Quebec is seeking a delay on the application of changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, but the federal government does not appear to be willing to comply.
According to Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Minister Kathleen Weil, changes to the program that were announced last June would make it harder for Quebec businesses to fill an urgent labour shortage with temporary foreign workers.
The new measures will come into effect April 30 and Quebec wants to negotiate terms that would better suit the local labour market.
Weil took issue with the shortening of the length of work permits for some workers, which she said would hurt industries such as welding and machining in Chaudières-Appalaches. A new 10 per cent cap on low-skilled temporary foreign workers on one company’s payroll would hinder the food sector, she added.
Several business leaders showed their support for Quebec’s position on the TFW program.
These reforms do not apply to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) as there are proven acute labour shortages in this industry.