Further reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Ensuring Canadians are first in line for available jobs

OTTAWA, Dec. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Employment and Social Development Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney, and Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, announced further changes today stemming from the ongoing review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The Government of Canada continues to reform the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to ensure that Canadians are always first in line for available jobs, while ensuring temporary foreign workers are protected.

For more information on the new regulations, visit:
www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/foreign_workers/notices/reg_change.shtml

Quick facts

As announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government is introducing regulatory and administrative changes that will:

  • provide the Government with the authority to conduct inspections to make sure employers are meeting the conditions of the program;
  • allow the Government to ban non-compliant employers from the program for two years and immediately add their names to a public "black list"
  • strengthen criteria for assessing Labour Market Opinion (LMO) and work permit applications; and
  • provide the Government with the authority to revoke or suspend LMOs, or refuse to process LMO applications, and to revoke and refuse to process work permits, when necessary.

Quotes

"Our government's number-one priority is creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Canada has the best job creation record in the G7 with over 1 million net new jobs created since the depths of the global recession—90 percent full-time and almost 80 percent in high-wage industries. We are taking action to ensure that Canadians are always first in line for available jobs."

— Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development

"These changes are part of a larger reform of the program that demonstrates our government's commitment to protect foreign workers from the risk of abuse and exploitation. One of the goals of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is to deal with labour shortages on a temporary basis, and these reforms will help ensure that the program is used as intended."

— Honourable Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister

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Backgrounder

Amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations provide new authorities to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to conduct inspections from the first day a temporary foreign worker is employed.

The new regulations provide ESDC and CIC with the authority to:

  • conduct inspections over a six-year period, when necessary;
  • conduct site visits and interviews with temporary foreign workers and other employees;
  • compel employers to provide documents for the purposes of verifying compliance;
  • address complaints of possible non-compliance immediately;
  • impose new conditions on employers, e.g.:
    • employers must maintain a workplace free from abuse;
    • where previously agreed, employers must meet commitments on plans to transition to a Canadian workforce;
  • impose a two-year ban on employers who fail to comply with conditions of their labour market opinion (LMO); and
  • strengthen criteria for assessing LMO and work permit applications, e.g.:
    • extend from two to six years the period during which ESDC and CIC can verify the wages, working conditions and occupation provided to previously employed temporary foreign workers at the time of a new LMO or work permit application;
    • refuse to process LMO applications for businesses offering striptease, erotic massage, escort services or erotic dance.

The ministers of ESDC and CIC are also issuing ministerial instructions that will allow ESDC to suspend or revoke an LMO or refuse to process a request for an LMO and allow CIC to revoke work permits or refuse to process a work permit application. These ministerial instructions may be used, for example, if new information becomes available indicating that the entry of a temporary foreign worker would have a negative impact on the labour market or if concerns arise that the employer may have provided false or misleading information on the LMO application. Suspending an LMO would stop the issuance of work permits by CIC.

In cases where an LMO is suspended or revoked, CIC will review the work permits that were issued under that LMO on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the work permits should also be revoked. CIC will also be able to revoke work permits from workers who were exempt from the LMO process if information becomes available that indicates the foreign worker is having a negative effect on the Canadian economy.


 

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information:

Alexandra Fortier
Office of the Minister
819-994-2482

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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