On June 20, 2014, the Government of Canada announced extensive reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to ensure that qualified Canadians and permanent residents are given first chance at available jobs. At the same time, the TFWP was re-organized into two distinct programs: the TFWP will now refer to only 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 International Mobility Program (IMP) incorporates 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.
For those streams that will continue as part of the TFWP, the recent reforms include a new LMIA process, a cap to limit the proportion of low-wage temporary foreign workers that a business can employ, and a requirement for employers of temporary foreign workers in high-wage occupations to submit transition plans to ensure that they are taking steps to reduce their reliance on foreign workers over time.
As part of these reforms, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) are moving ahead with a compliance framework intended to deter and respond to employer non-compliance with TFWP/IMP requirements and conditions.
A discussion paper was published to provide an overview of proposed regulatory changes and seek comments from interested parties. These are the CCR's comments in response to the discussion paper.