how many Temporary Foreign Workers Canadian companies can hire look set to be relaxed or lifted by the federal government.
Current rules stipulate a business’s workforce may only comprise 10 per cent of foreign workers admitted to Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
But certain industries – such as the meat processing plants of Alberta – have been left with chronic labour shortages since the caps were introduced under the previous Conservative government.
Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk believes changing the 10 per cent rule would have a major impact on affected businesses who cannot find Canadians willing to accept such low-paying jobs.
Other industries affected include seafood processing and hospitality, with jobs, particularly those in remote areas, left vacant.
The government is currently conducting a review of the program, and Mihychuk says an announcement on the 10 per cent cap could be expected as soon as it is concluded, possibly in days.
Change is almost certainly coming. Whether that will be a relaxing of the cap for some industries or a scrapping of it altogether remains to be seen.
Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, executive director of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council, told the TFWP review hearing how stations sit empty in meat processing plants.
Without butchers, experts say it is impossible to get a full range of cuts of beef, meaning waste increases per animal.
Stephen Harper’s Conservatives introduced caps in an attempt to get employers to hire more Canadian workers.
It started at 30 per cent in 2014, then worked its way down over the next two years. They apply to businesses with 10 or more people, although caregivers and primary agriculture are exempt.
Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says the caps make TFWP almost useless to small operations.
A motel in a remote area with 10 staff could only have one TFW. It may find it tough to hire people, but easily hits the cap.
Kelly is positive about the changes that are apparently coming.
The steps to a Canadian TFWP visa (Each step is fully explained here)
- Determine if you require a work permit to work in your desired job in Canada
- Determine if you are eligible to apply for a Canadian temporary work permit
- Determine if you will apply online or on paper
- Obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from your potential employer, if required
- Obtain a temporary job offer from your potential employer
- Gather required documents and forms
- Pay fees
- Submit application
There have also been calls for all TFWs to be given a pathway to permanent residence in Canada, but this suggestion appears short-sighted.
Migrant workers and Canadians alike must be protected against exploitation by employers. However, low-skilled foreign workers who choose to apply to work in Canada must do so knowing that their relocation has a finite term and they will be required to leave afterwards.
For the few who are able to transition to permanent residence under provincial nomination programs, are able to improve their qualifications and meet existing pathways under permanent residence streams.
Those who cannot must look to other destinations beyond Canada.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
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.
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Read more news about Canada Immigration by clicking here.