The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced a comprehensive overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
This balanced package of reforms will ensure the TFWP is only used as intended, as a last and limited resort to fill acute labour shortages on a temporary basis when qualified Canadians are not available.
By limiting access to the program, tightening the labour market assessment and implementing stronger enforcement with tougher penalties for employers who break the rules, businesses will have to make greater efforts to recruit and train Canadians for available jobs, including increasing wages.
To offer greater clarity and transparency, the current TFWP is being reorganized and new International Mobility Programs (IMPs) are being created. The TFWP will now refer to those streams under which foreign workers enter Canada at the request of employers following approval through a new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The new IMPs will incorporate those streams in which foreign nationals are not subject to an LMIA, and whose primary objective is to advance Canada’s broad economic and cultural national interest, rather than filling particular jobs. These reorganized programs will improve accountability, with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) being the lead department for the TFWP, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) the lead department for the IMPs. In addition, ESDC will publicly post data on the number of positions for temporary foreign workers approved through the TFWP on a quarterly basis, and will post the names of corporations that receive permission to hire temporary foreign workers through LMIAs.