Former Immigration Minister and current Employment Minister Jason Kenney says that his government is looking at re-opening a controversial fast-tracking program for temporary foreign workers.
The Accelerated Labour Market Opinion Process was shut down last spring after two controversies emerged surrounding some of Canada’s largest employers. The Royal Bank of Canada was one of the companies reportedly looking to outsource jobs to foreign workers. When the public learned that there had allegedly been talk of firing Canadians to hire foreigners the program was shut down indeterminately.
However, Minister Kenney indicates that he is examining how to re-open the program in ways that can minimize controversy – such as granting access only to employers who are looking to fill high-skilled positions.
“I think it should be narrower, more limited and focused on really critical jobs with specialized skills that are paying a good salary in clearly in-demand occupations, probably in regions with very low unemployment,” said Minister Kenney.
He points to other countries that have successfully implemented similar programs and says that the government is looking to close loopholes that allow abuses of the Canadian program.
The Accelerated Labour Market Opinion Process is just one facet of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program that has been facing much controversy in recent years, particularly as the economy slowed and more Canadians lost their jobs.
The government has made many changes to the program recently, including expanding worker’s rights and raising minimum wage requirements so that they are competitive with Canadian salaries.
Source: Ottawa Citizen