CRFA applauds changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program



    VANCOUVER, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices
Association (CRFA) welcomes the improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker
Program announced today that will help alleviate the severe labour shortage in
the foodservice industry.
    The announcement by federal Minister of Human Resources and Social
Development Monte Solberg, B.C. Minister of Economic Development Colin Hansen
and B.C. Minister of Labour Olga Ilich will expedite the process for hiring
much-needed temporary foreign workers to fill selected positions in
restaurants and other foodservice establishments in British Columbia and
Alberta, where the labour shortage is most acute.
    "Today's announcement is an indication the governments of Canada, British
Columbia and Alberta understand the labour shortage is a people shortage, not
simply a skills shortage," says Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA's Vice President,
Western Canada.
    "This pilot project is an important step that CRFA would like to see
extended to other occupations in our industry and other regions of the
country," says Joyce Reynolds, CRFA's Executive Vice President of Government
Affairs.
    Foodservice employers who have been unable to find Canadian citizens or
permanent residents to fill front-line positions should now find it much
faster to hire foreign workers, provided the government uses realistic
prevailing wage rates that are based on consistent and current labour market
data.
    Over the next nine years the restaurants, bars and caterers that make up
Canada's foodservice industry will require an additional 181,000 workers.
While the demand for foodservice employees will grow an average of 1.8% per
year over the next nine years, the working-age population of 15- to
69-year-olds will grow by just 0.9%.
    CRFA also welcomes the commitment to more information sharing and
collaboration on enforcement mechanisms between the federal government and
provincial governments to protect both workers and the integrity of the
Temporary Foreign Worker program.

    CRFA is one of Canada's largest business associations, with
34,000 members representing restaurants, caterers, bars, clubs, accommodation
and institutional foodservice operators.





For further information:

For further information: Mark von Schellwitz, CRFA VP, Western Canada,
1-866-300-7675, or (604) 685-9655; Jill Holroyd, CRFA VP, Research and
Communications, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4217


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