Parliamentary Committee Recommends 21 Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program

September 21, 2016

By Canada Immigration Newsletters |

Government Ministers set to respond to Committee report, with major changes to current regulations expected

A House of Commons committee tasked with reviewing Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has made a wide range of recommendations for changes to the program, including easier pathways to permanent residence for foreign workers and simpler ways for businesses to respond to labour market needs.

The committee also calls for the elimination of a rule that ties a foreign worker’s work permit to a specific employer, based on testimony that this creates a power relationship that is open to abuse. Furthermore, under these recommendations, employers with a track record of using the program appropriately would then be placed into a ‘Trusted Employer Program’ whereby their applications for Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) would be fast-tracked.

The report also supports ending the rule that forces certain workers to leave Canada after four years.

Within hours of the report having been published, the Minister of Immigration, John McCallum, and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, MaryAnn Mihychuk, announced that they would respond to the recommendations within the legislated timeframe of 120 days. Given that the Committee was dominated by Liberal members and that the Liberal Party holds a majority within the House of Commons, the long-awaited report is expected to guide upcoming changes to the TFWP that have been promised by the government since it took office last November. The most recent major changes to the TFWP were introduced by the previous Conservative government in June, 2014.

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