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Canadian Committee Recommends 21 Alterations to TFWP

September 2016, 24
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A federal committee at Canada has issued a report, demarcating the suggestions for improving the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The report released by the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities recommends twenty-one alterations to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The report states, “The Temporary Foreign Worker Program was created in 1973 to allow employers to hire foreign nationals to fill gaps in their workforces on a temporary basis. The program has grown and been updated over the years to respond to Canadian labor market conditions. However, employers and temporary foreign workers have expressed long-standing concerns over various aspects of the program. Significant reforms announced during June 2014 have also had an impact on them.”

The report suggests removing the “four-in-four-out” rule which was endorsed in the year 2011. According to the “four-in-four-out” rule, the temporary foreign workers who have been working in the country since 4 years or more have to leave Canada; also prohibits them from returning back to work in the country for another 4 years.

“The committee heard that these are often individuals who have already integrated into Canadian society, filling a permanent labor need, and who have established roots in their adopted communities,” the report stated. “As a result of the “cumulative duration” rule, temporary foreign workers whose work permits have expired have had to leave the country before being able to secure permanent residency status.”

The report also suggests eliminating the need for an employer-specific employment permit and providing an exemption on the Transition Plan requirement up-to 5% of the business workforce consisting of high-wage temporary foreign workers.

Furthermore the report mentions that, “During the course of the study, we had the opportunity to hear from employers, temporary foreign workers and various organizations about the impact that certain aspects of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, along with recent reforms, have had on them. We heard, for example, about labor shortages across different sectors of the Canadian economy, including the high-tech, hospitality, seafood, meat processing as well as the agriculture and agri-food industries, despite significant efforts to recruit and retain Canadians first.”

John McCallum, Minister of Immigration and MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labor will be reviewing the report and responding to the proposal within a legislated period of 4 months.

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