CFIB proposes path to permanent residency to replace Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Time to take the "temporary" out of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

TORONTO, May 18, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian dream shouldn't require a PhD – it's time to replace the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is proposing an Introduction to Canada Visa that provides a pathway to permanent residency for workers in entry-level categories. That was the central message delivered by CFIB senior vice president of national affairs and partnerships, Corinne Pohlmann, in a presentation this afternoon to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

"Canada was built by people who took a chance on coming here, worked hard and made a new life for themselves and their families. It's time to open those opportunities again," said Pohlmann. "The truth is while business owners would rather hire locally – there's a lot less paperwork involved and it's far less costly – Canadians just aren't lining up for the positions these employers need filled. Most of these positions are anything but temporary and bringing in foreign workers is often the only option that keeps these businesses running. Business owners should have access to the labour, and the workers should be rewarded for providing it with access to permanent residency and, ultimately, citizenship."

CFIB welcomes the new government's review of the TFW program after the program was gutted under the previous government.

Pohlmann urged the committee to implement the following measures to help small businesses and temporary foreign workers:

  • Allow a pathway to permanent residency for all TFWs, including those in lower-skilled/entry-level categories, by creating an Introduction to Canada Visa or expanding the "Express Entry" system to include lower-skilled/entry-level workers
  • Create a TFW Bill of Rights
  • Provide stricter enforcement instead of more rules
  • Take a more reasonable approach to fees
  • Review all federal government programs and policies related to workforce training

For jobs that are truly short-term in nature, CFIB believes a small, targeted temporary stream may still be required.

"Canada needs workers of all skill sets. There needs to be more attention in our immigration system placed on bringing people in based on the needs of the economy," added Pohlmann. "Offering all workers the opportunity to apply to stay and help build our country on a permanent basis will only strengthen our economy."

CFIB is Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Independent Business

For further information: To arrange an interview with Corinne Pohlmann, please contact Ryan Mallough at 416-222-8022, 647-464-2814 or


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