Ottawa Unveils Sweeping Changes to Foreign-workers Program

Changes include  splitting the program into  two and imposing a long list of measures aimed at reducing its use for low-wage positions.

By Bill Curry, The Globe and Mail

The Conservative government is launching a detailed and sweeping reform of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, splitting it in two and imposing a long list of measures aimed at reducing its use for low-wage positions.

Employment Minister Jason Kenney and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced the changes Friday, following a briefing for news media.

The announcement is a clear attempt to tackle criticisms head-on, by moving to shrink the program in low-wage sectors and to improve the quality and reliability of data that inform the federal government’s labour market policies.

Employer groups in low-wage sectors had urged the government not to link the program to unemployment rates. They will be disappointed – and are not likely to be pleased news that user fees will rise.

The changes are less restrictive for sectors with above-average wages, even though those categories – such as information technology workers – have also come under scrutiny.

Read more here.

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